Notorie Notebook Review

The Notorie Notebook is an A5 ring bound, lined notebook made with premium recycled paper. It has a colourful and eye-catching card cover and 140 pages (70 sheets). It is the latest review item to land on my desk so let’s see how it performed…

First impressions

This particular Notorie notebook is rather overwhelmingly pink, though I won’t hold that against it as it’s a good, vibrant pink.  Back in the dim and increasingly distant past, I studied Biology. The cover design reminds me of an images of skin cells taken through a microscope. I always found those high colour photos of things you couldn’t see with the naked eye rather fascinating.

There are several colour ways available, each with its own apparently female name. This colour is called Vesper, perhaps with reference to the Bond character. I was a little thrown by “Kennedy”, but the internet informs me that this is a unisex name.

Logo on back
Small logo on back of notebook

The Notorie notebook is ring bound, which is always handy. It lies more or less flat and it’s easy to tear out pages should you want or need to do so. The page lines are in a “mustard” colour, which is mostly harmless. Generally, I don’t use lined paper as the line spacing always seems to be not quite right for me, and also it makes me feel as if I ought to be writing an essay. The mustard coloured ruling make it seem less like an exercise book and more like a notebook for writing fun stuff. The width of the ruling is reasonably useful 6.5mm. Narrow ruling at 5mm can be a little too narrow, and the more common 8mm ruling can be too wide if your writing is small. I rather think they have hit the Goldilocks ruling here.

Notorie page

Writing Experience

The paper is heavier than some at 100gsm, although it seems lighter. It  doesn’t feel as smooth as some papers that I use and has that slightly rustic quality of recycled papers. That said, it appears to perform quite well.

I couldn’t detect any bleeding, even with a Pilot FA flex nib. I don’t use stub or very fat nibs, so can’t really comment on how it would perform with these. That said, I made some concentrated scribbles and there was neither bleed nor ghosting evident. Thus, I am reasonably confident that unless you are using a serious gusher, you would probably be OK with most nib widths.

Close-up with Pilot FA nib and Akkerman Blauw-Groen ink
Ink performance

Standard ink rendered very well, as did my super sheening Kiwi Quetzalcoatl. Although, I have yet to find somewhere it doesn’t sheen like crazy, including kitchen paper!

Kiwi Quetzalcoatl (Akkerman Blauw-Groen in background)

Shimmer inks were a little less impressive, but as a fine nib user I always struggle a little to get good shimmer. My very reliable go-to Diamine Dragon Blood did eventually decide to play, though it was a bit hit and miss. I did a comparison test to eliminate any possibility of particles settling, but there was plenty of gold sparkle on some plain white office paper. It is possible that the more creamy colour of the Notarie paper simply didn’t contrast sufficiently with the gold shimmer to make it pop in the same way.

Shimmer ink
Diamine Dragon Blood

My Alexandrite/Starry Night combo ink also exhibited sheen though no discernible shimmer. That mix never seems to shimmer much, so I’m not altogether surprised by its absence here.

Sheen and Shimmer ink
Alexandrite/Starry Night mix ink

I can see no reason why you wouldn’t get a reasonably good result with most inks. There is no bleeding or ghosting through to the other side of the sheet. I would be surprised if there had been any show through at 100gsm. Sheen and shimmer is always difficult to gauge with finer nibs, but the paper does not absorb the ink. So these should work adequately, depending on the nib and ink combo, as always. Indeed, for quite coarse paper, it performs rather well. Obviously you won’t get the same results as on super smooth Japanese papers.

In Summary

The Notorie Notebook paper has rather exceeded my expectations. Gone are the days when recycled paper was best left for use as rough paper, or for wrapping up fish and chips. There is still a slightly coarser feel to the paper than one might like, but it performs surprisingly well.

140 pages are plenty to keep the most dedicated scribbler occupied for a while. The notebook retails at £16.99, which is not cheap. I’m not entirely sure why recycled paper should be more expensive than virgin paper, but it certainly appears to be. By comparison, a Rhodia A5 business book with 160 pages is two-thirds the price. I suppose you can think of it as the premium for being ecologically sound.

  • 140 pages
  • Ring bound
  • Paper performs quite well
  • Useful ruling width
  • Cream paper may not suit everyone
  • Quite expensive
Who is it for
  • Eco warriors with an agenda to write down
  • Notebook lovers who like to tear out pages
  • People who like their stationery to be named
  • Scribblers of profound or frivolous thoughts
The lowdown

Available from the Notorie shop at  in a wide range of colours. Retailing at £16.99 plus postage.

This notebook was provided for review by the vendor via United Inkdom.


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