November 12, 2009

J. Herbin Diabolo Menthe Review on Clairefontaine Paper

image via

J. Herbin Diabolo Menthe is named after the popular French beverage that bears the same name, made from green mint syrup and either lemonade or 7-Up (I found differing recipes). In either case, the model for the ink is a very diluted green color, with bubbles.

The J. Herbin take on the diabolo menthe has many similar characteristics as the drink. The ink is very faintly green and I described it as "frosty" even before I found out that the drink it is modeled after is carbonated. Where the model and the product differ, however, is that I would describe the ink as a teal, with more blue than green. But, then again, I did find both to be refreshing.

The above image is my full page review of the ink, taken with a flash. Click for full view.

This above image is the same review, taken without a flash. Click for full view.

While writing on the wonderfully smooth 90 g Clairefontaine paper in my new Quo Vadis Habana journal, I experienced no feathering, no bleedthrough and no nib creep.

Overall, I found Diabolo Menthe to be a nice, cool, teal with a very wintery feel to it. While I don't think I will be using Diabolo Menthe as an everyday ink, and I don't have any current plans for it... I will think of something. After all, winter is right around the corner, and this is just the color ink to get me into the spirit of the season.

NOTE: Winter is my favorite season of them all, and I can't can't can't wait for it to get here.


Eliza Ward said...

Thank you! I agree, the color does seem to be a good match for the season! I can see it working in late spring, too.

James said...

You're ever so welcome, Eliza. I appreciate it when readers help give the site direction by letting me know what they'd like to see.


Beth T Irwin said...

I suspect in a B or BB nib, this will be glorious!

James said...


Brilliant, now I have a legitimate excuse to purchase a BB nib... and a new pen to go with it.

Thanks for the suggestion!


Kurt said...

I really like this ink - the color. I'm finding it not such a smooth writer, quite different from the other Herbins I've used. For some reason, it seems to me to be 'grabby' on the paper - I've tried it on both Rhodia and Clairfontaine. I tried it in 4 different pens - 2 Jinhao, a Bulow, and my favorite Mont Blanc and the experience is pretty consistent. I seemed to have a better experience with an earlier pen, but don't have it handy. I think it may work better with a broad point nib. For what it's worth!