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J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil – A Change of Shade

05/09/2009

Have you ever thought the ink from a new bottle just didn’t look like your last purchase? Or have you wondered if a formulation changed without notice? Well, your eyes weren’t deceiving you if you questioned the color of J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil.

Thanks to a Twitter exchange with Laura, a/k/a Phthalo on Fountain Pen Network, and a comparison swatch, the alteration came to light.

J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil Comparison

J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil Comparison

No question there is a difference in color. Karen Doherty at Exaclair offered to check with J. Herbin regarding that difference and allowed me to publish the reply.

Here is the (translated) answer from France – “Cacao du Bresil ink ref H130/45= Indeed Herbin confirmed that the change in color is due to a new colorant added; the older one was unbalanced and unstable.”

Certainly the new formula has more black to it and could well pass for black or dark gray in some lighting conditions. This cool brown isn’t highly saturated so the color of the paper comes through in a charming way. Tests on G. Lalo Verge de France Rose Stationery proved especially interesting.

J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil

J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil

Cacao du Brésil is a bit dry and might tame a free-flowing pen though I haven’t put that to the test. There’s a small amount of shading so it might be lovely for drawing but it is also conservative enough for business. In a black pen it could do double duty at your desk and for a little sketching during lunch hour. Versatility is always a plus.

If you have been wedded to black ink but think there might be more to ink than basic black, J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil might be just the thing to make the transition. If you like bright and lively colors, Cacao du Brésil may not be exciting on its own. However, paired with the right paper, it might be a good addition to your ink rotation. For five years it has slipped in and out of use here. I never traded it as I have many other inks and that’s actually a pretty good recommendation.

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11 comments

  1. Thanks for this – great info! I will definitely get a new bottle, because I had the unstable version for sure.

    I actually prefer the new colour formulation… nice to make an unexpected find!

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    • Especially good for you now that J. Herbin will be available in Australia. 🙂

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  2. How long ago was the change?

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    • Unfortunately, I don’t know when the change to the formula was made. Based on feedback from others this morning, it must have been at least six months ago. It could have been longer since ink may sit on the shelf for quite a bit before selling.

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  3. thx – that was my concern about buying some. I do like the new look. Where is yours from?

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    • My new bottle came directly from Exaclair, the U.S. distributor of J. Herbin. Friends who have purchased from a variety of sources in the last several months have received the new formulation. Wouldn’t hurt to ask how long the ink has been on the shelf just to be certain.

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  4. My new bottle came directly from Exaclair, the U.S. distributor of J. Herbin. Friends who have purchased from a variety of sources in the last several months have received the new formulation. Wouldn’t hurt to ask how long the ink has been on the shelf just to be certain.
    PS: Forgot to mention good post!

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  5. […] bottles of ink that would serve those purposes, too: the exquisitely named Pousierre de lune and Cacao du Bresil, which both seem like they’d be right at home in the taupe Habana Karen sent me recently, or […]

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  6. […] Herbin Lie de The: I was really jonesin’ for J. Herbin’s Cacao de Bresil, but I like this ink! It’s almost the color of a nutshell after being buried under leaves, or […]

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  7. […] J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil […]

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  8. […] J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil […]

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