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Perle Noir, Herbin

Perle Noir is one of the most recommended and well reviewed black inks out there. When I bought this ink a few years ago, I was disappointed. It is not the blackest, not the smoothest, not the fastest drying ink, not an archival ink, not the cheapest.  I decided to give it a second chance so I eyedropped a Preppy with it and filled a Lamy All-star. Over the past few days I have written many pages of work notes with the ink. Perle Noir is a well behaving black ink that is sold at a reasonable price, but it doesn't excel in anything. Below some writing samples, followed by drying times and test in water resistance. Drying times are about average to slow, 45 secs with a broad nib on Tomoe River 52g paper. The ink is certainly not water resistant, but it can handle an accidental drop.   The full characteristics: Feathering none Shading hardly any Show through negligible 

IJzer-galnoten, P.W. Akkerman


My recent buy of the KWZ inks got me interested again in Iron Gall inks. Years ago I had a bottle of P.W. Akkerman's iron gall ink (in Dutch: IJzer-galnoten) but never replaced it. The bottle itself is amazing. Practical because of the reservoir (sealed off with a marble) on top and a gem on every bookshelf.

The ink itself is a very sturdy and practical blue-black ink (but definitely grayish too when dry. It is perfect for the office, but there is no reason not to use it for personal notes or letters as well. The color may not be very vibrant or cheerful, but it's a good, solid, beautiful ink.

The ink is a bit dry, but behaves extremely well. Writing is smooth. No feathering, decent shading, minimal show-through. Drying time on Crown Mill Vellum paper is less than 15 seconds, fast! This iron gall ink definitely has registrar qualities, it is not afraid of water. You don't even see on the grid where I dropped water. And a separate two hour soak-in-a-cup test didn't harm the ink either.

So what does it compare to? The gray/greenish color it dries up to sets the ink apart from others. IG Blue #2 by KWZ is a darker blue. Blue nuit (Herbin) and Shin-Kai (Iroshizuku) come close when the ink is wet, but the difference gets bigger when the IG dries and darkens. N.B. This scan was taken more than a day after writing.

I will keep a pen filled up with this ink for a while.. I really like this ink!



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