When Jacques Herbin released their “higher end” line of pens, inks and leather items a few years back, I can’t admit that I paid all that much attention. The brand has existed as J. Herbin for a while (since 1670!) and earlier in my pen journey I had tried some of their inks, Bleu Nuir and Poussiere de lune, which were ok, but not inks I’d touched in quite some time.
When a sale had some of their “essentielles” inks available at about 20% of their list price, I picked up 3 of them, being Blue de minuit, Bleu Austral and this Violet Boreal.
I’m not a huge one for packaging but the box and bottle these inks are housed in are very attractive. The bottle is heavy and glass and would look lovely on any desk. Think Pelikan Edelstein bottle weight. Its also the same bottle as that used in their 1670 range of inks (albeit without the wax bottle cap and seal).
I inked Bleu Austral and Violet Boreal first. When I tested my first one, Bleu Austral, in a Broad Platinum 3776 Nice on 68gsm Tomoe River paper, I had just awful feathering. No bleed through or even shadowing, but just so much feathering. I didn’t see this in the Violet Boreal, so maybe (hopefully) it was just a bad ink match.
I realised when I purchased Diamine Amazing Amethyst that I’m extremely particular about my purple inks and there’s a narrow window of colours that I enjoy. I like the really dark purples, like Dark Lilac and Montblanc lavender, the rich reddy purples like Pelikan Amethyst and the pale lilacy pastel purples like Nekoyanagi, Ink Studio 150 and Tipsy Purple. Anything in a mid toned purple category, like Amazing Amethyst, isn’t my cup of tea. Unfortunately, I would categorise Violet Boreal in this category. The colour is ok, but it doesn’t excite me.
The colour is a bit flat, there’s a bit of shading in wider nibs, but not all that much else. Maybe with all of the recent ink trends of sheening, multichromatic inks, shimmer etc, the expectation of a new ink is just too high.
I did notice a tiny tiny bit of feathering on the Cosmo Air light, but I get the feeling that this ink isn’t too happy on this paper. The ink seems to dislike certain parts of the paper, its like the experience you get when you write over a printed dot/line on some notebooks you find. It might be hand oils, but the area in which this happens is so tiny that it leads me to suspect its not. There is no show through or bleed through, so maybe both of these (minor!) issues are a matter of the ink not getting along with the paper used.
All in all, this ink is a basic purple ink that seems to be nice enough to use and packaged beautifully. Its unlikely to blow your mind, but it’s a nice enough purple and this particular ink in the range seems to behave on the papers I tried. Its not personally the purple ink for me, but if you fancy the colour this is a perfectly nice ink to own.
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