With new beard-care brands popping up on a daily basis, it's definitely in a company's best interest to continue to innovate. No company seems to do more to set themselves apart from the pack than Anointed AK. Hand crafted in small batches along the banks of the majestic Eagle River in Alaska, Anointed AK oils are offered in a rotating suite of scents that ranges from somewhat traditional, to fun and exotic, to downright weird (Mountain Dew scented beard oil, anyone?). With a strict emphasis on quality ingredients, this company continues to innovate on a regular basis, constantly expanding on their library of outside-the-box scents. As an introduction to this brand I decided to go with one of their limited collaborations. I could tell you that I chose it because it seemed like the perfect balance of adventurous and restrained, I could tell you that I have been enjoying the hell out of cologne type scents these days and that's why I picked it, I could tell you whatever, but the truth is it was being sold in a bundle with another scent that I wanted to try at a price that was just too good to pass up. So let's give this stuff a whirl and see if I made the right choice by grabbing this one first instead of the other one which I'll be reviewing a few days down the road here...
Said to be inspired by Creed's Green Irish Tweed, I was definitely curious to see what this stuff was all about. Now, I must confess that I'm not the world's biggest fan of Green Irish Tweed, or even Creed in general...I mean, okay, they make some of the most iconic scents in the game, and I definitely have owned multiple bottles of both Silver Mountain Water and Aventus in the past, and will probably own more in the future too...but I'm a Bond No. 9 guy at the end of the day, and when I'm in the market for a scent that sports a heftier price tag, I will gravitate towards the Bond counter 9 times out of 10...but I'm getting way off track here. For those who have never smelled it, Green Irish Tweed is sort of like, well, it's what you'd imagine Bernard Lee's version of M's office from James Bond movies smells like; sort of damp and musky with a very high quality, albeit un exciting amber and spice...There's nothing wrong with it, but it's traditional in every sense of the word, and even though I'm an old guy, I still prefer a bit of edge to my scents. Upon initially opening this oil, I got a good amount of that Green Irish Tweed fragrance, which wasnt necessarily a turn off, but led me to believe that there wouldnt be a whole lot to process here...boy was I wrong. There's definitely that opening of sandalwood and floral notes wrapped around a muskiness that goes right up to the edge of "too much" before perfectly reeling it in, but where Green Irish tweed dries down into this stodgy spice reminiscent of grandpa's shave lotion, this stuff gains a different focus, there's a sort of wintery nutmeg/cinnamon/ginger that holds the door for a juicy sweet flower blended with a sort of candy-like component that reminds me of Chowards violet gum, all the while pulsing beats of some sticky candied citrus rattle off on the background, creating a baseline that makes this oil a great partner for brighter, more carefree balms (I find that when paired with The Grower by Barbu, which I reviewed yesterday, the two create something that resembles another old school cologne which I absolutely love; Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermès). Lemon Verbena and a green herbaceous note add a perfect level of sportiness in the high note. Strength is just the perfect amount of medium-plus, and staying power is phenominal, continually evolving thoughout the course of a day.
How does it work?
Fairly lightweight, but by no means lacking in viscosity, I find that this oil does its job, but doesn't necessarily feel like it's penetrating as deeply as others. Conditioning properties are sufficient, but it still just feels like an oil (if that makes any sense), my beard doesn't really feel thicker or stronger after applying this stuff. It does impart a fantactic shine that lends a brilliant finished look, and keeps any itch in check all day long, but I just dont get that "aaaaah" quality from it that I get from some other oils. I can't find any reason to criticize this product, but at the same time, I cant find any reason to gush over it from a performance standpoint either. I mean, It's fine. No other words for it...it's fine. Staying power is good (I wore it to an outdoor even the other night and at no point felt like I needed a touchup after being subjected to the dry night air of the desert). I hate to sound like I'm being down on this product, when in actuality, it is a perfectly good oil for every day use, but I can't help but think that if it made my beard and face feel just a bit more nourished, it could go from being a very good product to a very great one.
The Bottom Line
I like this stuff, and would easily recommend it to any fan of "cologne type" scented beard care products. I'm certainly glad that I grabbed this product, and definitely plan on using it regularly. From a scent standpoint, I actually find it exponentially more exciting than the cologne that inspired it...from a performance standpoint, I enjoy what it has to offer, I just wish that I had a reason to really be excited by it. Either way, considering the competitve nature of Anointed AK's pricing, and the brilliant variety of envelope-pushing scents they offer, I can guarantee that this isn't the last product in their lineup that I will be adding to my collection (I mean, I did purchase a value pack after all, so there will be more reviews in the future). If you've been checking out this brand but haven't pulled the trigger yet, do it...you will definitely be glad that you did.
Ingredients: Golden Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils & Fragrance Oil.
$18 at anointedak.com