Ink Review: J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre (& Giveaway)

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre header

J. Herbin has introduced another ink to the 1670 line, Caroube de Chypre which is a lovely deep chocolately brown with gold flecks. I love the look of the 1670 bottles despite being difficult to use with large nibbed fountain pens or for getting ink out beyond the first few fills. I like the gold cord, the waax seal and the wax around the cap. They are beautiful, fancy treats and the only bottles that often sit out on my table for months.

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre gold particles in the bottle

The gold flecks do settle so be sure to roll or shake the bottle before filling your pens in order to distribute the  flecks evenly.

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre close-up

I tested the ink with both a dip pen and in my Lamy Safari Joy with a 1.1mm nib. The color appears much darker with the dip nib where in the stub 1.1mm, the color is a warmer, lighter shade of brown. Almost like dark chocolate and milk chocolate depending on which tool I chose.

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre writing sample close-up

The ink dried pretty quickly in the Lamy but took quite awhile to dry when I used a dip pen, especially on the Rhodia paper.

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre in the sunlight 2

I took my ink samples out into the sunlight to best capture the gold. I took two different shots. Depending on how much I turned the swatch in the light, you can get a better impression of the ink catching the light, both in the swab and even in the writing. I hope it is easier to see the greenish halo as well. There’s such a variety of depth to the color. I’m not normally a fan of brown inks because I find them rather flat and dull. They don’t have the variety and sheens and shading that blues and purples and reds often get but Caroube de Chypre is the exception to that. Thank you, sparkle, shimmer and shine!

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre in the sunlight

J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre swatch comparison

Back inside, under more sedate lighting conditions, you can see the brown in comparison with some of the few brown inks in my collection. Caroube de Chypre is a bit more of a neutral brown than Kaweco Caramel Brown which has a bit more red in it. I put in the swatches of KWZ Honey and Callifolio Heure d’Oree knowing those are both quite popular colors at the moment and every other brown or sepia color I had was much darker, or cooler in tone. These were the closest in hue, all feeling the most candy-like.

I know that, of the 1670 colors, Emerald of Chivor has been one of the most popular colors but I actually quite like Caroube de Chypre and I think moving into fall and winter, this is the perfect hot cocoa color. I do find that the gold particles seem to settle even faster in Caroube de Chypre but I also think that means that they are smaller and lighter and less likely to clog overall. It does mean that you’ll want to roll your pen regularly to redistribute the gold as you use it though. My best recommendation is to put this ink in a demonstrator pen like a TWSBI 580 or a Lamy Safari with a wide nib so you can see when the gold flecks start to settle. Then gentle roll the pen on the table a couple times to redistribute the gold in the ink.

J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre

I purchased my bottle of Caroube de Chypre at the DC Pen Show from Federalist Pens.

The Giveaway:

The fine folks at Exaclair kindly sent me a bottle of J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre so that I could spread the love of chocolate gold dust around. So, one lucky reader can win a bottle of Caroube de Chypre of their very own.

All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what Caroube de Chypre reminds you of.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Sunday, September 25, 2016. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Monday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please use your REAL email address (not some crappy Hotmail account you never check) in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If the winner does not respond within 14 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money. US residents & APO only. Sorry international folks… but hey, your croissants are better!

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Exaclair for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

News: Podcast Update & Dallas Pen Show

housekeepingI’ve got two pieces of news to share.

First, there was a podcast snafu last night when we recorded Art Supply Posse. As a result, we are having to re-record the whole show again tonight. So, Episode 16 will not be posting until late on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Sorry for the delay.

As Heather said last night, we were riding the struggle bus yesterday in a big way. Technical difficulties were the word of the day! Everybody cross your fingers that tonight we catch the express bus.



My second piece of news is that I’m headed to Dallas tomorrow for the Dallas Pen Show! If you’re in the area, come by and say hello! I’ll be working at the Vanness Pens table with the always delightful Lisa Vanness and her crew. We’ll be selling gallons of awesome inks like KWZ, Callifolio, Robert Oster, and many more along with pens, paper and accessories. Admission is just $5 a day Friday and Saturday so come on… you know you want to! Friday the show is open until 8pm so bail out of work early and come by. As always, you can find me at the hotel bar after hours, I’ll be the one with the inky fingers.

Link Love: Who Do You Ink You Are




Notebooks and Paper:

Planners & Organizers:

Art Supplies:

Other Interesting Things:

Ink Review: Robert Oster Torquay

Robert Oster Torquay

I confess I had to look up what exactly Torquay was in the dictionary and it turns out to be the name of a resort town in Devon, England, considered to the English Rivera. Its also the name of strip of coastline in Victoria, Australia, home to Bells Beach where iconic surf brands like Quicksilver and Rip Curl got their start. That explains why Robert Oster Inks chose this name for this exquisitely turquoise blue-green ink shade so reminiscent of seas, surf and ocean waves.

Robert Oster Torquay writing sample

In a very fine nib pen, tested specifically because I’d read elsewhere that folks found Oster inks to be a bit dry, resulted in a lovely light turquoise shade. And no, I did not find the ink to be a hard starting ink at all. Not even in an extra fine, budget-priced fountain pen. With a dip pen, like the Kaweco Special Dip Pen, I found it well behaved and a much deeper ocean blue. There was lots of shading and a hit of red/purple edging in some places.

Robert Oster Torquay writing sample close-up

I must admit that the color is so vivid that it was very difficult to capture it on camera. It glows.

Robert Oster Torquay Swatch Comparison

Compared with other aqua and turquoise shades, it has a bit more green to it. Diamine Aqua Lagoon being the closest in color to it that I had in my collection. All the other shades were much more blue turquoise shades and the reddish halo around the Torquay made it a very unique color.

The Oster inks come in recyclable plastic bottles which are nice in that you don’t have to worry about breakage in shipping and their slender shape make them easy to store. However, they will become challenging to fill pens with them after awhile because they are so tall and skinny. The inks really will need to be transferred into more user-friendly containers over time, something lower and wider, or syringe or pipettes will need to be used to transfer inks into pens. Just a warning. Overall though, I think there are some really great colors at very reasonable prices so when the time comes, I am prepared to transfer my inks into other containers.

A 50ml bottle of Torquay is available from Anderson Pens for $16 or a 3ml sample for $1.25.

DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Robert Oster Inks for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ask The Desk: Random Questions & Follow-Up


On my review of the Leuchtturm 1917 Sketchbook Teresa asked:

Did you test it on copic markers? If so, did they bleed? How did the paper hold up?

Teresa’s question was quite timely. I had just started experimenting the day before she asked with my Copic Sketch markers and I just happened to test the colors in my Leuchtturm 1917 sketcbook so I had the answer for her right away. I added these photos to the review (should anyone stumble across it in the future) but I thought I would also post them here as well.


On the front of the paper, the Copic colors look good. The colors are smooth and look almost like watercolors. I have a lot of pale, pastel Copic Sketch markers but the paper in the Leuchtturm Sketchbook handled the colors nicely.


There was definitely bleed through on the reverse of stock. Oh, yeah. But if you’re aware that it will bleed through and plan accordingly, the Leuchtturm 1917 sketchbook makes a good sketchbook for Copic markers.


I do recommend putting a sheet of scrap paper under your page though because some darker colors will bleed through to the next page and through the back of that like a damn laser beam. If you have one of those flexible plastic pencil boards, I would slide it under your drawing page to protect the next page from unwanted transfer. Otherwise, the Leuchtturm 1917 sketchbook takes Copic markers pretty well and doesn’t make the color look splotchy or weird.

Matthew asks a few questions:

  1. What is your favorite pen that you are currently using?
  2. What is your favorite gel ink pen to use?
  3. What are your thoughts on the Midori brass pen?


My current favorite pens right now are my two Franklin-Christoph 45 XLVs (shown above) and my Pocket 20. All three have been purchased this year at various pen shows so they have sentimental value as well as being beautiful pens with nibs selected and tuned just for me. Its hard to decide which one is my absolute favorite and they are all small enough to fit in bag so they all travel with me regularly. I mean, really, which one would you leave behind? Each one has a different style nib and a different ink color so I enjoy switching it up throughout the day.


My favorite gel ink pens (at present) are the Sakura Ballsign Knock Gel Pens in 0.4mm (shown above in my custom Dudek Modern Goods pen holder). I have a rainbow of colors on my desk. They are comfortable to hold and write smoothly but with a nice fine point. I haven’t had any issues with hard starts with them either. The more exotic colors like the pastels and neons have some hard start issues but the standard gel pens work flawlessly.

And finally, I have the Midori Brass Pen but it actually in the bottom of a drawer. It does ship with a very fine tip ballpoint refill and it looks like you could probably modify a gel pen refill to fit into it instead pretty easily. I own a lot of vintage bullet advertising pencils so I guess I just never gave the Midori Brass Pen the attention it deserved. I should probably pull it out and give it a fair shake.

Jennifer asked:

A friend of mine asked for recommendations on rough paper for general journaling/writing. I am at a loss. I primarily use Rhodia and Tomoe River. She doesn’t want to spend a lot and uses Pentel RSVP pens. Any ideas? Thanks so much for your help. Jennifer

I was at a loss to think of a good, inexpensive paper for journaling and writing but I stumbled across a very inexpensive sketchbook this week that may be a good option for your friend. The Peter Pauper sketchbook in the 5.5″x8.5″ (roughly A5 size) has very nice 128gsm paper. For me, the bonus was that is was only $7.99 at my local Barnes & Noble. Now, I assume she’s not looking for blank sketchbook paper but I’m going somewhere with this so stay with me.

Peter Pauper also sells an assortment of lined journals including a competitor to Moleskine called the Essentials in A5 and A6 sizes for $12.99 and $8.99 respectively. This might be a good option, especially if your friend is working mostly in ballpoint. Many of their other journal products are available at Barnes & Noble but not the Essentials line since B&N carries Moleskine.

I have lots more Ask The Desk questions in my queue so bear with me. I will try to answer them swiftly.

Stylish Saturday: Paper Gods


I have been a lifelong Duran Duran fan and I don’t just listened to the albums they released back in the 80s. This is a band that was not just a one-hit wonder pop band. They’ve managed to maintain their lust for a pop life for decades and have continually evolved their pop sound in such a way as to surprise and delight their fans. In fact, I love a lot of the music they released in the 00s and 10s more so than their early albums that made them household names. The fact that their latest album is called Paper Gods, only makes me love them more. The fact that they worked with Janelle Monae and Nile Rogers on the new album is even better. So, if you never listened to Duran Duran or think they are a bunch of old guys, give this playlist a listen and enjoy my Fashionable Friday inspired by pop culture Paper Gods. There are a few albums that aren’t available on Spotify so I wasn’t able to share a few favorites from Pop Trash, Astronaut, and Nice. But I hope you enjoy this anyway. Put on your disco shoes and shimmy!

  • Gold Wireless Tassel Lightning USB Cord $24.99 (via Target)
  • Diamine Shimmertastic Sparkling Shadows (50ml Bottle) (via Anderson Pens)
  • Filofax Original Lilac Organizer in Personal Size $94 (via Goldspot Pens)
  • CDT Chrome Ball Point Pen $48 (via Fresh Stock Japan)
  • Pelikan Special Edition Aquamarine Classic M205 Fountain Pen $156 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Aurora 88 Ottantotto Black with gold trim Fountain Pen €395 (via Fontoplumo)
  • Sailor Pro Gear Color Fountain Pen – Yellow with Rhodium Trim $248 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Donut Wax Seal Stamp $29.95 AUD (via Kustom Haus)
  • Render K Mini starting at $60 (via Karas Kustoms)
  • Diamine Hope Pink Fountain Pen Ink (80 ml Bottle) $15 (via Pen Boutique)
  • Zebra Kirarich Glitter Highlighter – 5 Color Set $10 (via JetPens)
  • Cammila Slippers in Black Multi $69.95 (via Sole Society)
  • Jazz Things Up Boom Box Bag $398 (via Kate Spade)

To open and play the whole Paper Gods playlist in Spotify, click here!

Thanks to all my sponsors for providing some of the inspiring images. Please help support this blog by purchasing your next pen, ink or paper product from one of the shops that support this blog and let them know you heard about them on The Well-Appointed Desk. Thanks for your support and for supporting the shops that help keep it running.