I picked up this bottle of J. Herbin Bleu Azur (via Vanness Pens) at the DC Pen show. I’ll admit I was part drawn in by the “cute” small 10mL bottle and also the bright blue, almost Kool-Aid look that it had to it. With that said, maybe I should have had a better reason for deciding to purchase this ink.
So here is a close look at the smaller than usual 10mL bottle with the cap off so you can see the vibrant blue, almost even electric blue color that the J. Herbin Bleu Azur shows off in its unused state and all bottled up. Typically any ink thats got a bit of a darker or saturated look to it is going to be much darker (almost black usually) in the bottle, so this should probably have been a warning sign for me when I first thought about buying this ink.
J. Herbin Bleu Azur Writing Sample:
As you can see from the writing sample of the J. Herbin Bleu Azur above, this ink has a completely washed out look to it once it hits the paper. There is a very minimal amount of shading that you can pick up on with the TWSBI 1.5mm stub nib if you look REALLY closely, but its hardly worth noting. The ink swabs of the J. Herbin Bleu Azur didn’t fare much better either. At best it looks like I spilled some Windex on my paper. With one pass of the cotton swab, the result was what I expected, just a faded looking washed out ocean blue kind of color. I was however surprised when I went with three passes of the cotton swab to see if I could coax a darker or more vibrant look out of the ink, no luck though as it reluctantly offered up a slightly improved shade that still didn’t impress. So my takeaway from this is to be more careful with any future impulse purchases on ink. Be cautious of anything that just looks cool in the bottle, and keep in mind that if it doesn’t actually look really dark in the bottle, it probably won’t be to my liking on paper. With this glowing review I’m sure you are just itching to pick up a bottle of your own, but luckily for you at the time of writing this, J. Herbin Bleu Azur (via Vanness Pens) is actually sold out so the fountain pen ink gods are out in force making sure you can’t make the same bad decision that I did.