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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 

IG Blue #2, by KWZ

The iron gall Blue #2 ink is the third ink I bought from KWZ inks, handmade inks from  Poland. KWZ is a brand with a lot of modern iron gall inks in their collection. I am a huge fan of their IG Green #3 and a lot less of their IG Red #3. So I was definitely curious of this blue. Being a dark blue (especially when dry), you can't really go wrong. Perfect for office use, suitable for personal correspondence and notes. It is a solid, serious color. Personal writings should match that. 

The ink is well behaved, feathering and show-through are negligible, the ink writes smooth enough and drying times are acceptable with just over 30 seconds. Shading is moderate at most, but beautiful with a broad or stub nib. The water resistance is quite good, the ink can take water for a long time and still remain legible. A lot more susceptible to water than the traditional iron galls, but good enough. I have used this ink in a TWSBI with a stub nib, a Lamy with a medium nib, and with an oblique 2.5 mm tape nib. With all these pens the ink behaved almost perfectly on Original Crown Mill Vellum paper.

The scan below was taken approximately 24 hours after writing. Both iron galls ink in the comparison have darkened considerably. IJzer-galnoten (P.W. Akkerman) leans more towards gray/black, blue #2 is brighter and remains more true blue. Blue nuit (Herbin) is a regular ink. When wet, Blue nuit and Blue #2 aren't that far off.... 

All in all this is a high quality ink in a decent color with which you can't really go wrong. No, it's not the most exciting color maybe, but it certainly has its use. If you are looking for an iron gall ink that remains really blue, definitely consider this one. 


N.B. Written on Original Crown Mill Vellum paper

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