Ink Review: J. Herbin Perle Noire


I specifically purchased this ink sample for the purposes of using it in my Esterbrook LJ. It’s a sleek black pen. So, I wanted a sleek black ink to complement it.

I think Perle Noire is that ink. It has some flaws but they’re not unforgivable. This will my first review of the J. Herbin brand, and I’m glad it’s this ink.

Flow: Good

In my italic-nibbed Esterbrook LJ, Perle Noire is like writing with butter. However, there have been a few skipping incidents every now and again. It’s nothing truly aggravating, but when you’re writing a letter, it’s bothersome.

Also, when you leave the nib uncapped for a few minutes, it takes a while for the ink to flow again.

Shading: None

Since this is a dark ink, I didn’t expect to see any shading. There isn’t any. At least, I haven’t seen it.

Saturation: High

This is a very saturated ink. It doesn’t seem watered down, and it looks beautiful on paper.

Bleed-through: Low-Medium

On cheap, thin paper, Perle Noire does bleed through to the next few pages. However, in a cheap notebook, it doesn’t bleed through.

Show-through: Low-Medium

On cheap, thin paper, Perle Noire does show-through — considerably. Even on the cheap notebook I use on a daily basis, Perle Noire shows through as well.

Lubrication: Excellent

This ink is very smooth, and it’s a joy to write with.

Feathering: Good

Perle Noire only feathers on cheap, thin papers. In a cheap notebook, it doesn’t feather.


Perle Noire is a great ink, especially in italic/broad nibs. It’s dark, saturated, and sadly, non-waterproof. Even a wet finger will smear the ink, but I think it’s worth it. Perle Noire has become my go-to ink for my Esterbrook LJ because it’s absolutely lovely. It’s exactly what a black ink should be, I think.



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