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I love inks that are wet and easy to clean, so I’ve accumulated more than half of the Herbin line. And, blue is the color I use most often in my daily writers, so I thought it would be fun to do a comparison of the Herbin blues: Bleu Nuit, 1670 Bleu Ocean, Bleu Pervenche, Bleu Azur, Bleu Myosotis and Eclat de Saphir. I use all of them regularly with the exception of Bleu Azur (which I ordered a sample of to add to this comparison). The comparison was done using a Pelikan 400NN F nib on Rhodia.

 

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Ink Swabs:

 

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Ink on Paper Towel:

 

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Top Row: Bleu Nuit, 1670 Bleu Ocean, Eclat de Saphir

Bottom Row: Bleu Pervenche, Bleu Azur, Bleu Myosotis

 

As with most Herbin inks, all 6 blues are all extremely easy to clean, have never stained any of my pens, are wet and very well behaved (immediate start-up in a pen left uncapped for over a minute, no performance issues even after sitting in an unused pen for a couple of days and no skipping noticed in any pen that I’ve put them in.)

Yet, as with any brand, these blues are not all created equal and differ considerably in the lubrication/smoothness they provide. So, my ranking of the inks (in addition to personal color preference) is greatly determined by this factor, since I enjoy using smooth inks:

1. Eclat de Saphir
2. 1670 Bleu Ocean
3. Bleu Pervenche
4. Bleu Myosotis
5. Bleu Nuit
6. Bleu Azur

 

(I've included additional writing samples from my notebook to show color variation in different pens. Please excuse the Latin class notes and the nonsensical doodles :) )


1. Eclat de Saphir

This has become one of my benchmark inks as it has performed exceptionally well in every pen that I have put it in, and I usually have the most fun playing with a nib when a pen is inked with it. It offers some shading which appears to be determined more by the flexiness and wetness of the nib than the actual composition of the ink. In some of my pens Eclat de Saphir is a soft blue with violet undertones while in others, the wetter writers, the color is a truer, more intense jewel like blue. Although less smooth/lubricated than the 1670 Bleu Ocean, writing with the ink feels good, and all of my pens seem to reach their full performance potential (on Rhodia) when inked with this blue elixir. I imagine that a nib filled with Eclat de Saphir must feel as limber and free as the body/mind post a good yoga class! This is one of my top 3 inks and if the entire Herbin line performed the same way I would have trouble using any other brand.
Lubrication: Good

 

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2. 1670 Bleu Ocean

This ink’s biggest appeal is its smoothness/lubrication, which surpasses all other Herbin blues, and is unlike any other Herbin ink I’ve tried in that regard. In some wetter nibs some might even consider Bleu Ocean to be too smooth. In fact, in the wet 1950s 146, the best comparison I can give to writing with this ink is the rush one gets from skating on slightly wet, freshly cleaned ice. The color is a dark blue with purple undertones and minimal shading. The ink can appear dull/muted in a drier nib or beautifully saturated in a wet writer. Yet, despite that saturation, it cleans out effortlessly even from high maintenance pens.
Lubrication: Very good

 

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3. Bleu Pervenche

I have a huge weakness for turquoise ink and recently tried about 15 of them in hopes of finding the perfect one. Although Bleu Pervenche was not my first ranked turquoise based on color (Rohrer and Klingner Blu Mare wins hands down for me in that category!), Bleu Pervenche is the one I turn to most often because it provides the most fluid writing experience out of the samples I tried (which also included Omas, Visconti, Montblanc, Diamine, Monteverde, Pelikan, Waterman...). I would have liked for it to feel even a tad smoother (like Eclat de Saphir), and if it did I would have ranked it above Bleu Ocean, but overall this is a beautiful ink.
Lubrication: Ok to good

 

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4. Bleu Myosotis

This color comes to life not when the ink first meets the page or even immediately after it has dried. Days later, it evolves into a very soft blue that sits between a cool, silvery grey and a subtle violet; the color is on the lighter side but remains perfectly legible and for some reason reminds me of the ink that a winter fairy would use (all it needs is silver shimmer...) Shading is higher than the previous three blues and, combined with the faded color, gives the ink a nice vintage quality.
Lubrication: Ok to good.

 

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5. Bleu Nuit

I want to like this ink more than I do. Bleu Nuit is more of a blue grey than a blue black and shades beautifully (more than any of the other Herbin blues). Yet, whenever I use this ink, I usually like the color and the shading for about half a page and then get bored with it. Another area where the ink falls flat for me is its lubrication. This is one of the wettest inks of the bunch, but not in a good way; it does not provide the smooth, silky wetness I enjoy writing with but rather a kind of thin, watery flow.
Lubrication: Ok (mainly due to extreme wetness of ink)

 

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6. Bleu Azur

I cannot really comment much on this ink, because I only used it for the writing sample in this comparison, but in that brief moment, I did not enjoy using. It felt thin and watery with even less lubrication than Bleu Nuit. On Rhodia, the color is so light that I could never use it in a daily writer. However, I will say that, when painted on the paper with a q-tip, the color is beautiful, so Bleu Azur could make for a wonderful light blue ink for anyone who uses fountain pen inks to draw, paint...
Lubrication: Poor

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This is a great comparison! I've a few Herbin inks myself, though I've yet to try any of their "drier" ones (in my mind, the notion of a dry Herbin ink is strange). I was initially going to get a bottle of EdS, but after reading this thread, I'm likely to save up a bit more for a bottle of Bleu Ocean, though I'm definitely torn between this and the upcoming 1670 Gris Orage.

 

Don't worry, I know the standard FPN answer: get both! :D

 

Anyway, thanks for sharing this. The lubrication also makes for a good reference point.

 

 

Cheers!

 

Kevin

"The price of an object should not only be what you had to pay for it, but also what you've had to sacrifice in order to obtain it." - <i>The Wisdom of The Internet</i><p class='bbc_center'><center><img src="http://i59.tinypic.com/jr4g43.jpg"/></center>

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Wonderful. Thanks. I have more Herbin inks than any other and J. Herbin Èclat de Saphir is a go to ink for me. You have convinced me that (when my Caran d'Ache Blue Night is out) I should try Ocean. Thanks for this write up.

Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

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inkstainedruth

I liked Eclat de Saphir, but wasn't sure I liked it enough to warrant getting a full bottle. OTOH, I found that 1670 Bleu Ocean was way overhyped. Everyone was expecting it to be a blue version of Rouge Hematite, and it just, well, wasn't.... I kept thinking -- if they had put silver-tone flecks in it, the way they had gold flecks in the original formulae Rouge Hematite it would be *stellar*. Instead, it was just sort of boring. But seeing your comparisons are making me think it needs to be in a broader and/or wetter nib, so I should dig out the sample I have of it and try it in another pen if I have enough left.

Thanks for the comparison. It was very useful.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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I would reverse the top two on my list. Bleu Ocean hasn't gotten a lot of love around here. It is pricey and it doesn't jump off the page at you. But I love it. It's a great all-purpose color: dark blue and a real blue, not blue-black. Its lubricity makes it a true pleasure to write with. And unlike Sailor Jentle Blue (one of my go-to inks), it doesn't dry up in the nib while I'm pausing to think. It doesn't change color or fade after drying but remains beautiful to look at. This is terrific stuff.

Edited by Bookman

I love the smell of fountain pen ink in the morning.

 

 

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SujiCorp12345

Nice comparisons. I'm a huge fan of blues and turquoises so I will have to try Bleu Pervenche for sure!

Pelikan 140 EF | Pelikan 140 OBB | Pelikan M205 0.4mm stub | Pilot Custom Heritage 912 PO | Pilot Metropolitan M | TWSBI 580 EF | Waterman 52 1/2v

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Thanks for the comparison! I'll admit that the only J. Herbin ink I've tried is 1670 Rouge Hematite (which I loved enough to buy a bottle!) and I don't really like blue inks in general. 1670 Bleu Ocean looks absolutely stunning in your writing sample, though... I just may have to try it out!

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Keyless Works

Great comparison...your ranking is exactly the same order that I would put them in. Bleu Nuit is one of the most boring blue inks around...and Bleu Azur is just watered down Pervenche.

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Thank you all for your comments!

 

Great comparison :) Thank you.

 

Hi visvamitra, I read that you are still working on it but I thought I would just say that I am one more reader anxiously awaiting your comparison of orange inks :)

 

 

+1 :thumbup:

I am not familiar with Herbin inks, so am surprised to see that Ocean looks darker than nuit?

 

Hi da vinci, I was surprised too when I first tried them, because I kept expecting an ink named after the night to be "black as night", but Bleu Ocean has looked darker than Bleu Nuit in all the pens I’ve tested it in. I think it’s due in part to Bleu Nuit being so watery and being more prone to fading.

 

 

This is a great comparison! I've a few Herbin inks myself, though I've yet to try any of their "drier" ones (in my mind, the notion of a dry Herbin ink is strange). I was initially going to get a bottle of EdS, but after reading this thread, I'm likely to save up a bit more for a bottle of Bleu Ocean, though I'm definitely torn between this and the upcoming 1670 Gris Orage.

 

Don't worry, I know the standard FPN answer: get both! :D

 

Anyway, thanks for sharing this. The lubrication also makes for a good reference point.

 

 

Cheers!

 

Kevin

 

Hi Kevin, I can’t wait for Gris Orage either! I was determined to put off buying ink for a while, but after reading Ellina’s review I caved and pre-ordered it... Given the physical gold flakes in Stormy Grey though, I don’t know if I would use it in non c/c pens until enough people on here have given it their blessing; Bleu Ocean, on the other hand, as far as I can tell is a safe bet in all. (Just in case you needed an extra push to get both... haha)

 

Wonderful. Thanks. I have more Herbin inks than any other and J. Herbin Èclat de Saphir is a go to ink for me. You have convinced me that (when my Caran d'Ache Blue Night is out) I should try Ocean. Thanks for this write up.

 

Hi ink-syringe, I’m happy to hear that Eclat de Saphir is one of your go to inks too! I’ve never tried CdA Blue Night, but I recently tested Magnetic Blue and although the color is beautiful, the smoothness of Bleu Ocean made it a lot more fun for me to use, so I think you will enjoy it.

 

 

I liked Eclat de Saphir, but wasn't sure I liked it enough to warrant getting a full bottle. OTOH, I found that 1670 Bleu Ocean was way overhyped. Everyone was expecting it to be a blue version of Rouge Hematite, and it just, well, wasn't.... I kept thinking -- if they had put silver-tone flecks in it, the way they had gold flecks in the original formulae Rouge Hematite it would be *stellar*. Instead, it was just sort of boring. But seeing your comparisons are making me think it needs to be in a broader and/or wetter nib, so I should dig out the sample I have of it and try it in another pen if I have enough left.

Thanks for the comparison. It was very useful.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

Hi Ruth, I felt the same way about Bleu Ocean when it first arrived! After putting it in a wet pen though, I was hooked, so I would love to hear your experience trying it again. It is so well behaved that now I'm actually happy it doesn't have any flecks, because I can put it in my most difficult or delicate pens without any worry. With that said, I wouldn't mind Herbin keeping Bleu Ocean as is and adding another 1670 blue maybe a blue black with shimmering flecks haha

 

I would reverse the top two on my list. Bleu Ocean hasn't gotten a lot of love around here. It is pricey and it doesn't jump off the page at you. But I love it. It's a great all-purpose color: dark blue and a real blue, not blue-black. Its lubricity makes it a true pleasure to write with. And unlike Sailor Jentle Blue (one of my go-to inks), it doesn't dry up in the nib while I'm pausing to think. It doesn't change color or fade after drying but remains beautiful to look at. This is terrific stuff.

 

Hi Bookman, like you I had one of my go to blues (Sargasso Sea) dry up in a nib too many times in class; I made the mistake of putting it in a piston filler that even after being cleaned with 4 rounds of pen flush was still hiding some blue when filled with water, so I only use it in c/cs today. Bleu Ocean on the other hand, I’ve never had any problems with. Also, thanks for adding the good note on the ink not fading when dry! I've had the same positive experience with Bleu Ocean which remains just as vibrant in my class notes months later unlike Bleu Nuit for example.

 

Nice comparisons. I'm a huge fan of blues and turquoises so I will have to try Bleu Pervenche for sure!

 

Hi SujiCorp12345, I would love to hear how the feeling of writing with Bleu Pervenche compares to some of your favorite turquoise inks!

 

Thanks for the comparison! I'll admit that the only J. Herbin ink I've tried is 1670 Rouge Hematite (which I loved enough to buy a bottle!) and I don't really like blue inks in general. 1670 Bleu Ocean looks absolutely stunning in your writing sample, though... I just may have to try it out!

 

Hi tinysnail I definitely recommend giving Bleu Ocean a try and as Ruth noted in a wet pen to get the most out of the color. Let me know if you do!

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I have tried Eclat de Saphir and Bleu Nuit. My aesthetic judgments are different, in part perhaps because the colors as pictured don't match how they look on bright white paper. Eclat de Saphir strikes me as whimsical. It is lighter and less readable than what is pictured above. Bleu Nuit is darker; it is less blue than blue-gray, has more depth and less variation than what is pictured. The combination of tone and depth makes Blue Nuit a lovely color that is easy to read in both bright and low light.

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Thank you for the comparisons, bstnnyc. :thumbup:

It was my pleasure mallymal1! I had most of the writing samples in my notebooks so it was fun to compile them

 

Great comparison...your ranking is exactly the same order that I would put them in. Bleu Nuit is one of the most boring blue inks around...and Bleu Azur is just watered down Pervenche.

Thank you Keyless Works! I’m happy to hear you have the same order preference and I like that you described Bleu Azur as watered down Pervenche; it made me want to try it in a highlighter. I need to order a new Preppy from the Goulets and see how it works.

 

 

Very nice. I really appreciate your quality review with opinions about each ink. I look forward to seeing more.

 

Hi Jared, Thank you I’m happy you liked the descriptions! I actually received my first Iron Gall ink this weekend, which I picked from your helpful comparison. I wanted to convert a pen that I hadn’t been using much to a daily carry with IG to replace a disposable ballpoint (that I found in a bank or bus or something haha) and that I’ve been using to annotate passages on thin copy paper since all my inks feather. I got the MB and I love it; now hopefully I will be able to find a second bottle somewhere.

 

I have tried Eclat de Saphir and Bleu Nuit. My aesthetic judgments are different, in part perhaps because the colors as pictured don't match how they look on bright white paper. Eclat de Saphir strikes me as whimsical. It is lighter and less readable than what is pictured above. Bleu Nuit is darker; it is less blue than blue-gray, has more depth and less variation than what is pictured. The combination of tone and depth makes Blue Nuit a lovely color that is easy to read in both bright and low light.

 

Hi prf5 that’s good to hear about Bleu Nuit; I haven’t been using it much recently, but I will give it a shot on really bright white paper!

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Morbus Curiositas

I love J. Herbin...

 

I love these colours and...

 

I love your review...

 

... Oop I am in love ;) :P :wub:

Das leben ist wie ein Perpetuum Mobile mit ein Mangel..... Immer im Bewegung jedoch nicht unendlich. (life is like a troubled Perpetuum Mobile ever moving but not for ever)

Tricked throughout the centuries...

For centuries people had been tricked by kings & "religion-alism"

In the 20th century people got tricked by communism

Today people get tricked by (neo)capitalism :)

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I love J. Herbin...

 

I love these colours and...

 

I love your review...

 

... Oop I am in love ;) :P :wub:

haha thank you Morbus! You made me smile :P

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Morbus Curiositas

haha thank you Morbus! You made me smile :P

Nice :D ....

 

Smiling is a good way to start the day :thumbup:

Das leben ist wie ein Perpetuum Mobile mit ein Mangel..... Immer im Bewegung jedoch nicht unendlich. (life is like a troubled Perpetuum Mobile ever moving but not for ever)

Tricked throughout the centuries...

For centuries people had been tricked by kings & "religion-alism"

In the 20th century people got tricked by communism

Today people get tricked by (neo)capitalism :)

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Thank you all for your comments!

 

[snip]

 

Hi Kevin, I can’t wait for Gris Orage either! I was determined to put off buying ink for a while, but after reading Ellina’s review I caved and pre-ordered it... Given the physical gold flakes in Stormy Grey though, I don’t know if I would use it in non c/c pens until enough people on here have given it their blessing; Bleu Ocean, on the other hand, as far as I can tell is a safe bet in all. (Just in case you needed an extra push to get both... haha)

 

[snip]

 

Bah, I still owe a bloke money from when he sent a vintage pen over before I was able to pay for it! And not to mention, I have a bunch of modern ones on the to-buy list as well (the modern W.Eversharp's ceramic-coated nib is a wonder; a local seller let me try them out, and I freaking fell for the nib after a line of writing!). Still, Gris Orage isn't likely going anywhere, and there'll be less of a tussle to grab a bottle of Bleu Ocean; I'll wait for the more rabid members of the local FP-holics to grab their share of gold and grey before moving in, since I'll eventually be getting them all anyway :P

 

But yeah, the blue 1670 could give my standby Iro ink a run for its money! I really like the darker blues of that brand, and use them as my baseline for colour and performance. I can get them for cheaper than the J. Herbin, though (hooray for friends who travel a lot XD), so it'll be a close call.

 

 

Cheers!

 

Kevin

"The price of an object should not only be what you had to pay for it, but also what you've had to sacrifice in order to obtain it." - <i>The Wisdom of The Internet</i><p class='bbc_center'><center><img src="http://i59.tinypic.com/jr4g43.jpg"/></center>

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