Review: J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

I was really excited to receive this ink sample of J. Herbin’s Caroube de Chypre from Everything Calligraphy. I think one of my favorite inks is Emerald of Chivor, and I was really excited to find out what a dark brown shimmery ink would look like. I think the thing I loved best about Emerald of Chivor is how lubricated it is. Considering that it’s so shimmery, I’m so happy that it’s a very well-behaved ink. I use it on my more expensive pens, not just in pens that I can easily take apart (like Lamy). J. Herbin really did something right with how they formulated Emerald of Chivor.

That being said, I eagerly tried Caroube de Chypre. The name is based on the color of carob pods, which is said to be a kind of beans that J. Herbin ate and traded during his voyages to Cyprus. The base color is a nicely saturated, warm brown color. It reminded me of De Atramentis Coffee, which is one of my favorite brown inks. It’s also a little similar to Iroshizuku Tsukushi. The shimmery flecks are gold, and there’s some green sheen.

J. Herbin Caroube de Chepyr

Right off the bat I noticed that the gold flecks settled faster at the bottom of the ink bottle than the flecks of Emerald of Chivor. I think that may be the reason that the shimmer is a bit less pronounced. Of course, how you see the shimmer and sheen depends on a lot of factors like how broad and wet your pen’s nib is, the texture and quality of paper you use, even the direction of light as you look at it. I think that for a shimmery ink, this one’s actually pretty conservative-looking. I noticed that the gold flecks appear to be less distributed on paper, perhaps because the particles settle down too quickly? I don’t know. The green sheen only shows up in places where the ink pools more. It’s a lot less pronounced than the red sheen of EoC, which almost seems like a nice red halo around the lines you write. This pronounced red sheen, I think, is the key to why EoC looks beautifully complex.

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

That being said, it’s a nicely saturated brown ink that I can definitely use for everyday writing. It flows a bit dryer than EoC, but it is also quite a well-behaved ink. It hasn’t clogged my pen yet after several days of leaving the pen capped. Drying time is an average of 15-20 seconds. It’s also not very water resistant. There’s minimal shading using a medium nib and the green sheen is also not too pronounced. Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample.

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

J. Herbin Caroube de Chepyr

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

Overall, it’s not as crazy-looking as Emerald of Chivor, but it has its own charm. It’s subdued and nicely saturated, and when you lay down a lot of shimmer with the ink, it almost looks like writing with liquid bronze.


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