review: j. herbin ambre de birmanie - ink between the teeth

Feb 19, 2018

review: j. herbin ambre de birmanie

Ooh, we're jumping around quite a bit! Back to the pre-Taipei trip collection.

I have a full bottle of this ink now! The 30ml J. Herbin bottles are flat, square-shaped glass bottles with a paper label on the front. I like the labels because they show you what the color is like, and they also have a cute drawing on the front. Ambre de Birmanie translates to Burma amber, so there's a drawing of a chunk of amber on the front.

But I'm still working through the smaller bottle. At 10ml, these dinky little bottles are perfect for trying out ink before you spring for the larger, 30ml size. I actually quite like these smaller bottles, because they have relatively wide mouths and are thus pretty easy to fill from. They hold a nice amount of ink for travel.

Ambre de Birmanie is an ink that has a real similarity to honey. I don't think it's quite like an amber—when I think of amber, I think of a slightly deeper, more orange color. But it is fairly close to what I think amber would look like.
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My scan here isn't as bright as the ink should be in real life, but it got the tone pretty close! So here's a picture, which I hope will help:
Ambre de Birmanie has pretty much no water resistance to speak of, which seems fairly in line with the rest of the J. Herbin line. It takes a little while to dry, but I can easily chalk it up to the fact that it falls into the red/orange category. Pigments for these inks seem to take longer to dry than other colors.

This ink does shade a little, but I'm a bit more interested in the way that it turns a deeper gold when in a wet pen. I love the way that this ink performs: it's a little bit on the wet side—not enough for me to really call it a wet ink, but certainly noticeable.
I've compared it here to other oranges in my collection, and you can tell that Ambre de Birmanie is definitely the honey side of orange. Diamine Sepia is kinda close? But it's not as bright. Nothing else I own is close.

In my Kaweco Sport with a broad nib, I've found that the two pair pretty well. I do think that my Sport has a little problem with ink starvation; writing too long with Ambre de Birmanie starts to dry it up. A quick shake of the pen really helps and gets it back to writing as it should. It's interesting, because it's quite wet when it isn't slowly getting drier!

There isn't anything quite like Ambre de Birmanie on the market, I don't think. It's possible that KWZ Honey would be a little similar, but having never tried it out I wouldn't be able to say for sure. However, I'm a big fan of Ambre de Birmanie. After using the 15ml bottle for a while I finally sprung for the 30ml bottle. I think it's a really interesting and, more importantly, usable yellow ink.

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