J. Herbin scented fountain pen inks: Your Thoughts?

Herbin Scented Ink

Did you know that J. Herbin offers several different scented fountain pen inks? Whether or not you’ve ever tried a scented ink, we’d love to hear your thoughts about them.

J. Herbin scented inks are made from floral water (hydrosols) of rose, orange, lavender, apple and violets. The hydrosols used by J. Herbin come from Grasse, France, a Provencal town long associated with the perfume industry, and famous for its floral scents.

Fashioned with great care, scented inks are inspired by a tradition that began in Italy in the 19th century. J. Herbin and other manufacturers used to collect different scents from the perfume industry and add them to their inks.

Known as “Les Subtiles” (The Subtle), each ink matches fragrance and color: bleu/parfum lavande; vert/parfum pomme; amber/parfum orange; rouge/parfum rose; and violet/parfum violette.


What color would you most like to see in a new J. Herbin Anniversary ink?

Rouge Hematite and Bleu Ocean

Do you have any suggestions or requests for a new J. Herbin Anniversary ink to be added to the existing 1670 duo of our highly saturated inks? A rich silvery black? A deep forest green with a coppery sheen? What about aubergine with minuscule flecks of mica?

View this previous post about J. Herbin’s Bleu Ocean ink.

What ink properties are most important to you?

Rose Cyclamen

In Tuesday’s blog post, I asked what colors you would most like to see added to J Herbin’s “Jewel of Inks” line. Several of you, (me included) suggested more saturated versions of existing colors which made me wonder… If J. Herbin offered highly pigmented inks, (somewhere between this line and the 1670 Anniversary inks) what particular characteristics do you think would need to remain the same for them to still be uniquely Herbin inks?

What is it specifically about J. Herbin inks that you like? The flow? The shading? The smell?

Friends don’t let friends let the ink dry up in their fountain pens

Cleaning Fountain Pens

The other day I spent an epic amount of time flushing the dried up ink from my fountain pens. How can you avoid havingthishappen to you? Here’s a few suggestions:

1. USE THEM! 2013 was my year of the pencil which is why my fountain pens were neglected.

2. Have 1 pen that requires minimal maintenance.If you aren’t using your pens as often, try using just one.The ink in my Sailor 1911 seems to never dry out. The pen itself and its convertor are easy to clean.

3. If you are not using your pens, take the time clean them out and store them. Thankfully, this time only half of my pens required cleaning. Perhaps a calendar reminder is in order?

4. Get to know your inks. Some inks require greater effort to flush.

5. Find someone to maintain your pens for you. Has anyone started a service to flush pens yet? Someone should. (I could have asked my studio assistant to do this for me ::smacks head:: D’oh!)

NEW 2014 Exaclair Catalog is available to view!

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 12.42.34 PM

You can now take a look at the NEW 2014 Exaclair catalog and see all of the goodies coming in the new year – like the large Rhodiarama Webbbies, Landscape Webbies, Mignon Refillable Leather Journals, new colors for the Habana, Graf-It dot pads…

Which products are you most excited about? (You must KNOW that I’m excited for the large purple Webbies!)

In Marina’s Bag

Marina's bag

Marina is from Italy but is now living in the USA. She recently sent us this photo for our “In Your Bag” Photo Page.

From Marina: “ I love my 6X9 Weekly Notebook, it has great paper that allows me to use fountain pens (my favorite). I dressed it up with a FABRICA Bookband so I always have my writing instruments available. My 3 Lamy Safari fountain pens are, of course, in the colors of the Italian flag, The white one holds J. Herbin scented violet ink (violet in color and scent :-): when I write with it it’s scent-sational!!!! And, finally, the 80g paper notepad with purple grid.”

Care and Maintenance of Your Fountain Pens


If you are a fountain pen user or are looking to become one, it is helpful to know how best to clean and maintain your pen(s). Assembled below are a series of links which can help get you started: Continue Readering »

Stormtrooper Guards the Goods


I like seeing what kinds of desk decorations people keep within their workspace. Back when I worked in an office I had lots of crystals surrounding the computer in my cubicle and many pictures of my friends on the walls.

What kinds of things make you feel happy or comfortable within your work space? Do you have items that keep you more focused and serious, or things that are more fun and playful? What is the most unique item on your desk?

Image courtesy of aleks111 on Instagram

J. Herbin Sealing Wax

J Herbin sealing wax

Sometime back in grade school, I collected stamps and had a subscription to receive them “on approval” – this meant that businesses like the Jamestown Stamp Company would send you an envelope filled with stamps that you could either purchase or send back.

One of the coolest things I discovered in those approval packages wasn’t a stamp, but an envelope that had the remnants of a red wax seal. My Mom told me that those types of seals were once used by kings to seal important messages and I remember running my finger over the broken wax wondering what important documents that envelope might have once held.

Most people know J. Herbin for their fountain pen inks, but did you also know that they make various types of sealing waxes? Continue Readering »

Swimming in the Bleu Ocean

J Herbin Bleu Ocean

Have you had the opportunity to try J. Herbin’s latest 1670 Series Anniversary ink, Bleu Ocean?

J Herbin Bleu Ocean

In lieu of testing it in a fountain pen, I opted for the “everything else I could find in my studio” approach Continue Readering »

Encre et Chocolat: Ink and Chocolate Art in Montreal!



From our friend Lorna Mulligan: ENCRE ET CHOCOLAT is an exhibition of contemporary calligraphic work by Les Calmars of Montreal. This is their fifth exhibition together and features a theme close to every writer’s heart… the exchanges that happen around pots of ink and the sharing of chocolate! Lorna’s piece shown above, entitled Goûte le passé is an exploration of Proust’s text, using Herbin inks and gouache on paper.







Did someone say chocolate? Rhodiarama Webbie shown in Chocolate. 

Look what I found –

Herbin Pen Pelikan

Mike Rivera left a comment on yesterday’s post about finding his own missing pen beneath a sofa cushion and suggested we look under our own to possibly do the same. I asked my husband to lift up the cushions and while I didn’t initially see anything, he then ran his hand around the back seam and pulled both pens out with one grab. He handed them to me with a big smile and I sat holding the pens completely gobsmacked. Why? Because I’d ripped both my house and studio apart numerous times trying to find these pens, yet all it took was a suggestion from a stranger on where to look for me to find them.

The funny thing is that I wasn’t really *missing* these pens because I had many others I could use – but when I discovered that I didn’t know their whereabouts, it became an obsession to find them. Though I’d checked under and behind the sofa, it never occurred to lift the cushions because I never sit on the sofa to write – but now I clearly remember the one day I did.

Inky Gifts for your Fountain Pen Friends

Another great gift idea for your favorite fountain pen user would be a new bottle (or three) of J. Herbin fountain pen ink. J. Herbin inks are non toxic,  pH neutral, lightfast, water based, and are available in 30 colors. The inks are made from all natural dyes and are smooth flowing and fast drying. Each 30 ml bottle is elegantly labeled and has an integrated pen rest. They are known as “D bottle pen inks” with the “D” referring to the old French unit of measure “la Demi Courtine”

I have personally tried all of the Herbin fountain pen inks with the exception of the new Ocean Blue 1670 Anniversary Ink. My favorites include Perle Noire, Orange Indien, and Violette Pennse.

Which of these inks are your favorites? Are they on your holiday wish list?

Celebrating National Fountain Pen Day (Month!)

This past Friday (November 2nd) was The first EVER National Fountain Pen Day and I’m wondering how you chose to celebrate. Did you buy a new bottle of ink? Swap out the summery colors in your pens for ones to better represent fall and the changing leaves?  Or maybe you treated yourself to a new or vintage pen – if so, tell me! I’d love to hear. I myself inked up my Pelikan M200 and was writing about Hurricane Sandy in my blank Webbie.

Didn’t get a chance to celebrate? Let’s make a whole month out of this holiday!

The image above is from Ivan Romero – ivan365 on Instagram.

Fountain Pen Repair

In a recent comment, one of our fans asked if we might know where to get a fountain pen repaired. My suggestion would be to post your specific needs to the forums over on the Fountain Pen Network. (Loads of good people there.) I myself have mostly had nibs adjusted or modified and can personally speak to the quality of work performed by Richard Binder, Pendemonium, and Mr. Nagahara from the Sailor pen company.

Subscribe to Rhodia Drive

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Rhodia Drive on Facebook

Search Rhodia Drive

Find Rhodia to Buy


Local retailers and full Rhodia product lines available in the US can be found at rhodiapads.com

Check out the Rhodia Journal Swap

Rhodia Journal Swap

Visit the Rhodia Journal Swap on Tumblr

In Your Bag

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of Rhodia in your bag to: stephanie at rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page.  ... Read on »

Rhodia Customization Module

Visit our customization module at Exaclair.com

Grab Your Camera and Show us Where You Buy Your Rhodia!

Target? Dick Blick? Borders? Art Brown? We want you to show us where you buy your Rhodia... The next time you are out and about,  snap us a picture of where you buy your Rhodia products so we can assemble an online gallery of local retailers. To... Read on »

Favorite Pens

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of your favorite pen: stephanie@rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page. ... Read on »

David Allen of GTD on Rhodia

David Allen is a productivity consultant who is best known as the creator of the time management method known as “Getting Things Done”. David comments on the Rhodia Meeting Book: “I love this Rhodia pad. First, the paper stands... Read on »

Chef Hosea Rosenberg on Rhodia

Season 5 (Bravo Network) Top Chef Hosea Rosenberg, originally from Taos, New Mexico, was always good at math. After graduating 3rd in his class at Taos High School, he moved to Boulder, CO to study at the University of Colorado. His dream... Read on »

Download the Life Noted App

Life Noted App

Visit the App Store on your iOS 7 device to download Life Noted

Would you like to be a guest blogger on Rhodia Drive?

If so, contact me via e-mail at stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com with your proposed subject matter. We are looking for posts ranging in length from 100-500 words. Photos to accompany the article are a welcome bonus. If you have been reading... Read on »

Journaling Blogs

Other Sites of Interest


Exaclair Themed Videos

Rhodia Classic Pad Showcase

PanPastel and Rhodia

Rhodia Fashion Show

Tom Bihn loves Rhodia

Clairefontaine Basics - Life. Unplugged

InkNouveau.com Clairefontaine vs. Rhodia

Alberto Lung reviews the Rhodia Pencil

Testing a vintage Mabie Swan fountain pen with a lot of flex - on a Rhodia Pad

Click here to read the story behind this video.


Rhodia Drive is a blog about Rhodia notebooks and the people who use them. It’s a place where devotees of this “French orange notebook” contribute ideas, experiences and links on the latest tools, events and general notebook-related news.

Rhodia Drive attracts creative people passionate about their Rhodia. Designers and artists, writers and pen collectors, thinkers and free spirits—anyone who loves notebooks—come together on Rhodia Drive.