It took some real effort for me to decide to switch up my daily driver ink for another. Usually, I make sure to keep a stable pen that I know I can depend on with an ink that I can trust to not mess up when I’m using an ink I’m going to review in the future. I’ve had bad experiences before with missing an entire class worth of notes because the ink I was testing didn’t properly go with the paper I was using and started to bleed through. After a couple of those experiences, I made sure to always have a backup ready just in case. This semester, I didn’t take as many fountain pens to Indiana, because I wanted to stick to the bare minimum because cleaning can become a hassle. I stuck to my trusty Lamy 2000 and TWSBI ECO. For the entirety of the last semester, I had the Lamy inked up with Iroshizuku Shin-Kai, which quickly became a daily driver of mine and I’m almost finished with the bottle. I needed to review Bleu Nuit, but my TWSBI was already inked up with Bleu Pervenche. So I decided that I needed to switch things up a little bit.
Bleu Nuit is an interesting ink, because of the way it looks straight out of the bottle. Honestly, I was initially skeptical of the color because I saw both the grip of my pen and my hand being stained with a purplish blue color and thought that maybe this was going to be reminiscent of Diamine Midnight. However, once I actually used it, it turned out to be a true neutral blue-black ink. Directly from the nib, it holds a purplish color, but dries to become blue-black with hints of grey undertones. Unlike Diamine Midnight, which acted the opposite way and caused me to dislike the end result.
It has all the characteristics that one would expect of a J. Herbin ink. It’s lubricated, well-behaved and there is a decent amount of shading. This was especially accentuated through my use of a slightly wet medium Lamy nib. I’m sure the shading would be turned down if used in a fine or extra-fine, so that’s something to keep in mind if shading is something you look for. As I mentioned above, the color you see in the ink bottle and directly from the nib can confuse you, but be assured that it dries to a neutral blue-black. I honestly enjoyed watching it drying as it looks similar to how Shin-Kai looks when it has dried.
One thing that might be a bit of a drawback with this ink is, as always with J. Herbin, a little bit on the expensive side. The 10mL can be bought for $5.50 on JetPens (not sponsored) and the 30mL can be bought for $12.00 from all your favorite pen shops. On the other hand, Diamine Blue-Black, another great blue-black ink, is priced at $7.50 for 30mL. My advice would be to get the 10mL to test it out and decide if you like it before purchasing any larger sizes.