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  1. namrehsnoom

    J. Herbin - Cacao du Brésil

    J. Herbin - Cacao du Brésil This is my first review after the "Fall" - the November 2020 outage of FPN. I wanted to take this opportunity to express a heartfelt thank you for the huge amount of effort by Wim and the FPN Admin team to bring our favourite forum back online. You guys rock! La Société Herbin, Maître Cirier à Paris, was established in 1670. This makes J. Herbin probably the oldest name among European ink makers. Today, Herbin produces a range of beautiful fountain pen and calligraphy inks, writing instruments, gift sets and accessories. Herbin inks are made in France, and the finishing touches on the bottles are still done by hand in Paris. J. Herbin is probably best known for their inks in the “La Perle des Encres” series. In this review, the spotlight shines on Cacao du Brésil, which is one of the stars in this line-up. This ink immediately managed to seduce me — it’s simply a superb writing ink, a gorgeous cool grey-brown colour with excellent saturation even in the finer nibs. Also tons of elegant shading, that starts to appear with F nibs, and really delivers with broads. Definitely my type of ink, and — in my opinion — one of Herbin’s best! J. Herbin inks come packaged in simple 30 ml bottles. These bottles are merely adequate, and not really well-suited for piston-fillers — they are not very deep, and piston-filling from a half-empty bottle can be a challenge. My trick is to fill an ink-sample vial with ink, and piston-fill my pen that way. Cacao du Brésil makes a great match for my Edison Collier Red Dragon, which is the beauty in the pic below. Cacao du Brésil writes a saturated line with quite satisfactory lubrication, even in drier pens like my Lamy Safari. With wetter pens the ink leaves a deeply saturated grey-brown line, and loses a bit of its prominent shading. To illustrate the colour span of Cacao du Brésil, I did a swab on Tomoe River paper where I totally saturated portions of the paper with ink. This J. Herbin ink shows a medium colour range, without too harsh a contrast between light and darker parts. This translates to elegant shading when writing. On the smudge test — rubbing text with a moist Q-tip cotton swab — the ink behaved perfectly, with only minimal smearing. Water resistance is quite good — the ink survives even longer exposures to water, leaving a light grey residue on the paper which remains very readable. This is also apparent from the lower part of the chromatography. This makes Cacao du Brésil an ink that is perfectly usable at the office. Drying times for this ink are in the 5-15 second range, depending on the type of paper (with the Lamy Safari M-nib). With the more absorbent copy paper that you’ll find at the office, it’s close to 5 seconds. With less absorbent paper, drying times are more in the 10-15 second range. I’ve tested the ink on a wide variety of paper — from crappy Moleskine to high-end Tomoe River. On each scrap of paper I show you: An ink swab, made with a cotton Q-tip 1-2-3 pass swab, to show increasing saturation An ink scribble made with a Lamy Safari M-nib fountain pen The name of the paper used, written with a Lamy Safari B-nib A small text sample, written with the Lamy Safari M-nib Source of the quote, written with a Platinum 3776 Century B-nib Drying times of the ink on the paper (with the M-nib Safari) Cacao du Brésil looks great on both white and more yellowish paper. I didn’t detect any noticeable feathering, just a hint on the notoriously bad Moleskine paper. With Moleskine and GvFC paper, there is some show-through and a tiny bit of bleed-through — but nothing too bad. Overall, Cacao du Brésil behaves exceptionally well. Writing with different nib sizes The picture below shows the effect of nib sizes on the writing. All samples were written with a Lamy Safari, which is typically a dry pen. I also added a visiting pen — a wet-writing Platinum 3776 Century with a broad nib. Here the ink leaves a very saturated line, which leans towards black-brown, taking away some of the more prominent shading you get in drier pens. Related inks To compare Cacao du Brésil with related inks, I use my nine-grid format with the currently reviewed ink at the centre. This format shows the name of related inks, a saturation sample, a 1-2-3 swab and a water resistance test — all in a very compact format. I don’t really have any close matches to this grey-brown in my collection though. Iroshizuku kiri-same — a grey ink with brown undertones — appears to be a distant cousin. My other browns are just … more brown. Inkxperiment – The Fall (Last Leaf Standing) As a personal challenge, I try to create interesting drawings using only the ink I’m reviewing. I find this to be a fun extension of the hobby, and these single-ink drawings often present a real challenge. These inkxperiments allow me to explore the colour-range nuances that are present in the ink. I love doing them! The grey-brown tones of Cacao du Brésil match perfectly with the autumn season in my part of the world. No need to look any further for inspiration. Dark-brown earth, glistening wetly from yesterday’s rain, and on the trees a last leaf clinging to the branch. I started with a piece of 300 gsm watercolour paper, that I thoroughly wetted with water to which I added a bit of ink. I then used a broad brush to draw in the outline of the field and the sky. Next I drew in the tree with the last leaf standing. To complete the drawing, I used a fine brush to add the striped pattern that adds texture to the earthen field. The end result gives you a good idea of the colour range that can be achieved when using Cacao du Brésil in a more artistic context. Conclusion J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil is a great ink: a really special cool grey-brown, that works with all nib sizes and on all types of paper. The ink is also fairly water-resistant, and well suited for the workplace. And it shows some beautiful shading that really gives that extra oomph to your writing. This is an ink that really gives me pleasure — heartily recommended! Technical test results on Rhodia N° 16 notepad paper, written with Lamy Safari, M-nib Backside of writing samples on different paper types
  2. A couple of years ago I bought a bottle of J Herbin Cacao du Bresil ink because a wanted a greyish brown ink. It turned out to be bluish grey. Have any of you bought this ink recently? What colour did it have? I am thinking of ordering another bottle but want the brown version.
  3. So it's December, and I felt like a nice warm mug of J. Herbin Cacao Du Bresil in the snow. This was the first ink that I ever bought a second bottle in the same color range - Rohrer & Klingner's Sepia - and felt completely justified as although they are close each has its own unique qualities (most interestingly, one is warm, one is cool!). . . . . then on "Black Friday" = "Ink Discount Day" my love for greenish browns (I think I have nearly five million of these at this point) provoked me to order (cheap, I promise!) both Rikyu Cha and Yama Guri (and Stipula Verde Muschiato, but that is still on back order!). Oh, and I have Doyou, which is more of a Brown Black than Taupe, but still - time for a "Taupe Off"! . . . . and then that very afternoon what does Santa bring but my other "Discount Day" bargain, a Birmingham Pens Model A (Secretariat finish, Knox 1.5mm stub, really wet writer yummy!) with a two "free" bottles of ink including Winky's Hamburgers Root Beer which makes Taupe #5!! Here's some scans:
  4. jasonchickerson

    J. Herbin - Cacao Du Bresil

    Cacao du Bresil is my most used ink. I keep it in my daily carry pen 90% of the time. It is so versatile, understated and beautiful. If you can't tell, I quite like it. Warbler sketch was done with Cacao du Bresil, J. Herbin Terre de Feu and Rohrer & Klingner Alt-goldgrun in a Stilman and Birn Gamma Series sketchbook. Reasonable care was taken to ensure color accuracy.
  5. This ink makes me go om nom nom. Such a unique shade of brown, fairly (and superficially) comparable to Noodler's Whaleman's Sepia, it's a dusky, ashen brown with a lot of personality. http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/901/WPmJjs.jpg
  6. jasonchickerson

    Four J. Herbin Browns

    I thought it would be interesting to compare the four Herbin browns. Top is Rhodia dotpad; bottom is Strathmore watercolor paper. Terre de Feu and Cacao du Bresil are two of the best sketching inks I've found. Lie de Thé is a gorgeous drawing ink that washes into a bold orange and sepia, but I never draw with it because it is such an ugly color to write with. I haven't found much use for Café des Îles. I considered including Ambre de Birmanie (one of my new favorites), but I consider it a yellow. Parker Quink Black (really a dark, dark blue) on the far right was added because Cacao du Bresil reads grey among the other browns. Anyone have a favorite? Hate them all? Prefer something else similar?

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