J. Herbin makes good inks, in my subjective opinion. I like the brand overall. I mentioned this in my previous review of one of their inks, the wonderful Cacao du Brésil. Cacao du Brésil, however is an ink from their regular line. Rouge Hematite, on the other hand, is an ink that is anything but regular. It came out a number of years ago. I remember. It was even reformulated several times in a relatively short period of time because what it attempted was new, exciting and unprecedented. This is the ink that started it all. This is the ink that was at the beginning of the shimmering craze.
You may be forgiven for thinking this was an orange ink. The images above clearly show a very warm red-orange hue. The ink, however, is actually a cool violet-red. You’ll see this below on the images from my sketchbook. This phenomenon is caused by the shimmer that is dispersed in the ink.
My bottle comes from a batch which didn’t have too much particles like the modern shimmering inks do. I am very happy about that actually and prefer it to the later Stormy Grey, for example. This ink has much heavier sheen than shimmer. There is some shimmer but not nearly as much.
You can see from the images that the sheen is greenish color. There is this subtle interplay of red, green and gold. Gold may possibly be the sheening aspect, thus making the ink look orange-y as mentioned before.
The bottle is cool. It is a bit small though, especially the neck is, making it very difficult to fill larger pens. Still, it’s a cool looking bottle. I transfer my inks into a more practical bottles once I start using them regularly anyway so it doesn’t bother me that much. When I was filling from this bottle though I did spill some ink when it was full. I’m not clumsy, it’s just very easy to do and so I recommend to transfer at least part of the ink into a different container.
The price of this ink is not terrible but it could be lower, I think. For 16€ you get a 50 ml bottle of ink. Back in 2014 when I purchased mine it was only 13€ and if I remember correctly it had kept its price for a few years, getting up to 16€ only recently with the boom that the Emerald of Chivor caused.
On the images from my sketchbook above you can much more clearly see the true hue of the red color. The sketchbook paper is more absorbent than the ink cards is but there is still a visible sparkling accent in the lines.
Hue & Tone 5/5: Red can be a bit tricky to read when it’s not dark enough or the color is too high chroma. The Rouge Hematite is dark enough so that it can be read fairly well. The sheen is quite fantastic and adds a lot of character to the writing overall. Red ink is not too versatile though but it is excellent for select applications, such as writing cards, for example.
Composition 5/5: The dye load seems to be fairly high. The ink is quite concentrated and really makes for a rich red. There may be a hint of dry smear when applied thickly. It dries fairly fast and I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary with how the ink performs on the page.
As for maintenance, pretty much every red ink is clingy and hard to clean in my experience. The ink isn’t, however, – despite the sheening properties – any more difficult to clean than any other red ink.
Performance 5/5: The ink does perform well, exceptionally so I would say. Really doesn’t bleed through most types of paper. It is one of the better behaved inks I find. It may not be perfect in all situations but I find it does pretty well overall and I’ve had no issues using it wherever I need. And it is not a dry flowing ink either. The flow is very good, feels lubricated and wet.
Permanence 1/5: I cannot comment on UV resistance of the ink as it was not included in my 2017 lightfastness testing so this discussion is only concerned with water resistance. The ink has some water resistance but it won’t stay on the page permanently. The major issue with the ink regarding its water resistant qualities is that it’s heavily concentrated and the red-violet dye component, which dissolves immediately, has a great staining power. This ruins the entire page if not dealt with immediately.
As for similar hues to the 1670 Rouge Hematite, above is a picture showing 5 other reds. You can see that the 1670 R. H. really does look red-orange instead of the much cooler red that it is. That’s again the sheen, which is a cool feature admittedly. If you want more of a true red, however, there are other options and better options too.
That’s it for today’s review. Let me know if you ever tried the ink. What is your experience? Do you find it usable on a regular basis? Leave a commend down below and I’ll be happy to hear what you think.
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