Product Highlights
J.  Herbin | Scented inks and Ikebana

J. Herbin | Scented inks and Ikebana

J.  Herbin | Scented inks and Ikebana

For several months now, I have been interested in Ikebana to stimulate my sensory perception, my patience and my precision.

I am not a florist. In my studio as a fine artist, I am inspired by ikebana arrangements to create balanced and harmonious floral illustrations. I have fun playing with colours, shapes, whites, and textures on paper.

Now imagine combining this same creative process with scented inks. I thought I would add this to further stimulate my sense of smell, and give even more presence to the creative moment. With practice, I have found that working with your sense of smell while drawing/painting provides an unforgettable sensory experience.

Are you interested in this subject? I’ll tell you more in the following post.


Ikebana inspiration with Herbin inks – Amylee’s picture 2023

Ikebana | Inspiration and illustration

Also known as kadō “the way of flowers” or “the art of bringing flowers to life”, ikebana is a traditional Japanese art based on floral composition that uses quality over quantity to convey true emotion to the beholder.

The art of ikebana is a Japanese floral art that consists of creating minimalist arrangements by combining flowers, branches and leaves. The aim is to create harmony between the natural elements and the surrounding space.

  • Ikebana emphasises simplicity, natural beauty and harmony between elements.
  • The benefits of ikebana include patience (attention to detail), relaxation, stress reduction (the ability to focus on the present moment), improved concentration and creativity, and the promotion of a sense of peace and inner well-being.
  • In the true tradition, fresh flowers are used to maintain a connection with nature.

Amidst my brushes and colours, I am inspired by ikebana to draw and paint floral arrangements. The basic principles that characterise Ikebana are asymmetry, simplicity, harmony, the use of lines and emptiness. 

Ikebana inspiration with Herbin inks – Amylee’s picture 2023

Scents, colours and sounds respond to each other

According to Charles Baudelaire in Les fleurs du mal book: “perfumes, colours and sounds respond to each other”. Scents can stimulate the imagination by evoking memories or creating an atmosphere conducive to inspiration. Certain scents can enhance concentration and relaxation, which can promote creativity.

Scents, colours and sounds can be associated in our brain through neural connections that form over time. For example, certain smells can evoke colourful memories or specific melodies. This sensory interconnection is known as synesthesia, which is a fascinating and mysterious phenomenon of human perception.

In my illustrated ikebanas, the scented inks add other sensations that make the creative process completely different. The form of artistic expression then becomes similar to meditation. The artist has to concentrate on what he or she feels in the present moment in order to call upon the creative force.

Ikebana inspiration with Herbin inks – Amylee’s picture 2023

Herbin | Inks made in France

  • BRAND: Jacques Herbin
  • QUALITY: Rich in colour and incredibly vivid, these inks offer a beautiful quality of writing or illustration. Perfect for lovers of calligraphy and beautiful letters.
  • AQUARELLABLE: Mixed with water, the inks offer a delicate and homogeneous colour gradient. Applied with a brush, the inks enhance the drawings. They do not reactivate once dry on the paper.
  • ADAPTABILITY: They are specially formulated for use with fountain pens and roller pens. They are finely filtered so as not to clog the pens. Also suitable for felt-tip pens and brushes with reservoir, glass nibs, calamus, brushes, quill pens and fountain pens.

“Subtiles” Collection, J. Herbin inks – Amylee’s picture


Herbin | Scented inks called “Subtiles”

Herbin inks, with their floral and fruity scents, are very pleasant to use on fine grain watercolour paper, Bristol paper, marker paper or calligraphy paper.

I quite like the design of the bottle. It is made of glass, and has a retro pen like the inkwells of old. The whole thing is eloquent and elegant. The price is still right because of the quality of the ink, which lasts for several months or even years.

  • Lemon scent = yellow green ink
  • Orange blossom scent = orange ink
  • Violet scent = violet ink
  • Rose scent = red ink
  • Cocoa Fragrance = brown ink
  • Lavender scent = blue ink
  • More about Herbin inks on this link

“Subtiles” Collection, J. Herbin inks (France) – Amylee’s picture

My artist review

Fragrances of these inks are more or less strong depending on the colour chosen. Always be sure to test the product instore if you are able to make sure the scents don’t bother you before buying the whole set.

I didn’t always recognise the scent on the bottle but it’s still nice to paint or write with a floral or fruity note. My favourite scents are lime, chocolate, orange blossom and lavender.

Working with scented ink can be confusing for some people. The scent is most noticeable when the colour is applied to the paper (e.g., violet or rose ink).


You can find a great range of art supplies in GreatArt store in Shoreditch (London) or on online shop.

Ikebana illustration, Herbin (France) – Amylee’s picture

 Ikebana illustration, Herbin (France) – Amylee’s picture

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Content provided by Amylee Paris


The passion of Amylee, fine artist and author is to share her paintings between galleries, art collectors and her community. Amylee is also recognized as one of the most influential French artist-entrepreneurs. Since 2009 she has mentored thousands of visual artists guiding them to thriving their art career.

You can visit her colourful portfolio, her Instagram, or find all Amylee’s posts published in GreatArt online Magazineby clicking here!


Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.