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.
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.
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.
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.