I found Hyacinth notebooks and notepads at my local art store in southern California. I had never seen nor heard of Hyacinth, so I was intrigued when the store had several large endcap displays of nothing but this brand. I was surprised by their fountain pen-friendliness and even more surprised by their price.
The specs of the 3 Hyacinth products:
- B6 (176 x 125 mm) notebook, 112 sheets of 80gsm, blank, thread-bound, ivory-colored paper
- A6 (148 x 105 mm) notebook, 112 sheets of 80gsm, blank, thread-bound, ivory-colored paper
- B7 (125 x 88 mm) notepad, 60 sheets of 80gsm, blank, glued, ivory-colored paper
The notebooks come with a bookmark that is glued into the spine. They can be made to lay flat, thanks to the way the sheets are arranged. The last 16 sheets of the notebooks are perforated and they tear out cleanly.
The notepad can also be made to lay flat, with the cover capable of being folded back under the rest of the pad. It has a glued spine that allows you to tear off one sheet at a time.
I tested all 3 of the products listed above and found the paper in each to be identical in performance.
- The paper performs very well!
- It handled ink swabs without bleeding.
- The broad nibbed fountain pens I used did not cause feathering or bleeding.
- There was minimal (very minimal!) bleed from Noodler's La Reine Mauve, but I forgive these notebooks because Noodler's LRM seems to bleed through most of the fountain pen-friendly paper I use.
- This paper allowed shading and sheening, though it didn't accentuate either of these ink characteristics.
- The paper is similar in smoothness to the paper in my Midori passport-sized lined notebook. That is to say it is smooth but not as smooth as regular Rhodia paper.
- One drawback: serious show through. The backs of pages are not unusable, but if you won't tolerate show through then this is not the paper for you.
Overall, I would say this is great paper for use as everyday notebooks, journals, scratch paper, pocket/purse notebooks, regular notepad duties, etc. I wouldn't use these notebooks for archival writing or for anything I want to cherish - I'd save that for more expensive, higher quality journals.
The final thing to mention: I bought these 3 products for a total of $6.50 plus tax! The B6 was $3, the A6 was $2.50, and the notepad was $1. For the number of sheets, the quality of paper, and the added touches (i.e. bookmarks, perforated pages, ability to lay flat) I think this is an absolute steal.
This concludes my review. Thanks for reading. I have added images below for those who are interested.
Hyacinth paper sleeve, front of notebook. Sleeve says 112 pages but in fact there are 112 sheets (224 pages):
Hyacinth paper sleeve, back of notebook:
Left to right = B6 notebook, A6 notebook, B7 notepad, Lamy Safari for size reference:
Notepad on top of notebook, demonstrating the ability to lay flat and showing sheet arrangement in notebook spine:
Thread-bound, ivory-colored notebook paper:
Ink swabs, top to bottom = Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki, Monteverde Califonia Teal, Diamine Oxblood:
Back of ink swab page. No bleed! Definite show through:
Back of pen test page. Definite show through. No bleed for broad nibs, minimal bleed for Noodler's La Reine Mauve: