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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 

Vert de Gris, by J. Herbin

Visiting one of my favorite ink stores this week the owner told me about one of her favorite colors, Vert de Gris by Herbin. A color I somehow noticed before so I had to try it. It is a strange color.. it's grey yes, but it's also green of course and when writing on paper it looks even more blue than green. The color is subtle, neutral and can be used in the office for note taking and of course for personal notes and writing too. 

The behavior of Herbin inks was no surprise; Herbin produces unadulterated, good, well-behaving inks. No feathering, minimal show-through, nice shading (less than usual), quite wet and excellent lubrication. The ink writes very smoothly. Drying times a bit below average and there is some resistance to water... when you're quick enough you can still see what you wrote. 

Big question is, what does this ink compare to? I wouldn't know... it's not a teal despite the blue and green and it's too green or blue to be a proper grey. Comparisons to two Iroshizuku greys and to Herbin's (shimmer) Gris Orage ink simply fail. The color isn't anything like it. Would a low in saturation teal (Syo-ro) compare better? 

All in all this is a very nice ink to keep in the pen for a few days every now and then. Especially in the months November - January.


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