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Ink Review: J Herbin Bleu Nuit (Midnight Blue)



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I have decided to review some of my inks. These aren't necessarily in any particular order.

This one is J Herbin Bleu nuit (Midnight blue)

This is what J Herbin say about it: "Bleu nuit (Midnight blue): this is the darkest color after « perle noire » ink. A color symbol of the sky at night when bursting with stars in the summertime."

"From the beginning, J. Herbin distinguished itself from its competitors by offering a wide range of colors for the fountain pen inks. In 2007, 4 new colors were introduced which brought a total of 30 references of various colors. The names chosen for each color are very poetic to preserve the originality of the brand and as a French tradition."

  • This isn't a waterproof or an archival ink
  • Bearing in mind the paper I use is very smooth, this ink took 10-12 secs to dry. Quite quick.
  • It flows well and lubricates the nib quite well.
  • It is currently available in sampling packs of 4 x 10ml mini glass bottles and 30ml D bottles. Each bottle of 30 ml has an integrated pen rest. They are known as “D bottle pen inks. The “D” refers to the old French unit of measure “la Demi Courtine”.
  • It's available from many B&M shops and online retailers worldwide.

 

I didn't find this ink to be as dark a blue as I expected. It's less dark than it looks in the bottle, and maybe less dark than you might expect a shade called Midnight blue to be. It's nowhere near as dark as Montblanc Midnight or Diamine Midnight for example.

 

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  • Chrissy

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  • EKE

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  • The Good Captain

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jasonchickerson

Great review of a mediocre ink. I had high hopes for this one and Bleu Myosotis, and was disappointed by both. I don't mind the lack of saturation, but the line becomes very woolly when washed. Neither work well in a dip pen.

I have not tried Éclat de Saphir or Bleu Ocean.

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  • 8 months later...

Great review of a mediocre ink. I had high hopes for this one and Bleu Myosotis, and was disappointed by both. I don't mind the lack of saturation, but the line becomes very woolly when washed. Neither work well in a dip pen.

 

I have not tried Éclat de Saphir or Bleu Ocean.

 

I agree with you regarding disappointment with both Bleu Myosotis and Bleu Nuit. I don't necessarily need a blue to pop, and if I do Visconti Blue or MB Royal Blue are my choice. But I did want a blue version of Poussiere de Lune, an ink that makes me smile, has a little something different going on, and is easy to look at for page after page of text. Both of these inks are easy to look at but Bleu Myosotis fades more and more over time. Looking back at 2-year-old writing samples of it in a Rhoda pad, the color faded to a very light gray blue. –I don't know how Bleu Nuit fares over time as I only have a barely used sample of it.

 

I am keeping Bleu Myositis purely because it's an ink that I'm not worried using in a vintage pen or even accidentally forgetting about in a vintage pen.

 

You might really like Éclat de Saphir and Bleu Ocean though, as both have a lot more punch and depth. However Bleu Ocean and the other J. Herbin Anniversary inks spread on the page just a bit so even writing with an italic nib causes it to look more like a stub. Bleu Ocean and Stormy Gray also clogged two different pens, so I opted to get rid of them. Montblanc Royal Blue is my replacement for Bleu Ocean, and Montblanc Corn Poppy Red is my replacement for Rouge Hematite.

 

Thanks Chrissy for a very helpful review!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well... I just love Bleu Nuit. It's a staple color for me. It's soft and comfortable, like a pair of denim pants that you've washed about a hundred times. It has a vintage quality on the paper which I really admire. I certainly wouldn't call it a dark blue, though. To me it's a dusty medium blue, like Diamine's Prussian, but more luminous and better shading. It looks so beautiful on the creamy white paper of my Habanas.

 

I've used if for several years, and I have not noticed it to fade at all.

 

Thanks for the review!

Learning from the past does not mean living in the past.

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amberleadavis

Thank you, Chrissy for the review. I agree with Jason and Geeky, I was disappointed in the ink, but not in your review.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



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If I give you my address, will you all send me your Bleu Nuit? :)

Edited by EKE

Learning from the past does not mean living in the past.

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Excellent review - thank you! I am definitely one of the, apparently, small band that likes Bleu Nuit. For me, too, it is the vintage appearance on the page that does it plus the fact that J Herbin ink is generally kind to older pens. To my eye, most of the standard range of J Herbin inks look at their best when laid down by a Broad nib.

"The cultured man is the man whose interior consciousness is forever obstinately writing down, in the immaterial diary of his psyche's sense of life, every chance aspect of every new day that he is lucky enough to live to behold!" - John Cowper Powys

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  • 10 months later...
The Good Captain

I've just started to use this again and in the TWSBI VAC700 F it's remarkably useful. The dryish ink complements the wettish F nib and it's serviceable, even on Moleskine paper. As I've quite a lot of the ink, having bought the top-up bottle from TWD, and the pen is a bit wet for a lot of inks, the two will be in daily use. I acquired an old 50ml Montblanc shoe bottle, so that works perfectly.

All in all, happy!

The Good Captain

"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

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  • 1 year later...

As a relative newbie I'm on the hunt the perfect blue (meaning the one that *I* like best, not the one that everybody else likes best :) ). Blue Nuit is definitely one of them! So far the top-4 is:

1. Graf von Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue (see Goulet Pens for great photos). I use this in a 14k Shaeffer Targa with M nib and I thing the result is stunning, but this is a wet combination that requires good paper and a long dry time. Awesome for letter writing.

2. J. Herbin Bleu Nuit. I *love* this ink, but I use it in a pen which allows it to flow well, with a juicy M nib. Short dry time, very pleasant to the eye, not as mesmerizing as GvFC Cobalt Blue but rich and vintage.

3. Waterman Mysterious Blue. To my eyes this looks similar to Blue Nuit and I have cartridges on hand for when my converter runs out of Blue Nuit and for pens that don't have a converter.

4. Cross Blue. I use this exclusively in a Cross Townsend and really like the colour, the flow and the lubrication. A great match. As with the GvFC Cobalt Blue, I use it mostly for correspondence and not so much for note taking. It's a pleasant, lively blue.

 

As a runner-up, if you need a reliable, cheap ink, consider Schneider Blue. (See this review on FPN and scroll down to see this ink side by side to Cross Blue). In Europe this ink costs 75 cents for 6 cartridges, in the US it's much more expensive and therefore unattractive.

 

 

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  • 3 years later...

I love it when my searches bring me to an old but good thread.  Chrissy, if you are still checking in thanks for the review... I am also a bleu nuit fan.... it's nothing splashy but it's a really nice ink with good tones.. a calming blue... 

 :)

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inkstainedruth

Not sure how I've missed this thread in the past.  

This is an ink I might look into trying at some point.  It looks to be a slightly darker shade that Akkerman Delfts Blauw (which might have been an LE ink, and doesn't seem to be available at any of the usual US retailers at the moment.

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 put this ink in a Pilot Prera that I put a M calligraphy nib on. I liked it. This large writing doesn’t show it off as well as it looked in a letter on Tomoe paper. I ran the pen out of ink. 

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