Ink review - J. Herbin Rouge Hematite

Rouge Hematite is a bit of a legendary ink - as far as I know, it was the first to have those pesky little metallic particles in suspension so that we can have sheen any time we want.  It's also a bit legendary for having a super inconvenient bottle to fill out of, but that's a whole other story - I find that the most practical bottles are often not the best looking and the Rough Hematite bottle is definitely a looker.


For me, this ink is a bit meh.  My bottle was received as a Christmas gift last year, so as of right now it's the latest formulation (there have been a few versions).  I think that there is less gold particulate this time around, and I have not noticed the layer of gold along the bottom of the bottle that I saw with Stormy Grey.  To me, that layer of gold is a sign that the solution has been over saturated and that's never a good thing.

Overall, I don't love this ink.  It's a nice red, but the gold sheen doesn't come out on every paper.  On Tomoe River paper, this ink is gorgeous.  On regular copy paper or even the 24 lb paper that I used for this review, the ink soaks in a bit too much and it loses what makes it special.

On the other hand, this is a pleasant ink to write with.  It has good flow and I've never had any problems with pen clog-age.  Still, this is sort of a pigmented ink, so you need to exercise really vigilant pen hygiene here.  Don't leave this ink in a pen that you plan to use infrequently - in that case, ink up with just what you need, use it, clean it, and repeat as needed.  And if you are going to be using an entire fill of this ink, probably best to use a pen that can be disassembled so you can really scrub the feed clean.

It annoys me that the ink is not very water resistant.  Especially if you are using it on paper that really shows off the sheen, it will disappear when hit with moisture.  True story, I have a page in an old journal where I wrote a quote in this ink and then left it sitting a bit too close to my kitchen sink.  Let's just say that it's not quite as pretty anymore...

Overall, I think this is an ink that would be best experienced via a sample.  Then you get a chance to get the special experience without spending the money and space on a full bottle.  But hey, I could be wrong!  Let me know if you use this ink a lot, and if so, how do you use it?

Here's a scan of the full review sheet:

This ink was given to me as a gift and I am not being compensated for this review in any way.  All opinions above are my own and you are free to disagree with me if you like.