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J. Herbin Perle Noire

This is another ink given to me, for review purposes, by the lovely folks at JetPens.

I haven't used all that many J. Herbin inks. I've only actually reviewed one on the blog so far, but I'm sure I have must have a couple more in the stack of reviews. I generally like their inks. The Cacao du Bresil is one of my favorite inks, and there are a couple of others that I'm really liking from this brand. 

Unfortunately, Perle Noire just isn't for me. The color is only okay. It's sort of a light black or a really dark gray. It's not bad, exactly, but I don't care for it. 

The behavior on paper is only okay. It bleeds just a little bit on office papers, but it seems to be okay otherwise.

The behavior in the pen, however, is atrocious. I really tried to like this ink. I've put it in different pens and different nibs and it always has the same problem: it won't freakin' start. It's just one of those inks that is a hard-starter regardless of what pen I put it in. If you stop writing with your pen, it's going to stutter before it starts flowing again. If you cap your pen and set it aside for a day, you're going to have major problems getting it started again. If you leave the ink in your pen and don't use it for a week? Forget about it. You're going to have to fiddle with the converter or put fresh ink in the pen or something. It's just not any good for me. 

I actually asked Reddit's fountain pen sub what they thought of it, and the response was really positive. I thought maybe I'd done something wrong and so I fiddled with my Lamy Nexx for a bit and put the ink in my Monteverde Artista, as well. Neither of these pens likes this ink. I love my Artista's medium nib, and the Lamy's fine nib is very reliable, but Perle Noire just doesn't want to play ball. 

In the interest of fairness, maybe you can dilute this ink. That's not something that I've ever tried. I want to review the ink as it is in the bottle, and not after I've had to tinker with it. Also, you might try this ink as a dip pen ink. That might work out okay. I don't know. I don't have any dip pens. 

I can only tell you that I couldn't make this one play nicely with my fountain pens. It's not dangerous, or anything, it's just finicky and frustrating. 

 The above and below were taken in different lighting. The top is in the shade of my porch and the bottom is in full sun.

This swatch above actually makes this ink look pretty nice, but it doesn't do this in a pen. See the picture below to compare this ink to a really dark back. The pic was taken in full sun, so it's a little bit washed out, but you can still tell Perle Noire from a true black like Black Bat. Also, check out the sheen on Sailor's ink there, and on Salix. Niiice.

So, finally, this ink isn't really for me. I can't recommend it to anyone for use in a fountain pen because it just wouldn't work. Maybe you have a really wet nib with a very secure cap that can keep this ink wet and flowing, but I don't think I do.

Find it at JetPens for $9 in a 30ml bottle.

Water test and video review:


It's not exactly water proof, but I've seen worse. 

**This ink was received as a media sample. The opinions expressed here are all my own. No money has changed hands, and no promises were made.**
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Anonymous said...

My Perle Noire cartridges tend to have a really bad behaviour with my pens too (clogging and hard starts). It made me hate the Shaeffer VFM I bought with it.

That beeing said, my bottled Perle Noire ink performs really nicely (no hard start at all, no clogging), especially with my Parker Urban Premium.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there is Quality Control issues. I bought Rouge Caoubier and it is atrociously bad. Won't start. When does start draws a thin line. So regret buying this ... have Emerald de Chivor and it is so wet it actually leaked in my Kokuno. Don't get this company.