J Herbin Diablo Menthe 1For some time, I’ve been hunting for a pale blue ink to join my rotation (as all the cool inkophiles say lol) and I have come across some lovely colours along the way,  Diabolo Menthe from J. Herbin is just one of them. Diablo Menthe is a pale aqua colour, with equal amounts of green and blue. It is very pale and so is best used in a wet nib, and a medium to broad will also give you some nice shading, though that will definitely be from the nib, not the ink, as it is a fairly “flat” colour. 

It comes in the usual, beautiful Herbin glass bottle with the pen holder incorporated. One of the things I appreciate about Herbin is that they not only print the ink name on each label but the basic colour of the ink is on each side and each colour has a little icon which belongs to it.   Individual labels don’t matter as much as the ink itself, of course, but if there are two inks that are similar in colour and of similar quality, I will go for the better packaging, partly because I do like to display my inks (though that’s a little chicken and egg) but also because it speaks to a greater respect for both their customers and their product. I have to admit that I seriously think twice about even sampling Private Reserve inks since I received a bottle of ink in a plain glass jar (not their lovely deco one) with an inkjet-printed label slapped on at an angle. In fact, I realise now, I haven’t bought Private Reserve since (it was also the second colour I didn’t really like, as it was before I discovered ink samples and had to just order online, sight unseen).

The scan:

The paper is from a Rhodia Bloc #16 (A5) pad, which uses Clairefontaine 80gsm High Grade white vellum paper.

The pens I used are as follows:

  • The first section is the Diablo Menthe using a Bulow X750 (it’s the silver pen in the background of the bottle shot.) Bulow is a Chinese company with a range of inexpensive pens that I found at www.Xfountainpens.com. I use the word “inexpensive” deliberately because they are not cheap. They have a great weight to them, a beautiful finish and, while probably too broad and wet for many, they are wonderful for the bright, pale inks I like to use because they are wet and give plenty of shading (for a non-artist.) I’ll be reviewing them in a couple of weeks, after plenty of use.
  • J. Herbin Vert Reseda is from a Straffen SRX Galaxie (another Chinese brand from xfountainpens), medium nib
  • Private Reserve Daphne Blue is from a Waterman Perspective, fine nib
  • Diamine China Blue is from a Parker 50 Flight, medium nib
  • J. Herbin Bleu Mitosis is from a Pilot Cavalier (Mono), fine nib (that’s Japanese “fine”!)
  • J. Herbin Éclat de Saphir is from a Lamy Safari with, fine nib
  • J. Herbin Bleu Azur is from a Waterman Perspective, fine nib

J Herbin Diablo Menthe Scan