Karen recently received some questions about Herbin’s Perle Noire ink. Since this is one I have reviewed and regularly use, I’d be happy to respond.
Is this ink a really dark black? While I haven’t tried every black ink on the market, I have used quite a few across brands such as Noodler’s, Sailor, Pelikan, Aurora and Diamine. It was important to me to find a very black ink and I was happy enough with the Perle Noire that I stopped looking. I’ve heard of Noodler’s having a number of different black inks that I have not tried. (I’ve only ever used their Bulletproof Black)
I also tend to place a certain amount of importance on the smell of an ink- Herbin inks have a slight sweet odor that I find completely acceptable. Some inks have more of a chemical scent which I try and stay away from.
Second, is this ink pH-neutral? From JHerbin.com: “Herbin uses all natural dyes in their fountain pen inks. This natural composition is reflected in the very neutral pH of the inks.”
Third, is this pen a ‘wet’ or ‘dry’ ink? In my own personal experience, I would call this a “wet” (quite free flowing) ink – and is probably the “wettest” of all the Herbin inks. (I’ve tried them all)
Fourth, which pens would be best suited to the J. Herbin ‘Perle Noire’, or will it work well in ALL fountain pens? It’s going to be a matter of personal opinion of which pens would be best for this ink. It’s suited for all pens, but one must consider the pen/ink/paper combination as a whole. Since it’s a fairly “wet” ink, I’ve found that I like it best in a thinner nib on quality writing paper.
Lastly, what is the drying time of the Perle Noire ink? This will depend on the paper you are using as well as the relative humidity of where you are doing your writing. Fountain pen friendly papers tend to slightly resist inks which mean a slightly longer drying time. I’ve never noticed that this ink took longer to dry than any other. (As much as I can remember anyway… I’ve tested a lot of inks and I’m getting old.)