Calling all ink lovers! It’s Jenni, Goulet’s videographer here. I am super excited to be writing my very first ink review on this week’s Monday Matchup ink, J. Herbin Rouge Caroubier. I had a great time using this ink and learning different techniques that would help the color shine. Rouge Caroubier does have a few quirks that can make this ink a little tricky to use, but I am excited to share my thoughts with you and hope my experience helps you in your ink endeavors.

Supplies Used:

Smear Test (Dry Time):

  • Medium – This ink drys pretty quickly. On Rhodia paper it was dry within 20 seconds.  When using Clairefontaine paper in my Monday Matchup I found that it was also able to dry pretty quickly without smearing. With Tomoé River it took a little longer to dry with a higher risk of smearing but it’s definitely one of the quicker drying inks that I have used.

Drip Test (Water Resistance):

  • Low – I found that the ink responds differently depending on the method of water application. In my Monday Matchup, I found that the ink had a pretty high water resistance. When I was trying to create an ink wash I found that the ink was not affected by the water because it had already dried. However, when doing the drip test on freshly applied ink like in the test above, I found that the ink virtually disappeared and all that was left was an ink halo where the water was dropped.


  • Medium/Low– Overall the ink has a pretty low saturation. The color isn’t super vibrant and it can easily come off more of a pink than its intended red. You can see a definite line between the swabs but the vibrancy of the color doesn’t change.

Ease of Cleaning:

  • Easy– Since this ink isn’t super saturated it can easily be cleaned from the nib and pen. I dropped the nib into a cup of water and it was pulled out completely ink free.


  • Medium/Low– With a wetter/flex nib you can notice a bit of shading, but not enough to call it a good shading ink. With the Lamy I noticed a bit of shading throughout (especially on the downward stroke of my letters) however when I used the Edison Nouveau Premiere with a 1.1 stub I didn’t see much shading at all.


  • Medium/Dry– This ink seemed to be pretty dry when using it in both pens. It almost made the pens feel a like they had a little feedback. That being said, I didn’t find that it showed any signs of skipping or cause flow reductions. The ink seemed to flow pretty regularly from the pen giving it a consistent writing experience.

Packaging and Aesthetics:

  • 30ml glass bottle with box, and ink samples available.
  • The bottle is shallower than other bottles, so getting the nib submerged can be tricky. If the ink was low, it could be problematic. You might need to tilt it to be able to fill.
  • Interesting label design with a nice flower graphic on it. I wouldn’t consider the bottle to be a desk centerpiece but because it is a short bottle it would fit nicely in a drawer.
Inks similar in color:

Personally, I could only see myself using this ink with a broad, stub, or flex pen. When the ink is used in a extra fine, fine, or medium nib the color can come out looking a bit watered down. I don’t think you’d get the full effect of how gorgeous the color is with finer nibs. If you want a rich vibrant red, this probably isn’t the ink for you. But if you are interested in trying an ink that has the ability to go from a bright red, to a muted red, to a blush pink you will get exactly that. I had a great time using this ink this week! I hope you give it a chance because when used to its full color potential, the outcome is very elegant.

J. Herbin Rouge Caroubier is available at in a 30ml bottle for $11.00 and in a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.

Thanks for spending some time with me today and have a great rest of your week!

Write on,