Ink Shoot-Out : J.Herbin Poussière de Lune vs L'Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Bourgogne
Over the course of the past few years I have developed a taste for dusty, murky inks. Excellent colours for gloomy autumns and dark winter evenings... Two of the inks I love very much are J. Herbin’s Poussière de Lune and L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio’s Bourgogne. Both are nice dusty purples that fit very well with the autumn season. A perfect time to do a detailed comparison, and find out which of these inks I like the most.
Enter... the Ink Shoot-Out. A brutal fight spanning five rounds, where heavyweight inks do battle to determine who is the winner. In the left corner - the well-known J. Herbin champion – Poussière de Lune. In the right corner, also from France, the challenger from L’Artisan Pastellier – Bourgogne. Which champion will remain standing at the end of the fight ? Let's find out...
Round 1 - First Impressions
Both inks are wonderful murky purples. These are dark and moody inks, well suited to writing on gloomy autumn evenings. Count Vladimir Dracula would have loved them both, and so do I. There are some differences though:
- Poussière de Lune is much more saturated and lubricated – the pen flows over the paper and leaves a very well saturated line. Bourgogne writes drier with noticeable feedback from the paper. As a result, Bourgogne leaves a finer line with less saturation.
- Bourgogne is a darker purple with more grey-black undertones. This is a matter of personal taste, but I definitely prefer the darker purple of Bourgogne.
Both inks appeal to me. Poussière de Lune is technically the better ink for writing, but colour-wise I really consider Bourgogne to have the edge. For this round, both champions are on par with each other. Let’s call it a draw.
Round 2 - Writing Sample
The writing sample was done on Rhodia N°16 Notepad with 80 gsm paper. Both inks behaved flawlessly, with no feathering and no show-through or bleed-through. J. Herbin’s Poussière de Lune wrote wonderfully, with very good ink-flow, and leaving a well saturated line. In contrast, Callifolio Bourgogne is much less lubricated, and leaves a consistenly thinner line on the paper.
With normal writing, the colour difference between both inks is less apparent. Although Callifolio has more grey-black undertones, in everyday writing this is not immediately obvious. You need to look carefully to see the difference.
Both inks also exhibit an aesthetically pleasing shading. Being dark inks, the shading is not very prominent – from dark to darker purple – but it is there, and gives extra character to the writing.
For this round, Poussière de Lune clearly has the upper hand, and showed the best technique. A clear and definite win.
Round 3 - Pen on Paper
I added this round to indicate how the battling inks behave on a range of fine writing papers. From top to bottom, we have : FantasticPaper, Life Noble, Tomoe River and Original Crown Mill cotton paper. All scribbling and writing was done with a Lamy Safari M-nib. Both champions did well, with no show-through nor bleed-through. But this round is not about technicalities, it is about aesthetics and beauty. Are the fighters able to make the paper shine ?
In my opinion, Callifolio Bourgogne is the more able of the champions – It’s dustier and murkier on a wider variety of paper. The only exception is with Tomoe River paper, where I like the result of Poussière de Lune better. For this round, Bourgogne gets the upper hand and gets a win on points.
Round 4 - Ink Properties
Both inks have drying times in the 15-20 second range on the Rhodia paper. Both inks also do fine on the smudge test, where a moist Q-tip cotton swab is drawn across the text lines. There is some smearing, but the text remains perfectly legible. For the droplet test, I dripped water onto the grid and let it sit there for 15 minutes, after which I removed the water droplets with a paper kitchen towel. Neither of the champions exhibits good water resistance – although with some patience you might be able to reconstruct the written word. Also Poussière de Lune leaves more of a purple mess on the page.
The chromatography shows that both inks leave a greyish residue, with Poussière de Lune leaving more purple smearing. You can also see that Bourgogne is the darker of the two, with more grey-black undertones in the ink. Overall though – the chroma’s look very similar.
In this round, both inks show more or less the same behavior, resulting in a draw.
Round 5 - The Fun Factor
Welcome to the final round. Here I give you a purely personal impression of both inks, where I judge which of them I like most when doing some fun stuff like doodling and drawing. Both inks do well, and the lack of water resistance allows for nice effects when using a water brush. But I must admit that I like L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Bourgogne a lot better than J. Herbin Poussière de Lune. Bourgogne is much nicer to draw with, and has a much more pleasing dark dusty purple colour. The dark grey in this ink is what really makes it shine. In comparison, Poussière de Lune is too purple in appearance.
This is of course a personal decision, but it is the judge’s conclusion that this round is clearly won by the more artistic ink – Callifolio Bourgogne.
Both inks find a proud place in my collection, and both are suitably gloomy inks for the dark autumn season. If you are in search of some dusty dark purples – no need to look any further. But counting the points, I find that L’Artisan Pastellier Callifolio Bourgogne has a slight edge over J. Herbin Poussière de Lune. A fight needs a winner, and in this fight I grant the victory to Callifolio Bourgogne.