Friday, January 1, 2010

Ink Review: J. Herbin Larmes de Cassis

Over the holidays, I filled my Lamy Joy and Waterman Kultur pens with a new ink: J. Herbin Larmes de Cassis. I've had this lovely ink for sometime but because Larmes de Cassis is my first purple fountain pen ink, I was a bit apprehensive to use it. Then again, like my other Herbin inks, Larmes de Cassis did not fail to suprise and delight me. It easily became one of my favorite non-blue inks, and contrary to my fears about its color, Larmes de Cassis showed off a lot: it has vibrant color, beautiful shading, excellent flow, and fast drying time.

To have an excellent comparison between broad and fine nibs, I used a Lamy Joy with 1.5 italic nib, and a Waterman Kultur with a fine nib. To better see how the ink color changes when it dried, I used both white and ivory papers. The white pad is a Rhodia I won at one of our pen meets) and the notebook with ivory paper is a large ruled Scribe notebook. Here they are side by side.

In both papers, Larmes de Cassis did not feather or bleed, and that is just excellent! The ink flow is excellent. Shading is beautiful, especially in the letters I wrote using the Lamy Joy italic nib. The fine nib wrote as beautifully and I thought it looked like a darker version of J. Herbin Rouge Opera. Larmes de Cassis  reminds me so much of 'halayang ube', a traditional Christmas delicacy here in the Philippines, with purple yam as the main ingredient, mixed with sweet evaporated milk and pure coconut milk.

Larmes de Cassis on a Rhodia pad. It looked darker on white paper, and it's beautiful that way. Read the quote to see the beautiful shading and color.

Larmes de Cassis on a large ruled Scribe notebook. The ink looked a bit pale or lighter on the ivory-toned paper of Scribe. Again, read the quote to see the beautiful shading and color.

Larmes de Cassis will definitely stay in my rotation of non-blue and non-black inks. My nieces love it and wrote and drew on their small Rhodia Bloc No. 10s using the four pens that I filled with it. Special thanks go to Karen Doherty of Exaclair, Inc. for sending this ink, together with a bottle of Orange Indien and several Rhodia pads and notebooks for my little nieces. I have no affiliation with the company, though. :)

J. Herbin is known to be the oldest name in ink production in the world, and their inks 'l'Encre de la Tete Noire", "Perle des Encres," (The Jewel of Inks) and "l'Encre des Vaisseaux" (The Ink of Ships) were produced as early as 1700.

J. Herbin Larmes de Cassis sells for $9 per 30ml bottle at


  1. Great review. Really like the color and the price is certainly reasonable.

  2. wow, purple! love it!

  3. Wow, what a wonderful color. Guess I need to add this to my want list. :-)