J. Herbin – Vert Olive

Vert Olive (or green olive) is the light yellow-green ink in J. Herbin palette and I found it quite interesting. Depending on pen and paper used  the colour of this ink truly reminds olives and/or olive oil. Wet it looks very fresh and juicy, but when it dries it becomes matte and less flashy. The ink itself is fairly wet and despite of being actually very light the saturation of dyes is appropriate for this tonal range. All these factors are resulting in descend shading it can produce.  With the juicier nibs/pens Vert Olive looks more pronounced, darker. It has more earthy muted look which I like, whereas with finer and dryer nibs (or light upstrokes) used it may looks much brighter more on its ‘dirty’ yellow side. 

Vert Olive dries relatively quick, depending on the paper used. In general drying time is rather good. The properties are good either. It does not bleed through on most paper types I played with and the flow is nice. Obviously, thin poor quality regular copy paper may be different, but as we all know copy paper is nit for fountain pens in general. With very vet nibs and more absorbing paper I have noticed a small amount on feathering going. On smooth paper there is none and shading is easily achieved. Ink is water soluble, but even with serious wash some readable text reissues remain.

Personally, I think that despite of interesting colour J. Herbin – Vert Olive is not an ink for daily use, I afraid. For sure, not for note taking with regular fountain pens. It is simply just too light and too bright for such purposes. Reading pages of text written with it (especially on white paper) may not be the most pleasant experience ever. There is not enough contrast. Maybe is not that severe like Lamy – Charged Green … but still. However, I am pretty sure there are people who will have no problem of using it on daily basis, but I don not think this is a majority. If only Vert Olive would be a bit darker, it would be much better. For better effect some users recommend to mix Vert Olive with other J. Herbin inks like for instance Lie de The (beautiful warm brown). Juicy pens with wet nibs are an other option to consider to if you like this colour. With wet pens (I used semiflexible Noodler’s Ahab)  the line colour is much saturated and darken, which looks definitely better. Of course lightness of Vert Olive inks has potential and applicability. It may be definitely used as a text highlighter (but not that fluorescent) or for drawing (light initial sketches), or washes. For this purposes it should work well too.  I quite enjoyed to write a quick quotes on toned paper with this ink. It gives an interesting ‘washed’ or faded look.

Vert Olive is available in a classic J. Herbin’s 30 ml bottles or as set of cartridges stored in the nice looking aluminium container. Bottle of Vert Olive costs around £ 7.0 in the UK and $ 11.0 in the US. 

J. Herbin – Vert Olive is broadly available from most retailers.  Free sample  cartridges I had for testing was kindly provided by BureauDirect, UK, where you can find this ink (and many other) if you are interested.


(*) Disclaimer/ I have no affiliation with the all brands and companies mentioned above and this short review reflects only my personal views and findings about the product.