The moon shines down on a sleeping lizard
Little fish rain down from the sky.
Outside the window there are soldiers
Steeling themselves to die.
- Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
I'm back to blogging, reviewing, and writing after a long absence. And to celebrate the turn of recent events, here is Poussière de Lune, an amazing, amazing ink from J. Herbin. I am reviewing this ink for two important persons in my life: for him, who will be the only man there is for me, and for her, from whom I gather inspiration and strength - this is to celebrate your new endeavor.
There are no dead soldiers here, though. Nobody died.
I got this J. Herbin ink from Exaclair early this year, and as with all the inks I received from the generous Karen Doherty, I used Poussière de Lune before writing the review to have full observation of how the ink will behave on different pen and paper combinations.
Poussière de Lune is a lovely dark purple ink with strong hints of gray. Unlike my other purple J. Herbin ink Larmes de Cassis, which has a brighter hue, Poussière de Lune has a subdued hue brought by the gray undertones. It looks darker while wet, but dries a charming purple-gray.
Poussière de Lune brought back memories of long gone time at my parents' house, when on balmy summer nights, I would leave the big windows in my bedroom wide open to let the moonlight in. There's a different but poignant feeling brought by the sight of the silvery moonlight bathing almost everything inside my bedroom. Back then, on full moon nights, I'd stay awake late into midnight, just lying in bed, listening to the stillness and enjoying the exquisite serenity of the moment. Sometimes I would listen to jazz on late night radio, or read a book, but mostly, I'm content with just moon watching.
The other thing I love about J. Herbin inks is their boxes. They are durable and compact - very easy to store, but their tasteful design makes the Herbin inks inside them more unique and special. I think the small icons are cute and charming, and they break the uniformity of the black laminated boxes.
All J. Herbin boxes has an ink list on the back side. Cool. I crossed out all the inks I got now on the box of my first Herbin ink, Rouge Opera.
The color guide on the box's top cover is excellent! In my box of inks, I sometimes find it hard to see the one I'm looking for, so these color guides are very helpful.
Poussière de Lune is a saturated ink with consistent and excellent flow; and writing is smooth for either nibs I used for this review: a round medium in an Inoxcrom P200, and a 1.5mm cursive italic in a Schneider Creativ calligraphy pen. I have no feathering and bleed problems with Poussière de Lune either on the Rhodia pad (left) or the Scribe notebook (right).
I love the shading of Poussière de Lune, better seen in the text written with Schneider calligraphy pen on Rhodia pad. The Scribe notebook's paper shows very minor shading as it is highly absorbent. When used on round nibs, the ink appears to be dark and concentrated, but a closer look reveals that the beginning of a stroke is thinner and paler than the end stroke.
Poussière de Lune on Scribe notebook.
And on Rhodia pad.
Here is another pen and paper combination, initially what I wanted to use for this ink review. I've had a Brause calligraphy set (also from Karen) for some time now, and I thought the review is a great chance to start using them. However, the 1mm Bandzug nib seemed to scratch both the Rhodia and Scribe paper. I tried other notebooks, but the Merit Coilless notebook surprised me when it stood up to the sharp Bandzug nib. I went back to my usual ink review gear after my patience wore off with continuously dipping the Bandzug nib on the bottle after only a couple of letter strokes.
Poussière de Lune takes a longer time to dry, almost the same as Orange Indien. Perhaps its saturation prevents it from drying faster, or it's the nib I used that prolonged the drying time, or the paper (this is a different Rhodia pad from the one above), but it doesn't bother me at all.
Poussière de Lune and Inoxcrom P200 on the purple notebook specially handbound by my great friend and fellow fountain pen collector Mona Caccam for me.
Poussière de Lune, translates into 'moon dust', and so far, is the only ink that has prompted me to read a lot in order to understand the ink name and color combination. I enjoyed reading about lunar dust: its corrosive properties, that it smells differently here on earth (odorless) and on the moon (like gunpowder) and that it can cause 'extraterrestrial hay fever.' Interesting reads and I got so much information that I did not even learn in Earth Science way back in college. LOL!
It also got me thinking for days about the song which has the words 'moondust in your hair'. I scrounged every nook and cranny of my brain to recall that song until I realized I could just Google it, anyway. And it's Close to You, by the great Karen Carpenter. :) Used that part for my three quotations in this review, all special to me.
J. Herbin inks are available in 30 beautiful colors (see the list on the box above). These water-based inks are non-toxic, have neutral pH and manufactured using natural dyes. Dowload a printable PDF of the J. Herbin fountain pen ink swatches here. Similarly, the J. Herbin 340th anniversary ink Rouge Hematite is now available at selected retailers and a sample review has been posted by Stephanie at Rhodia Drive.
A 30ml bottle of J. Herbin ink retails for P475 at Scribe Writing Essentials in Manila, and for US$10 at The Goulet Pen Company.