Notes: J. Herbin’s 1670 Rouge Hematite. That is a mouthful, but such an impressive ink deserves an equally impressive name. This ink was released for the 340th Anniversary of J. Herbin. Wow. 340 years of ink manufacturing is absolutely crazy. There are few things in the world that can say they’ve been doing something for that long. The ink itself is really, really nice to look at and write with. Rouge Hematite can be roughly translated to “Blood Red”. Going back to the days when I had a rock and mineral collection (I was eight years old, cut me a break) there were several pieces of hematite in my collection. Hematite is a dense, very dark grey stone that when polished gives off almost a black chrome appearance. This ink is not to be confused with the mineral. The Greeks used the word hematite for blood, and the color sure does look like it. It’s a deep, dark red with great shading and a golden sheen. Initially, it was this golden sheen that had drawn me to the ink, on top of that it’s blood red. Really, what more could I ask for? There are a few things about the ink that I don’t necessarily like, but they are easily overlooked when seeing the final product.
The ink dries pretty slow, and with Rhodia or any slicker paper, the ink doesn’t really like to stay put. If some smearing on the page (which is practically inevitable unless you’re surgically precise with your writing and hand position) and some red-stained hands here and there bother you, I would suggest checking out a sample before committing to an entire bottle. Which brings me to the bottle. It’s looks absolutely stunning. It’s taller than J. Herbin’s other ink bottles, and much more square. It has a golden ribbon that’s held down by a gold wax seal. The cap is coated in red sealing wax as well. The bottle is a great piece to have on my desk along with my other more visually pleasing bottles. The only thing about the bottle is that the mouth isn’t very wide, and pens with a thicker grip could have trouble filling. It’s a small trade off, plus, it’s up to the Germans to provide form and function, the French just make everything look pretty (from a design standpoint anyway).
Enjoy the review, this is an ink I always have in at least one of my pens.