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J. Herbin Lie De Thé - Alternative To Smoky Quartz

j. herbin lie de the honeybadgers

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#1 Honeybadgers

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 08:59

Here's my review of Lie de Thé (alt + 0233 = é) A dark, oxidized tea stain brown. 

 

I ordered a 30ml bottle of this when I also ordered a sample of Pelikan Edelstein Smoky Quartz. I asked about 20 different people at work if they could notice the difference between the two. They could not. I really wish I'd ordered the largest bottle of this. As soon as I'm low, I'll definitely order the largest bottle of this I can.

 

Honestly, I really liked Pelikan smoky quartz. But they have their heads so far up their own bums that the $30 for 50ml (Honestly I don't even think my bottles of pilot iroshizuku are worth $30/bottle, even with the nigh-perfect bottle) just blew my mind. I bought a sample of it and a 30ml BOTTLE of Lie de Thé for $8. And when you are putting it down in as fine a line as anything, even a 1.1 italic does, you can't clearly tell a difference, the value proposition of smoky quartz just fell through the floor.

 

Enter the new champion. Lie de Thé. I adore brown inks. They feel arcane. Simple. Valuable. In the pictures are a Lamy F, B, and 1.1 stub. But this ink just oozes simple beauty. it shades heavily. No water resistance. It just does the one thing it aims to do, emulate the feeling of writing a letter to someone in Victorian times.   

 

The ink is just so gorgeous. It shades heavily. No sheen. It works well on garbage paper without much feathering or any drama. Flow is on the wet side of neutral (no noodlers dark matter) and is simply happy to flow in every single pen I try it in (shown are Lamy F, B, and 1.1 stub)

 

No real feathering or bleed on bad paper. 

 

Mild water resistance. You will be able to see shadows of the writing, but nothing serious.

 

If you are interested in smoky quartz, in the wettest pens, it will have a TAD more black or grey vs this. But to be frank, try a 30ml bottle of Lie de Thé. If you like it, get a bottle of smoky quartz.

 

Lie de Thé is one of the greatest values in brown inks ever made. I love brown, and this is a staple in my collection. As long as I have Lie de Thé, I don't need to spend such an absurd amount on Pelikan's bizarrely overpriced special editions.

 

I really wish ink makers would realize that ink is not the product that should be sold for such a premium.  

 

 

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#2 Barkingpig

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:11

                                                             Lie de The is a beautiful ink; it surely does what it is supposed to & well, @ that.  I think Herbin inks are a good value.



#3 SenZen

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 19:12

I've had Lie de Thé for some time, really like it and its name; a comparison with Smoky Quartz and Caroube de Chypre would be helpful. Oh and you can get it in 100ml bottles!


Edited by pseudo88, 16 June 2017 - 19:13.

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#4 FinScherlis

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 19:25

Thank you, Honeybadgers, for this impression. Lie de thé, is for me one of the complicated inks, as I don't whether it love it or not! After your review I would say: I love it. But when ich look into my ink tests I will regret the words. I know. And the little bottle is there and repeats every time when I see it "Fill me in this nice pen!" But I can't...

 

It is completely different to Caroube de Chypre. But I will have to compare it with my Smoky Quartz, this sounds intricate...



#5 praxim

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 02:51

I am using some at present, for the first time of inking. After purchasing, in the usual wait for delivery, I had some decision regret having grown bored with brown simply from having used Waterman Brown as a distinctive office ink for many years. I enjoyed Lie de Thé more than I had expected so it will continue in the mix of those I use, along with GvFC's Hazelnut Brown (and I still have a bottle of Waterman's).


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#6 ManofKent

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 03:55

Interesting - I had bad feathering with Lie de Thé but a lot of people seem to find it un-problematic.



#7 praxim

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 04:24

ManofKent, I have found more feathering with it than with the other browns. For the most part this is not an issue for me.
Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others.

#8 AmandaW

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 04:28

I picked up a bottle of Smoky Quartz yesterday, Lie de The I have loved for a long time.

 

When I inked a Prera M with the Smoky Quartz this morning - I immediately reached for the TWSBI 1.1 which always has Lie de The because I thought the same thing. I do like both, but I am not so sure I would always need to have both available to use at once. I might now alternate them in the TWSBI.


It's all about the greys...


#9 KellyMcJ

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 05:32

Wow! Reminds me of walnut ink. Gorgeous!

#10 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 14:59

I paid E15.90 for my Smoky Quartz.

$30 is a rip off price, I'd look for a different supplier.

 

If $30 is the Stateside price....sounds if it could be ordered by regular mail from Germany cheaper. German mail is lots cheaper than US, in when the the German Government sold the post office to the rich banks, it kept paying the pensions unlike the States, where the once US mail had to come up with all the pensioned workers, and insure the current workers pension fund all at once....At the demand of UPS&FedEx...the USPS can't even bribe Congress UPS and Fed Ex had a law passed against that.

 

I see no reason for the high price, the dollar is still thankfully high enough...half my pension is US.

 

I can remember folks in the States complaining about the price of  C d'A ink...the cheap stuff from before. Then I found just after it was discontinued, it was as cheap as R&K or nearly so. :doh: So all I have is a limited supply, and not the full kit and kaboodle, which I could have had had I know it was a non-expensive in Europe ink. ....but I never even looked.

The new bigger fancier bottled C d'A ink is even here too expensive for me....

 

I was lucky having a gift certificate for the 70ml G v FC Moss Green....I don't remember if it was E22 or 25 but it was not the E30 that I thought it was. A good ink, but way too expensive to gamble on the other colors are worth buying. (from my look in our Ink Reviews....none are.)

 

The then E17 for MB's 35 ml  Meisterstuck 90 years permanent grey....I thought expensive. (but worth it.....considering how little I will ever use it.) Regular 60ml shoe  bottle or 'normal' 1/2 sized small bottle ink of the year was then E13. (Now E16...for the small bottles....large shoe bottle still @13)

 

Well, here Noodler's is the Expensive Imported ink.

 

To tell you the truth I never even thought of Lie de Thé, when I looked at Smoky Quartz in SQ is darker and a different tone. And Lie de Thé is one of my favorite inks. I agree with the OP, a great shading ink.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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#11 inkstainedruth

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 16:15

I got a sample of Lie de Thé a couple of years ago, and couldn't decide if I liked it enough to warrant a full bottle.  And I got a sample of Smoky Quartz and I don't think they look the same at ALL.  Smoky Quartz is a lot darker -- and when tested for water resistance there's a pinkish red undertone (not enough to have the ink leaning red, but just enough that it's not leaning too yellow either.  It also doesn't have quite as much shading, although it does have some....

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#12 dannyboy

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 20:00

My experience with these two inks is that they do look very similar. Of course, it often depends on the pen/nib you're using. I happen to like both these inks, but in the long run my preference would be for the Herbin LIe de The. But I do have a preference for browns!



#13 Honeybadgers

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 11:34

I got a sample of Lie de Thé a couple of years ago, and couldn't decide if I liked it enough to warrant a full bottle.  And I got a sample of Smoky Quartz and I don't think they look the same at ALL.  Smoky Quartz is a lot darker -- and when tested for water resistance there's a pinkish red undertone (not enough to have the ink leaning red, but just enough that it's not leaning too yellow either.  It also doesn't have quite as much shading, although it does have some....
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Everyone's eye is different. Apart from a hair more grey undertone, smoky quartz is amazingly similar. They may differ in chromatography as well, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

I wish i could do a comparison, but i used up all my smoky quartz sample, and don't have a bottle of caroube, since I'm still not sure if it's going to behave more like chivor (amazing) or rouge hematite (sludge)

Edited by Honeybadgers, 18 June 2017 - 11:36.

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#14 inkstainedruth

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 18:11

Everyone's eye is different. Apart from a hair more grey undertone, smoky quartz is amazingly similar. They may differ in chromatography as well, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

I wish i could do a comparison, but i used up all my smoky quartz sample, and don't have a bottle of caroube, since I'm still not sure if it's going to behave more like chivor (amazing) or rouge hematite (sludge)

 

I didn't like Caroube -- too much in the way of red undertones in the base color for my taste (I find that I prefer sepia toned browns and Smoky Quartz is right up there).  As for Lie de Thé, it leaned a little *too* yellow.

YMMV

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#15 grainweevil

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 18:38

My Mileage seems to be the same as Ruth's - especially with regard to Lie de Thé being a trifle too yellow for my taste too! Somewhere around here I have a pic of a comparison of my two swab cards for them that I did for someone else - same card, same pen - and the difference was, I thought, quite marked. Not to say you're wrong in seeing no difference (because so many variables and whatnot and there simply is no "wrong") but just that anyone looking for a Smoky Quartz alternative should allow that they might be disappointed. 



#16 gistar

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 20:59

I also find Lie de The and Smoky Quartz similar but different. Of course the paper and even the light will affect how we perceive them. On the price, the importers usually try to maximize it without losing market share. Here we have the JH inks at 11 euros while the Edelsteins are at 15 euros which works at practically the same price per ml. Other places have different pricing structures. La Couronne du Comte has four bottles of J. Herbin ink for 21 euros which works at a quite good price level. But we must also think about the bottles. The Edelstein's is much more expensive and even if not perfect, it is much better than the JH. Couple of weeks age I tried to fill a P1000 from a JH bottle which was about 70% full. You can imagine the results or their lack. But if you only have small nibs you may not notice it. YMMV.
Gistar

#17 Honeybadgers

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 00:49

I really dislike swabs. Unless your plan on using them for inkwashing, i find they really poorly represent how it looks coming out of a pen. Sheening inks look flat, heavy shading inks also fall short, and shimmer inks all lose their luster.

I may yet buy a bottle of smoky quartz because it was quite well behaved, but i definitely think, in a pen, lie de the is far closer to quartz than it is noodlers golden brown.

I asked a couole coworkers if they could tell a difference between an old writing sample in a wet F nib on rhodia. None of them could.

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#18 5Cavaliers

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:48

Thank you for your review.  I do like browns, but this one just isn't a favorite.  


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#19 minddance

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 07:28

These two inks flow rather differently in my pens. Lie de The is more watery, flows faster, very enthusiastic; Smoky Quartz is a tad slower and more elegant. In dry pens with less absorbent papers, the difference in tones might be more pronounced, in my experience.

Edited by minddance, 15 October 2017 - 07:30.


#20 Astron

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 11:09

My wife says it looks like... poop. I like it, but every time I give her a note written in Lie de Thé she says: "Eww, the poop ink again." :glare:







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