A special thanks to Jessica, who although is working diligently for final exams still took the time to put together this review for us. Greys have seemed to be fairly popular lately, so I hope you all enjoy the review! ~Brian Goulet
Degrees of Grey: A Comparison of Herbin Cacao du Brésil, Private Reserve Gray Flannel, J. Herbin Gris Nuage, and Diamine Grey. Guest review by Jessica Varin.
Things that are grey: elephants, concrete, the New York Times. Oh, and ink.
Grey is not watered down black. It can be subtle, complex, and sophisticated. Grey ink may look like a pencil, but it commits like a pen. There are several “degrees of gray” to choose from.
This review focuses on J. Herbin Cacao du Brasil, Private Reserve Gray Flannel, J. Herbin Gris Nuage, and Diamine Grey. The undertones are more prominent than shown in the photos. All inks were tested in my Lamy Safari (EF nib) on a Rhodia dotPad.
J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil is a medium taupe, grey with prominent brown undertones. It has excellent shading, even in my extra-fine nib. Smooth ink; dried fairly quickly. Seems like a classic (yet currently trendy) color. Doesn’t have the harshness of steel grey.
Private Reserve Gray Flannel is a warm grey with yellow-green undertones. Good saturation with little shading. It’s slightly dry and dries surprisingly fast compared to other Private Reserve inks.
J. Herbin Gris Nuage is a cool grey with purple undertones. Low saturation, but good shading. This ink went down dark and dried lighter. I find it difficult to read.
Diamine Grey is what I call a true (cool) grey. Great flow and saturation, almost no shading. This is my favorite of the four.
Private Reserve Gray Flannel and J. Herbin Gris Nuage were provided by The Goulet Pen Company. I own J. Herbin Cacao du Brésil, Diamine Grey, and the Rhodia dotPad. Samples and full sizes of J. Herbin, Private Reserve, and Diamine inks are available at The Goulet Pen Company.