In Praise of J. Herbin Perle Noire


Stephanie of Spiritual Evolution of the Bean did a comparison of black inks this week that finally got me to ink a pen with J. Herbin Perle Noire. It’s been on my shelf for months, unloved, since I’m inspired by colored inks. Being inspired means more writing and that’s the whole point. Sometimes it pays to rethink old ways and last night was perfect for being inspired by the most mundane color of ink, basic black.

For the last several days I have been testing paper. Not as much fun as testing ink but paper, ink and pen are a team and if one player lags in performance, it drags down the score for the whole game. As I was looking for yet another ink to test on a paper that should have been performing far better than it was, Stephanie’s post nudged me in the direction of something black. Perle Noire had received only a dip test when it arrived. Nothing special, just a solid black like many other black inks I’ve tried over the years. Time to take that dusty box off the shelf and load my black marble Levenger True Writer F with what I expected to be a satisfactory ink for yet another disappointing test.

Have you guessed where this is going? Indeed, Perle Noire performed beautifully on the paper for which a stellar reputation seemed quite undeserved. That led to another paper that might not deserve the adulation it has amassed, Moleskine. So I grabbed my trusty grid style cahier (long ago dedicated to ink testing) and wrote two short lines, the name of the pen and the name of the ink. That’s all it took to see that for the first time in ages, I had discovered a pen and ink that showed almost no feathering on Moleskine paper. Imagine that! Now that’s an almost so don’t expect perfection if you try this test at home. But it is a very, very acceptable performance. Plus Perle Noire dries very quickly unlike the Noodler’s Black I used to write with in my Moleskine days.

So now I have a black ink for when only basic black will do, J. Herbin Perle Noire. Okay, it’s a duh moment not a eureka moment but I’m happy with my discovery anyway.

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  1. Love Black, so this one is going on my next order list. I also see that you are broadening your pens.

    Much Aloha!


    • LOL! “Broadening” my pens indeed! Spent the last two days practicing with a Waterman 52V #2 nib that writes F to BB. Now that’s broad! Will post a few samples when my doodles look decent enough to share. Not quite there yet.


  2. You should try Sailor Kiraguro (Extreme Black), one of the darkest blacks that I’ve seen so far. It doesn’t feather or bleedthrough on Moleskine paper at all.


    • One of these days…


  3. […] J. Herbin Perle Noire – I am not a fan of black ink but this one won me over. […]


  4. […] J. Herbin Perle Noire […]


  5. […] J. Herbin Perle Noire – Very black. Good coverage. […]


  6. […] to read about this ink: Inkophile Ambrosia’s Ink Rack Fountain Pen Network – […]


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