Light blue inks are perhaps the easiest type to produce, but the most difficult color to perfect. J. Herbin, the oldest ink production name in the world (with their founding in 1670), has had nearly three-and-a-half centuries to perfect their work, and with their Bleu Pervenche ink, they have done a spectacular job.
The ink itself comes packaged in a very nice, yet simple, box. With all of the labels in French, the box features a square with a facsimile of the color on top, and a pervenche flower on the front. The label of the ink looks exactly the same as the box. It, once again, has a picture of a pervenche flower and the J. Herbin Branding. The bottle itself is frustrating, which is disappointing given how wonderful the ink is. The bottle is short but wide, which does not make it very accommodating for large-nibbed pens. On top of that, it has a relatively narrow neck, so, assuming their nibs fit in, any Montblanc 149’s, Pelikan m1000’s, or Namiki Emperor’s you may have hanging around may some difficulty getting through the neck. The bottle, to say the least, is rather underwhelming. So, I put the ink into one of my wide-mouth mini-Nalgenes from The Container Store, where the ink is much more happy (I highly recommend these bottles).
Now, for the color. If I were a thesaurus, I would go on for pages with different synonyms for words which I could use to describe this ink. However, I will leave it at this: the ink is bright, blue, and fantastic. It looks like the color of an Arctic water-canyon. The color is deep, saturated; and it shades quite well for a light ink. It even has some red and sparkly sheen around the edges of some of the letters. However, I would knock J. Herbin on one thing: the ink color does not particularly resemble that of a pervenche (the color is significantly lighter). Other than that, this ink is fantastic.
The ink also has very amiable, pleasant properties. It dries in good time (about 25 seconds on absorbent paper), and doesn’t feather or bleed on quality papers. However, the ink does not maintain its perfect record on less expensive papers, where it dries instantly and feathers and bleeds a bit. Beyond that, the ink is extremely easy to wash out and clean; however, it is not water resistant at all—it fully washes away with a droplet of water.
In conclusion, J. Herbin Bleu Pervenche is a model ink—it has a wonderful color and it has wonderful properties. I recommend it highly. It is available for $11.50 from Goulet and for $12:00 from Amazon with Prime Shipping (this is not an affiliate link).
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