Rhodia Heritage A5 Notebook Review

by Eddy Hope
Rhodia Heritage A5 Notebook - Initial Thoughts

"Wow, this is different!" was my exact first thought when my eyes were exposed to this little beauty. The cover was really eye-catching and then I felt this strange texture on the side... Is this the spine? What is this sorcery?! Rhodia describes it as RAW and it certainly is. And it feels much more sturdy than it looks, it's seriously solid.

Clearly the stand out feature of this notebook is its striking looks. That RAW spine looks spectacular, it's like the cover from an old hardback novel has been ripped off leaving the spine naked and exposed. I love it!



Rhodia Heritage A5 Notebook Specs:

  • Cover: 300GSM Card Cover - watercolor cold pressed 140lb cover paper of which 3 designs are available... Chevrons (featured item), Moucheture, Escher, Quadrille and Tartan
  • Paper ruling: Lined or Grid
  • Paper weight: Papier Clairefontaine 90g Vellum Ivory paper/ 90GSM
  • Open flat: Big Fat YES
  • Binding: RAW! (Looks fantastic)
  • Pages: 80 sheets numbered
  • Sizes and Dimensions: 14.8 x 21 cm
  • Bookmark Ribbon: No
  • Perforated pages: No
  • Inner Back Pocket: No
  • Price: £7.50


Rhodia Heritage A5 Notebook: Design

I think a lot of credit needs to be given to the guys over at Rhodia who designed this notebook. Its contemporary looks aren't tied down to one specific style – it’s of the moment and borrows bits and pieces from a variety of styles and eras. The cover of this review item is a tribute to the master of optical illusion himself - Escher.

The cover is beautiful and really draws you in, then the spine makes you pay attention. I'm not too sure how others feel about the spine, feel free to share your thoughts on the socials but I think it's stunning.



Rhodia Heritage A5 Notebook: Performance

"Rhodia paper is renowned for its quality and offers a superb writing experience for any type of writing instrument."

So I see! The paper feels extremely smooth to write on. There actually seems to be a nice amount of 'tooth' on the page. Pencils glide across the surface but there's definitely enough bite there to keep your stroke under control.

Same goes for pens, very smooth writing experience and seems to allow for quick ink drying. So if you're a fountain pen user searching for the perfect paper... this could be it. (Here's a great guide from JetPens on Rhodia paper and the company as a whole)

This paper has a rock solid reputation for quality paper performance so I'm really eager to see how it fares under some inking so lets get straight to it...

As you can see the paper lives up to the hype and its reputation. The fountain pen I have used is the Lamy Joy and as you can see, there is little to no ghosting of any sort, even from the PointVisco which is a particularly inky pen. This paper is unreal.


It looks like it wouldn't hold up well in a fight thanks to its strange 'unfinished' looking spine but I've been using this notebook for about a week as a note taker when I meet with clients. It basically lives on my desk then gets thrown into my man-bag so admittedly it doesn't get too much of a rough ride but this thing is a tank. It feels strong, light and well built.

Does it lay flat?

YES! Oh my goodness yes it does lay flat. Better than any notebook I've come across so far. And it doesn't even matter which page you are on either. Usually I find notebooks which claim to lay flat tend to do so the closer to the middle of the book as it has the weight and balance provided by the other pages. This thing, no worries. From the first to the last page, it will lay flat and it feels incredible.

And it's all down to this amazing RAW spine I keep banging on about. It's seriously a breath of fresh air not having a page randomly pop up when you try to write on it and having to apply weight to keep it down.  It's awesome, look...


Heritage Rhodia A5 Notepad: Pros / Cons


  • Gorgeous neo-retro contemporary design
  • RAW spine looks and performs like a dream
  • Quality Rhodia paper
  • Superior build quality
  • Numbered pages
  • The puzzled look you get from strangers when you whip it out in public - the notebook. Get your mind out of the gutter!


  • Errmmm...


Final thoughts...

This Limited Edition beauty is by far one of the best A5 notebooks I've had the pleasure to use so far. Anyone who appreciates or uses notebooks sees you pulling this thing out, no doubt they will stop and stare. It's a great conversation starter.

It looks amazing, it feels amazing and the paper quality is out of this world. Extremely fountain pen friendly.

Side Note* The A5 size is perfect for use as a Bullet Journal. It has 6 contents pages, surely that's more than enough for whatever organisational system you use followed up with 152 numbered pages.

Where can I get the Rhodia Heritage Notebook? I hear you ask. Why Nero's Notes of course :-) pick one up here.