The smooth, rich ink immediately saturates the page with a steady, even flow that dries quickly. The inks are non-toxic, pH neutral and water-based. J. Herbin has been making inks and sealing wax — accessories for the well-written letter — since 1670, when pen and paper were the primary means of long-distance communication.
For 300 years, the ink recipe has not changed much. The natural ink is pH neutral and water based, a balanced ink that is as smooth for calligraphy experts as it is for amateur writers choosing to use the ink Victor Hugo used exclusively to write The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The ink is sold in "D" bottles a convention held over from the old French unit of measurement, Demi Courtine — a 30 milliliter bottle by today's measure. The little bottles have a unique groove along the top, like an ashtray, allowing for the pen to be rested with ease should the writer become weary.