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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 

Night Sky (shimmer), Diamine

In the past few years Diamine has released several series of shimmering inks. Night sky is one of those ink, a black color with silver shimmer in it. The shimmer makes it a bit of a gimmick of course. You will get away with it in the office (for note taking), but the amount of shimmer is definitely noticeable. It looks a it as if someone wrote with a pencil over your black ink. The color is pleasant to read, which makes it suitable for personal notes. For me, I think inks with  this high level of shimmer are best used for invitation cards, short notes, or maybe greeting cards.

The ink is good, but not excellent. No feathering, minimal show-through, some shading, well lubricated and wet but not too wet. Drying time is long, 50 seconds, but it's not unheard of for a dark, black ink. Be careful with fluids. You will still see what you wrote, but you will have to rewrite the page. The amount of shimmer in this ink is quite high, much higher than in Herbin inks.Not so easy to catch it on the scanner, but it's clearly visible on paper. I have noticed some 'hard starts' with this ink, something I have never observed in Diamine inks before. 
The broad oblique nib brought out some silver sheen you can't see with either the glass dip pen or the TWSBI with broad nib.

Comparing the inks to others seemed a bit pointless. I don't have any comparable black inks, just black inks. So instead the paper shows the different between one, two and three brushes with a q-tip swap.


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