J. Herbin 1670 Encre Rouge Hematite

It appears that majority of the ink I have reviewed is by J. Herbin.  I would say it is the mystique of J. Herbin’s background that allures me to try it out.  The idea that J. Herbin as a sailor traveled to India and was inspired by India Ink fascinates me.  Moreover, an ink company that was found almost 120 years before the French Revolution and still thrives today is amazing.  Little ink anecdotes entertain me.  What can I say, I am nerdy like that.  Another important factor is that J. Herbin’s ink is quite approachable in price.  It is amazing how much a jar of ink can cost!  If you are curious and willing to venture outside of Parker’s Quink (I use Quink since I was 9, and I still go back to it from time to time), J. Herbin could be a good starting point.

Here is a review on J. Herbin’s commemorative ink.  Isn’t it so vibrant and cheerful?
J. Herbin 1670 Encre Stylo
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P.S.  I just realized that there are spelling errors (gasp!) in the writing sample.  Sorry for not running spell check!

J. Herbin Scented Ink Part II: Rose Red

At this point  you may ponder, “ink is ink, what is so fascinated about it?”  Just like any other objects, there are stories behind all ink, especially the ones that follow time-tested formula.  Using ink just gives a piece of writing more depth and more thought.

This piece is the second part to J. Herbin Scented Ink.  At first I cannot believe how rosy the scent is.  For some reason, most rose scented products do not resemble how a real rose would smell like.  While writing I would think I was sitting at a rose garden, appreciating the fragrance instead of writing.

One major difference between this particular review versus the two previous ones is the pen.  I used fountain pens for Sapphire blue and Apple green, but I use a glass dipping pen for this one.  Glass pen not only looks elegant, but it is also easy to use after several trial and error.  It is convenient in the respect that one can test several bottles of ink without flushing out ink and wait for the barrel and converter to be dry.  Instead, one only needs to rinse it with water, pat it dry, and it is ready to go.  The nib itself has spirals that supposed to hold ink, so with practice it is possible to write several sentences with one dip.  I often associate writing with a dip pen with leisure because you really need to slow down on your writing speed, other wise you will lose control of  your lettering.  If you look close enough,  you can see several spots where I hesitate and the form of the alphabets look different from other ones. Writing with glass dipping pen allows one to maximize the process of lettering!

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Isn’t this a beautiful pen?

Ink review J. Herbin Red Rose

J. Herbin Encres Parfumées Part I– Apple Green

Apparently doing ink review is quite addictive!  I have known the existence of scented ink for sometimes, but I was not sure whether I want to try it out for a good reason:  I am very selective on scent.  Sometime I am overcome by some floral undertone in perfume, so I was a bit worried that would happen to me with the scented ink.  Call me a weakling and a nerd, but J.Herbin’s name is irresistible.  Not to burden you with more history, you may find J.Herbin’s ink making stories here on its official website.

While most people praise J. Herbin’s regular ink, when it comes to specialty ink (calligraphy, scented, India ink), reviews are ambivalent.  I just have to give it a try to see it for myself.  Instead of purchasing individual bottles, I purchased sample 5-pack set that contains red, green, brown, blue, and violet in cute 10 ml glass bottle.  I can have them all without the burden of 30 ml each.  Thus explains the “Part I” in the title of the posting.

Without further ado, here is a review on J. Herbin’s scented ink.

Ink review J. Herbin Apple Green
Too bad I cannot attach a scent sample to the post.  Just imagine the aroma from a fresh Granny Smith once you take a bite, with a faint floral undertone.

Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire

This is my first ink review with actual writing sample!  I have read many reviews on Pelikan Edelstein series and not many people are too impressed with the ink.  Some said the color is not saturated enough, some said that the price of the ink does not match with its quality.  In contrast, my impression of the ink is favorable.  It has a nice purple undertone, which makes it stand out on white paper.  The flow is very smooth, and it is not as finicky as Noodler Baystate blue when it comes to paper choice.

I hope you will enjoy the review as much as I do!
Ink review Pelilkan Edelstein Sapphire

Noodler’s Bay State Blue

Ever since I was in third grade, the standard color I used for homework and whatnots was always blue.  I never quite understood why the blue was so gray, so I subconsciously built this barrier for blue.  Once my mom purchased a different shade of blue by accident, that was when my eyes opened.  Wow, blue can be attractive.  I asked my mom what was the name of the color, she shrugged because she just paid for it without knowing.  From that point, I was on a secret quest of searching for the perfect blue.
This quest did not start to take place until last year (talk about being a procrastinator!), when I began to look for places to purchase fountain pen ink.  One reason for my hiatus is that fountain pen ink, whether bottled or in cartridge, are hard to find in American stationary stores (if you count Staples as one).  It does not help when I am heavy handed when it comes to writing, so ink cartridges usually do not last me long at all.  Thanks to the Internet, I finally located some online retailers who provided fantastic selections (almost too many!) of fountain pen ink.  At first, I was amazed by J.Herbin’s ink because of its rich history.  Though J. Herbin’s Bleu Mysotis has a good flow, the color is a bit too gray for my ideal blue.  I also sampled Pelikan Edelstein in Sapphire, the color is brighter than Bleu Mysotis in comparison and has a purple undertone, but the saturation is a bit on the watery side.  At first I thought I should probably settle on Edelstein.  The ink bottle itself is exquisite, so is the price.
While meandering on one of retailers’ websites, I came across an American fountain pen ink manufacturer called Noodler.  While follow up on this brand, I came across this saturated, brilliant blue with a prominent purple undertone called Baystate Blue.  The color is dark but vibrant.  When the ink is dry, I can see a faint sheen on surface.  What is mesmerizing about this ink is that it is formulated after colonial ink but without the acidity, so the ink does not fade with time.  One downside of this ink is that it is finicky in the respect of paper.  It does not have much problem with Clairfontaine or Rhodia, but when it comes to regular paper it is almost like playing Russian roulette.  It will take some paper but not the other.  So far, I have not figured out a pattern, so I usually go strait to Rhodia when I am using this ink
Overall, I like this ink.  It might not be the easiest ink I have used, but for the color and the quality, it is worth the trouble.  When I first started using the ink, I did not do too much research on it, so I walked around with blue finger tips for several days.  Because of the anti-fading property, ink blotch will stay on quite some time as well.  Now refill time is almost like a lab day, that I wear an apron while filling the converter.
So yes, I have found my blue.  Now where is the dusky purple?