J Herbin: Rose Cyclamen Ink Review


Towards the end of November 2015, eBay gave me a £20 voucher. I can’t remember why.. But who am I to complain? I got into the fountain pen hobby in early October and I fell straight down the rabbit hole. I knew that I would spend the £20 voucher on pens (and a few guilty pleasure CDs.. Namely Katy Perry, but sh).

In my haul I got Visconti Purple, Diamine Red Dragon, a Jinhao 1200 (for the Red Dragon), Diamine Grape, a Hero 3019 and a new converter for my Parker Sonnet (I don’t like the push ones, but the piston Deluxe converters) and J Herbin Rose Cyclamen. I may have got more, but that’s all of the pen related stuff I got.

I bought Rose Cyclamen purely because I saw it and I wanted to add up my total to £20 so that I could use all the money. I was split between this and Rose Tendresse, but it was Rose Cyclamen that appealed to me because it popped off the page, while Rose Tendresse seemed to be a little flat and boring.

The ink came and I inked up the Hero 3019 immediately with Rose Cyclamen. I laid it to the page and I was amazed by this colour. A deep, rich, saturated and vibrant pink. It, in my opinion, has the perfect balance between brightness and readability. I have a system whereby I rate inks based on whether they’re professional, fun or fun-professional. This is a difficult ink to classify. Due to its saturation and readability, I almost want to class it as fun-professional, but  the end of the day it’s a pink ink. So I’ll leave you to decide. Here’s a writing sample on a Rhodia Dotpad to help you with said decision:


Just look at that. How can you not fall in love with this ink? For J Herbin, I also find that it is actually quite wet. The feathering on the flex sample is purely a result of poor penmanship.. I really need to work on that. I think the cotton bud highlights just how astonishingly beautiful this ink is:


With a second pass you can see the ink actually gets quite a bit darker. On the edges there’s a lighter shade of pink that doesn’t make it seem faint and in the middle there is a very well saturated and strong pink. I would also like to mention that none of these images have been edited and are directly from my phone. I tried scanning through and the scanner made it seem purple rather than pink..

You can also see that the ink is not waterproof.

The shading in this ink is only noticeable with broader nibs, and only just so. You can see that in the italic nib above as well as in the title (also with the Sheaffer italic):J Herbin Rose Cyclamen Ink Review

But even with the broad nib there is very little shading. I’m someone who quite enjoys shading: when I first got into fountain pens, it was something that fascinated me beyond belief. I lusted after inks such as Diamine Autumn Oak and Mont Blanc Irish Green because I knew they were great shaders. However, this ink is so saturated and such a nice pink, I am actually really glad this is an ink that doesn’t shade: it gets my approval regardless. I find that Herbin inks very rarely shade. The only ink I have that does shade is the 1670 Stormy Grey.fullsizeoutput_6a9

On copy paper, the ink does okay. It’s difficult to see the absorption because the lack of shading is actually a good indicator, but this is an ink that doesn’t shade so it’s difficult to tell. But with the italic nib (below) the shading is pretty much gone from the ink.


I primed the feed when writing broad” but I got rid of any excess ink in the writing after that. I found that this ink behaves well in a fine nib on copy paper, and okay with a medium, but anything more than that and you’re sort of pushing it. As shown by the bleedthrough:


Using this ink in a fine/medium nib means you can write with the ink, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you want to use both sides. I’d say it’s a lot of showthrough, bordering on bleeding. With broad nibs, it’s a 100% no-no if you want to use the back of the paper because it just bleeds.

With the copy paper, the pink outline in the cotton bud is gone and the shading in the italic has also disappeared. It’s an okay performer on copy paper, but certainly doesn’t compare to Rhodia, nor Clairefontaine:


Damn, I’m just on it with these segues today..

Side note – the song in the writing sample is The Miracle by Queen. From their final studio album released in Freddie’s lifetime, I just find it completely and utterly inspiring that Freddie is singing about the wonders of the world while battling HIV. The other day I spilt cat food over my kitchen floor and felt like I was having the worst day ever. I think back to this song whenever I’m having one of those days and if you ever feel this way, I encourage you to do the same. I was basically raised on Queen and it’s very special to me.

The saturation is really evident on Tomoe River paper. This is my personal journal that I record my inks in that I started before these blogs began, so the few entries I do of old inks might seem a little cringey.. So I apologise:The ink becomes very dry on this paper.

To finish, I have one annoyance about this ink, and it’s the bottle it comes in. Why J Herbin feels the need to have these stupid bottles is beyond me. I decanted the ink into a Diamine bottle and I have a fair amount of the ink left still. Herbin can’t fix the design of their bottle, but they can have a silly indent to rest your pen. Why, J Herbin? Why?


3 thoughts on “J Herbin: Rose Cyclamen Ink Review

  1. I have Diamine Hope Pink. It’s true to it’s name; it’s the brilliantly bright cancer campaign pink. It’s pretty, but it would be hard to read a whole paragraph because it’s that bright/light pink. Thank you for your review, I want to try this one now.


    1. Readability will be a huge deciding factor when I consider the various inks. Perhaps that aspect will be the ink’s downfall because I always thought of it as quite promising.

      I’m glad it helped!

      Liked by 1 person

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