Ink Review: Private Reserve Daphne Blue
As you’ll see in the scan below, it is very similar to Waterman South Sea Blue but its palest shading is lighter and it just seems like a slightly gentler colour, while losing none of the vibrancy. The ink flows perfectly well but there was no particular “wow-factor” to the feel (as there was with the sample of the new Edelstein ink which looks like it may be worth the hype!) As for shading, it flows well enough that with the right nib and paper you could certainly create some, but there is no extra depth or undertone to the ink (like the gold tone to Iroshizuku’s Momiji, or the red in Caran D’Ache’s Saffron.)
In my last post, I mentioned that I thought J. Herbin’s attention to the presentation of each different ink speaks to a respect for both their product and the customer and that I hadn’t bought a bottle of Private Reserve inks since I received some ink in a plain bottle with a very dodgy looking inkjet-printed sticker. The gorgeous deco bottle, that you see in the photo above, was what I had expected and, indeed, it was the bottle that the Shell Pink I ordered at the same time came in (though it had a horrible white cap), so I thought I should just check and see what the situation was with the ‘dodgy’ bottle. I didn’t need to go further than the home page of Private Reserve website. Bottles, bottles everywhere but no sign of the deco ones, just the horrible plain bottles with the slightly-too-small-to-close-properly lids. Does this speak to a disrespect for their product or customers, or just to a stunning lack of understanding that, in general, people who are into colour are also going to be into design and marketing is not where costs should be cut? Certainly, they don’t seem to think that presentation is in any way important, that website has to be one of the most poorly
designed put together sites I’ve ever seen (and I had one of the world’s first public email accounts, I remember the early days of the net!) Seriously, who still thinks wrapping background images and Voice Over intros are effective, or even acceptable? Don’t even get me started on the quality of that voice-over!
Anyway, my point is that if you order this ink for it’s good qualities, DON’T EXPECT THE LOVELY DECO BOTTLE YOU SEE IN THE PICTURE ABOVE.
The first thing to say about the scan is that Daphne Blue is a difficult ink to scan, especially on the bright white paper, because it is so vibrant. You can see that I struggled to get the levels right but if you know Éclat de Saphir, or any of the comparison inks, you’ll be able to work out what you need to know. You can see how my Waterman Perspective with a fine nib has created a certain level of shading, obviously the broader and drier the nib, the lighter result you will get but I quite like this medium-blue-with-highlights effect.
Paper: Rhodia Bloc #16 pad which uses Clairefontaine 80gsm high grade vellum, bright white.
- The first section is the Private Reserve Daphne Blue using a Waterman Perspective, fine nib
- Waterman South Sea Blue is from a Lamy Joy, extra fine nib
- J. Herbin Diablo Menthe is from a Bulow X750
- Iroshizuku Syo-Ro using Pilot Cavalier Duo, medium nib (Japanese medium nib, so think “fine”)
- J. Herbin Éclat de Saphir is from a Lamy Safari with, fine nib
Private Reserve Daphne Blue is a lovely, light turquoise which is similar to Waterman South Sea Blue but a little more delicate. It is a lovely colour but I doubt I’ll be buying another bottle, even though I do have the original bottle to transfer it to. There are just so many Turquoises out there that I’m a little Turquoise-d-out by my search for a nice pale to pastel blue, so I doubt I’ll be getting through this bottle any time soon. I am glad, though, that I got one of the P.R. bottles from what was likely to be their heyday, unless they get their marketing act together!