By now most pen folks have probably heard of Callifolio inks, if only because of the frequent mentions of a certain shade of pink ink: Andrinople. The French company that makes that ink, L’Artisan Pastellier also makes another line of fountain pen ink called Encre Classique (Classic Ink). There is not a ton of information about the differences between the two ink lines available. I did my best to scout around on the L’Artisan Pastellier website via Google Translate but the general vibe I got was that this operation is probably made up of classic French, more inclined to spend time making their fine art supplies and drinking wine than maintaining a modern online presence with a grand social media strategy and SEO sorted out.
Encre Classique inks are available in about 26 colors and the biggest difference I noticed, other than price ($7 per 30ml bottle vs $12 per bottle for Callifolio inks) and bottle shape (Encre Classique come in a more traditional round bottle to Callifolio’s pie slice triangular bottle) is that the Encre Classique color range feature a wider selection of reds and greens while the Callifolio inks have a wider selection of blues and browns.
If you are looking for a some vivid basics, Encre Classique inks would be a good place to look to build an ink collection as the colors are rich in pigment and well made by a brand I’ve come to trust for their quality in the Callifolio line. I feel pretty confident that the Encre Classique will be equally good. I would place these inks as a competitor to J. Herbin though the inks are a little drier.
Now, to the specific ink I am reviewing. I got a bottle of the Encre Classique Carmin ($7 for 30ml bottle) which is actually one of the more muted colors in the line. Its a burgundy/red wine color which I discovered had a bit of a gold sheen.
I got a bit messy on my Col-o-dex card but the gold sheen is evident in the upper left. Even with a dip pen, there is evidence of shading to a cherry blossom pink or dusty rose color which is kind of nice.
In writing, I used a fine nib Esterbrook which gave a range of burgundy to dusty rose shaded writing. With a wider nib, the writing is definitely darker when more ink is laid down and the color leans towards more of a red wine/burgundy. The water test shows little-to-no water resistance so spilling your drink is definitely a no-no with this ink.
When cross-referencing with other inks in my collection, it appears I have a real penchant for this dark, smoky pink/burgundy color these days. Carmin is very similar to Colorverse Andromeda with a little less sheen and $28 less price tag. Kobe #41 is a little more purply. De Atramentis Apple Blossom is very similar and it comes with a floral scent. And the Krishna Azaella (Floral) is a bit more fuchsia and is a similar price for a smaller bottle.
I’m very glad I gave Encre Classique Carmin a try. I like the color, the ink is well-behaved and reasonably-priced and I am looking forward to trying more in this line in the future.
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 16 with 6mm guide sheet
- Pens: Midori bullet pencil modified dip nib holder with Zebra G titanium nib ($33.50 per 10-pack), Acrylic dip nib pen (Approx. $15), Shawn Newton Esterbrook Nib Holder with #9556 nib
- Swatches: Col-o-Ring Ink Testing Book ($10) and Col-o-dex Rotary Cards (coming soon!)
- Brush: Blick Synthetic Round #0
- Ink: L’Artisan Pastellier Encre Classique Carmin ($7 for 30ml bottle)