It’s that time of year when pink wriggles its way into my rotation. With excellent timing, Karen at Exaclair sent a bottle of J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen while Elaine at Jet Pens offered a Kyokuto notebook and the two became fast mates. Not Karen and Elaine. The ink and notebook.
J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen
The images tell the story well enough, but a few points bear mentioning. Rose Cyclamen is a strong pink. Nothing pale or wimpy about it. It is on the cool side with a blue bias that stands out on while paper, but softens a bit on cream colored paper. It has good coverage, but no shading from the Platinum #3776 music nib. Even from a fine nib, it should provide strong color. Especially during the summer, I prefer it to red for editing or margin notes. But if you’re going to use Rose Cyclamen for correspondence, it should be to a really close friend, really close, or your intentions might be misunderstood.
The color was difficult to photograph. On my monitor it is a bit too bright. The color on the bottle is more accurate so go by that.
J. Herbin makes some very pretty inks and Rose Cyclamen is a memorable one in its lineup. If you like pink, this one should make you happy and be a good mate for any pen. Just ask my Platinum #3776. It keeps asking for more. Really!
Kyokuto Expedient Notebook
The B5 Kyokuto Expedient Notebook is available in three colors, black, silver and white in ruled, dot grid and plain styles. The form is excellent with a plastic cover, stiff cardboard back, double ring binding, and rounded corners. White paper and gray lines make the ruled Expedient a neutral fit for any ink color. There was a little feathering from some inks, but I’ve seen Diamine Emerald and Teal misbehave elsewhere. The paper is very smooth and the 7mm line spacing excellent with my stubs and italics without any scaling back on my letter forms.
However, there is a caveat with fountain pen ink. Most produced considerable bleed and show-through though my trusty Sharpie Pen suffered no such indignities. I have no explanation for the lack of such problems with Noodler’s Black and Zhivago. The pen used with the latter has a rather dry nib, but the one used with Black has an average flow. Rose Cyclamen and Waterman Florida Blue performed the best of the remaining inks. Gel pens and ball points should present no issues. Narrow felt tips will work, but pens that lay down a lot of ink are iffy.
The white paper and gray lines are perfectly suited to pencil especially wide soft lead for which I admit a weakness. On Expedient paper, my Autopoint mechanical pencil with 0.9mm HB lead glided effortlessly and produced a satisfying line.
I absolutely love paper that works with all inks, but this isn’t one of them. If you don’t mind a few uneven outlines here and there, and you only use one side of the paper, the Expedient could work well for you. Some of the inks I use the most showed no issues, so it will fit in my rotation especially for pencil notes and that’s something that happens every day.
Thanks, Karen and Elaine, for the opportunity to test your products. Your generosity is much appreciated.