Life Noble Note – Review


Besides loving good pens, I also love good paper. Pens and paper are complementary to each other, and no matter how good a pen you have, it is of no use if you can’t find some decent paper to write on with it.


Note: pens not included in the sponsorship!

This notebook I’m about to review has got to be one of the best notebooks out there so far, that isn’t Rhodia or Clairefontaine… let’s have a look at the Life Noble Note Book (and watch out for the giveaway below):

The Life Noble Note is a vintage-looking, softcover notebook. I was sponsored by Fook Hing Trading Co. for this review and giveaway, but don’t worry, I’ll be giving my honest personal opinion of the notebook as always! Let’s have a better look at my Life Noble Note without the mess of pens:


I’m not sure if I shouldย call this red or orange, and I’m not good with colour names even though I love them. A quick search on Google told me that a close match should be “vermilion”. Okay, got it.

20141108_104322My bright and cheery vermilion Life Noble Note Book is A5-sized, has 100 sheets of smooth cream paper with very faint gridlines, and looks like some of the good old notebooks that I used when I was a kid. While my childhood was not so far away, I describe this notebook “vintage” because of the floral border pattern, thick serifed font, andย the brand “Life” in shiny gold foil. Don’t you think it looks vintage-y too?

The notebook is made in Japan and is as simple as can be. While there are some words at the back in Japanese that look like the description and care instructions (don’t take my word for it, I don’t understand Japanese but I am interpreting this from whatever Chinese characters I found there), there is hardly any marketing seen on this notebook at all. In fact, if I see this notebook on the shelves in a stationery store, I may not even think of picking it up, so it looks so simple! I’m glad that it has been brought to my attention!

This Life Noble Note Book lies flat when opened up, and of course I can’t resist testing my pens on the very smooth cream paper immediately:



It’s pretty self explanatory if you can view the pictures, but in case something went wrong, I’ll just let you know what I did on the paper.

Pens used (with links to my reviews of them, in case you are interested):

In summary:


There was very little showthrough of the inks and almost no bleedthrough on the back side of the page! OK, there is 1 exception which was with the very wet Pilot Parallel 2.4mm pen. The ink flow is generous, so I tested the integrity of the paper by passing the nib over the same spot 1, 2, 3, and 4 times. That lays down many layers of ink, and I would be surprised if the paper was still able to withstand the bombardment of such quantities. I mean, just look at how inky the Pilot Parallel is:


Of course it’s not cool for lefties as it takes a longer time to dry, and I have already smudged my writing sample soon after writing on the page. But looking at the result above, the bleedthrough only comes after 3 passes of the nib, and it took 4 passes to blot through to the next page. One has got to be insane toย have a tendency to overwrite the same stroke this many times with a Pilot Parallel!


I wasn’t sure what creative urges came over me suddenly, so I decided to do a little bit of art on this first page together with my writing samples. What I did was simply to outline and roughly fill areas on the paper with my Stabilo mini pens, then use a wet paintbrush to run over the colours to make the smudged-fill effect. The tree trunk was brushed over using a diluted form of Noodler’s #41 brown ink.


Even with the water, brushing, and multiple passes of the Stabilos on the paper, there is hardly any bleedthrough, and minimal showthrough. The crumpling is due to the water that I inflicted upon the paper…

Are you all set for the giveaway now? Have I whetted your appetite enough to make you want one of these wonderful quality paper?

Giveaway pic_lifenoble

Up for grabs are 3 Life Noble Note Books: the vermilion, blue, and brown variants. They are all A5 sized and the differences between them lie in the inner pages – the vermilion has the grids, the light blue has lines, and the brown contains blank sheets. Use them for drawing, numbering, calculating, note-taking, journaling… anything! Have I mentioned how much I like that the lines are soft enough to tell you there are there, but don’t interfere too much with your reading and writing?


Brown – blank; Vermilion – grid; Blue – lined

To enter, it’s not difficult. Just do one or more of the following and you get the respective number of chances to win! Note that you have to strictly use the Rafflecopter widget or your entry will not be counted! This giveaway is open till November 22 and anyone with a mailing address can enter! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re skipping the giveaway and would like to get the Life Noble Note Book on your own, there are a variety of places you can get it from:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

50 Responses

  1. Siok-Hoon Ong Nicole 23 November 2014 / 10:26 PM

    and now I’m hitting myself for not checking back on your blog earlier…*le sigh* i’ve been eyeing these notebooks at Tokyu Hands ever since they opened! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Maybelline 23 November 2014 / 10:49 PM

      Oh, that’s too bad! It’s not too late to follow me either via email, twitter, instagram or facebook (or all of them) to be sure you don’t miss another of my giveaways next time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. rdominick 23 November 2014 / 12:00 AM

    I love the Life Vermilion mini-notebook I have and here is a last minute contest entry…

  3. jamerelbe 22 November 2014 / 5:55 PM

    Love the look of these – thanks for the chance to win one!

  4. kaaaaaaat 22 November 2014 / 12:45 PM

    For some reason it won’t let me comment on this. ๐Ÿ™ Anyway, this is the last time–if I’m not able to enter this time I’ll just have to (sadly) pass up on the contest. I’ve wanted to try Life Noble Note for what seems like forever–this is the best opportunity to try it!

  5. DELively 22 November 2014 / 12:45 PM

    I would love to give these a try (but I’ll need to get some fountain pens worthy of them…)

  6. Jiazheng 21 November 2014 / 9:38 AM

    Hope I win it!

  7. Onder Cengiz 16 November 2014 / 3:20 AM

    nice paper.. I’ld love to try it ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. MartyG 15 November 2014 / 7:40 PM

    I liked this review and think these notebooks are neat.

  9. Dee Swyers 15 November 2014 / 4:41 AM

    Everyone in my writing classes would be envious if I walked in with one of these Life Noble Notebooks! Love the color, I would never misplace it!

  10. Becky Redfern 15 November 2014 / 12:08 AM

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Dorothy B. 14 November 2014 / 8:59 PM

    Always looking for great paper that can hold up to what I can throw at it…got to try this.

  12. Sonia 14 November 2014 / 2:46 AM

    Those look amazing, Loved the review Im surprised more ink/water didnt bleed through.

  13. jeff. 14 November 2014 / 1:19 AM

    I’d love to win a notebook. Thanks for making the giveaway possible.

  14. Great FP fan 11 November 2014 / 3:34 AM

    Gorgeous paper

  15. Art Toys 10 November 2014 / 1:58 AM

    Just discovered your blog, and I’m really enjoying it! Thank you for the giveaway!

    • Maybelline 10 November 2014 / 6:49 AM

      Hello! Happy to know you enjoy it! Please do subscribe ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Nick T 9 November 2014 / 11:42 PM

    Sounds like a great notebook, never heard of it before the review though. Would be nice to own!

  17. Joshua 9 November 2014 / 8:33 PM

    Hope I’m able to get one to take notes down in school!

  18. QL 9 November 2014 / 5:13 PM

    Lovely review. Makes me want to try some!

  19. Steve Froland 9 November 2014 / 4:29 PM

    Just started using the 40 page blank journal and I agree the paper is wonderful to write on. Great price too, only about $4.

  20. jwtan 9 November 2014 / 4:10 PM

    Wanna get some new notebooks!

  21. rdcalhoon 9 November 2014 / 3:08 PM

    I do like the looks of these notebooks. Thanks for the review and for the chance to try one out.

  22. Anton Chua 9 November 2014 / 2:19 PM

    Nice blog you got here, really liking the thorough reviews.

    • Maybelline 9 November 2014 / 2:23 PM

      Thank you Anton, glad you like it! Be sure to subscribe ๐Ÿ˜‰

  23. Jenny Tan 9 November 2014 / 1:41 PM

    Good notebook!

  24. guckguckdoose 9 November 2014 / 11:40 AM

    Love the look of these books! Would love to try one

  25. natsora 9 November 2014 / 11:02 AM

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. Dan Goldman 9 November 2014 / 10:02 AM

    These look like awesome notebooks! Thanks!

  27. Clarence 9 November 2014 / 9:37 AM

    Loving this paper and I wouldn’t mind to have more!

  28. Iris 9 November 2014 / 9:29 AM


  29. Ruby 9 November 2014 / 8:07 AM

    I’m always on the lookout for good quality, fountain pen friendly paper. Thanks for the chance!

  30. Klein Phua 9 November 2014 / 7:16 AM

    I like the life notebook look. Not only that, for the paper being so thin, the book is both considered light weight as well!

  31. John Meldorf 9 November 2014 / 7:09 AM

    Love paper and notebooks like this. I use them daily. Would like to try out this Life Notebook.

  32. Aisazia 9 November 2014 / 7:05 AM

    Thanks for the giveaway! Seems like a nice little notebook. ๐Ÿ˜€

  33. Eleni 9 November 2014 / 6:52 AM

    I love the blue one! it’s so difficult to find a notebook with lines here in Spain…

  34. Panagiotis 9 November 2014 / 6:35 AM


  35. Epichartou 9 November 2014 / 6:29 AM

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  36. Catherine 9 November 2014 / 4:10 AM

    Do you know if there is a distributor in Europe ?

    • Maybelline 9 November 2014 / 10:01 AM

      Hi Catherine, I am not sure about that, but I could check it out for you.

  37. Cesar Salazar 9 November 2014 / 4:01 AM

    Great product and great review! Now I want one! ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Gentian Osman 9 November 2014 / 3:39 AM

    Great review! I really love this paper. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  39. Lori 9 November 2014 / 2:44 AM

    I’d love to try these!

  40. Olli Massala 9 November 2014 / 2:43 AM

    Those look absolutely great, love the light grid!

  41. Angela Watson 9 November 2014 / 2:34 AM

    I love me some fountain pen paper! : )

I would love to hear your thoughts!