I was very excited few days ago, writing review for another J. Herbin ink, when i discovered on J. Herbin website that they have just announced a new, fifth colour to complement in the magnificent 1670 edition: Bleu Ocean, Rouge Hematite, Stormy Grey and Emerald of Chivor. These few days were enough to cause massive excitement over the internet. Unlike, Diamine, who has released the whole series of 10 shimmering inks at once, J. Herbin is consequently introducing their new colours within 1670 series one by one with few months gap in between. The new colour called Caroube de Chypre (after the dark brown dried carob pods available in Cyprus, which J. Herbin was using during his voyages as a healthy food) will be officially released on July 15, 2016. I was even more excited when free sample of this ink was kindly sent for testing by BureauDirect, UK almost two months before the release. OK, so let’s see what this is all about?
Caroube de Chypre is a dark redish-brown ink. Similarly, to other four inks in 1670 anniversary edition contains suspended golden flecks which by reflecting light give remarkable visual ‘shimmering’ effect. Comparing side by side to Cafe des Iles (also by J. Herbin), the base colour of Caroube de Chypre seems to be richer, and warmer, somehow more chocolatey. This is caused by red undertones present in this ink, however comparing next to Diamine – Brandy Dazzle, which is almost like red ochre, Caroube de Chypre is definitely brown. There is something else in the colour which makes this ink very visually appealing. This is very unique bright green (almost toxic-looking) sheen, which adds a completely new dimension to this ink. This is very similar to what we have seen with Emerald of Chivior, but in this case sheen has red colour instead (equally beautiful). The green sheen however, is elusive and becomes visible only on some type of paper, whereas on the other types it completely diminishes. The same behavior has been observed with red sheen of Emerald of Chivior.
I tested Caroube de Chypre with standard nibs and semi-flexible nibs. In all cases writing experience was pleasingly smooth. The shimmering effect is present in every case, however with broader nibs is maximally enhanced. This is well performing ink, indeed. The flow is great. I have not noticed any problems with feathering (which happened with some inks within 1670 series). It may show through on cheap and more absorbing paper (copy paper), but on good quality, smoother paper (Rhodia, ClaireFontaine, Muji) it works as a dream, even with very broad and wet line. Caroube de Chypre is well saturated and it may takes few seconds to dry, especially on smooth paper. With broad and flexible nibs it may take noticeably longer…but well, the visual effect is gorgeous. Additionally, when it dries completely, Caroube de Chypre is quite water resistant and even by applying few passes of water, text is readable with no problems. I found it very as a nice feature (the same with Stormy Grey).
Similarly to remaining inks in the 1670 series, Caroube de Chypre will be available in beautiful, squared 50 ml.
I believe it will be much more discussion and many more reviews of this absolutely magnificent ink later this summer, when will be available worldwide. I am definitely bought by this ink -that’s for sure! Apart of known issues with narrow neck bottle, it is actually very hard to find anything wrong with it. I am pretty sure other people will find issues, which I will be very interested to see, but so far, Caroube de Chypre is pretty, it shines, it performs very well and is water resistant. What else we need? It looks yummy! A ‘chocolate fondant’ of inks…with sparkle.