Lie de The – J. Herbin


J. Herbin was established in 1670 and that means J. Herbin is the oldest name in ink production in the world. The company is famous for making ink for Louis XIV, and a black ink for the sole use of Victor Hugo, author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables. These formulas still reside in company’s headquarters in Paris. I believe it would be cool to bring them back in some special edition pack 🙂 Victo won’t mind I believe.

At the moment company belongs to Exaclair Inc, that has rights to brands like Clairefontaine, Rhodia, Brause or G. Lalo.

J. Herbin offers 30 standard colors:

  1. Ambre de Birmanie
  2. Bleu Azur
  3. Bleu Myosotis
  4. Bleu Nuit
  5. Bleu Pervenche
  6. Bouquet d’Antan
  7. Bouton d’Or
  8. Cacao du Bresil
  9. Cafe des Iles
  10. Diabolo Menthe
  11. Eclat de Saphir
  12. Gris Nuage
  13. Larmes de Cassis
  14. Lie de The
  15. Lierre Sauvage
  16. Orange Indien
  17. Perle Noire
  18. Poussiere de Lune
  19. Rose Cyclamen
  20. Rose Tendresse
  21. Rouge Bourgogne
  22. Rouge Caroubier
  23. Rouge Opera
  24. Rouille d’Ancre
  25. Terre de Feu
  26. Vert Empire
  27. Vert Olive
  28. Vert Pre
  29. Vert Reseda
  30. Violette Pensee

Lie de The is one of my all time favorite inks. I’ll try to show you why. First the bottle – nice but bnot practical, especially if you tend to use big piston-fillers (Pelikan M1000) – the nib will hardly get inside the bottle.



I went to forest. I took piece of paper with me and two inks: Lie de The and Fuyu – Gaki.

That’s how Lie de The looks like a second after spilling it on the paper on a sunny day.


After a while and some drying time and filling the holes with Fuyu-Gaki Lie de The look this way.



What I love about this ink is the fact it has rich color that combines brown, orange, yellow tones in unique way. It’s very well behaved (no feathering, bleedthrough, hard starts, clogging). Also, it’s wet and the flow is fantastic.

What more to say – it’ll remain in my top three inks ever made.

Drops of ink on kitchen towel

Color ID

Color range

Tomoe River, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib

Leuchtturm 1917, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib

Oxford Optic paper, Sheaffer Crest broad nib





4 thoughts on “Lie de The – J. Herbin

  1. Thanks for another great review, awesome photos and loads of information about the particular range and your experiences!

    Must agree: Great ink! The whole range may not be the most exciting, some of these inks are weak and dull, but Lie de thé is amazing. It works well in every pen I own, from the cheapest to the vintage wet noodle flex, from dry KaWeCo to wet Pelikan writers, it always looks great, shades even on the shi**iest paper … love it.

    Liked by 2 people

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