J. Herbin, a company in Paris that dates back to 1670 with its ink production commencing 1700. Today, the company is part of the Clairefontaine, the stationery company in France where the inks are manufactured.
The first Herbin ink, called La Perle des Encres (the jewel of inks), was soon followed by L’Encre Des Vaisseaux (the ink of ships) -- a traditional French violet has been used by student in France for many years.
Fountain pen users would buy what is known as the "D" bottles. A classic bottle that has been around for a long time. The "D" stands for a French unit of measure, “la Demi Courtine”. Now a 40 ml bottle.
There is quite the collection of colours, and these are not all of them! Herbin ink is available through a variety of locations in North America. Herbin has more than fountain pen ink. Some specialty inks are for dip pens. Do not use in a fountain pen.
The fountain pen ink is available in 17 beautiful colors. There are even more colours in cartridge (universal style). Some of the colours I have found to be too delicate -- I tend to lean towards bold vibrant colour of ink, as with a broad or stub nib strong colours look best.
Larmes de Cassis - it is always very nice when people write me, I enjoy handwritten notes. It is even better when, because they know I have a great interest in ink, they identify the ink they have used. I must say this is an interesting colour.
Eclat de Saphir
One of the inks that I do use from time to time. It is a rich blue that leans to a saphir/purple tone. But I found it depends on the nib and paper conmbination. The ink has excellent writing qualities. My only complaint is that the bottle is so small. I can only really fill up pens with "smaler" nibs, as now that the ink has gone down, it is hard to get the big nibs submerged in the ink for a good draw.
Perle Noire - I recently received an email about this ink, a very saturated dark black with a very quick drying time. (Thanks. R. Carpena)
Blue Nuit - P. Johnson provides her review of that colour: "Drab ultramarine with dull purple overtones. Looks like faded watercolor when dry."
Reviews from others are that it is a very good brand of ink that flows reliably with a great colour selection. About those colours:
Rouge Fuchsia/Opera - a true dark red, not a ruby or Bordeaux, and is virtually identical in color to the OMAS Amerigo Vespucci. The Opera is the scented version. This color is to be distinguished from Herbin's attempt at regular red -- Rouge Caroubier -- which, unfortunately, is a washed-out red like those from so many other brands of ink.
Rose Cyclamen - an almost fluorescent purplish pink, and is a very noticeable color. It also tends to spread more than other colors on paper. A unique color.
Orange Indien - pretty good orange, a bit darker than OMAS Triratna.
In 2010, to celebrate the 340th anniversary of the company, Herbin issued a special dark red ink in a new 50 ml bottle. The ink is a dark red with earthy tones.