Do you ever have one of those days where it just seems like all you want is a Coke? Like, the world is offering you Pepsi, Sprite, Dr Pepper, fucking Safeway Select, there are a ton of options...but all you want is a Coke...now maybe the soda analogy is too abstract, but the larger point I'm trying to make is that while its great to have options, sometimes you just want something straightforward, that you know is going to perform just as good on the 100th time you use it, as it did on the first...an old standby, if you will. Well, if no-frills performance is what youre after, it seems like the good folks over at Bearden Beard Co have you covered. With a handful of options in tastefully curated scents, this is a company that focuses on giving you products that just plain work. Their vanilla beard balm was a testament to their ability to offer a product that does its job well without offering any sort of challenge. This oil of theirs promises to be another no-frills offering for those who need a something that just plain works. Will it leave me as impressed as their balm? Only one way to find out...let's give it a try...
It's easy to fool yourself into thinking that all "cologne type" scents fall into the same camp; sorta fresh, sorta woodsy, very "manly", very forgetable...but if you're a regular reader of this site, you know that such is definitely not the case. I may not be a fan of the "cologne type" designation (because as I've asked countless times, what does it even mean?), but damned if this doesn't fall into that category that makes you think of classic cologne scents. Rugged and masculine, this scent opens with a fresh, green smack of juniper, piney and camphoraceous, it instantly draws a mental picture of strolling down a quiet avenue lined with thick green shrubs on a lazy afternoon. This builds to a crescendo of shredded redwood bark tempered brilliantly by a measured flourish of lavender that adds a beautiful relaxing quality and contributes to the overall "chill" feel of this product. An outdoorsy, "rugged" red cedar note emerges as the day rolls on, lending an authoratative and decidedly "old school" appeal. What this scent lacks in complexity, it more than makes up for in sheer charm, and perhaps that plays into the overall "it just plain works" ethos of this product. Strength is a solid medium, and staying power if fantastic, lasting all day long on a single application.
How does it work?
A wonderfully viscous oil, this stuff means business. Getting deep into my beard, and combing through easily, absorption is fantastic. The carrier blend was definitely designed to be no-nonsense therapy for whatever beard it comes in contact with. Bursting at the seams with beneficial ingredients, not the least of which is avocado and two different types of hemp seed oils, this stuff delivers elite levels of conditioning without leaving a trace of greasy or sticky residue. Moisturizing properties are outstandsing, thanks in no small part to black seed oil. For those unfamiliar, black seed oil is produced from the seeds (care to guess what color they are?) of the Nigella Sativa plant (a flowering plant native to the Middle East) this stuff does it all, its anti-inflammatory properties are ideal to increase circulation to your skin, thus promoting healthy beard growth, its occlusive properties help lock moisture into your beard, keeping it feeling silky soft all day long...and the high amounts of thymoquinone are speculated to have cancer-fighting powers (of course it goes without saying that there isn't a beard oil in the world that will prevent cancer, so don't go making any ridiculous assumptions). Finishing properties are also very good as this oil imparts a great shine to my beard. Staying power is excellent, although I did notice that after particularly strenuous activity, a reapplication may be in order.
The bottom line.
It's quite obvious that as somebody who tries different products and then writes about them, I enjoy a bit of a challenge and complexity when it comes to my beard care products...but thats not to say that I don't also see the value in an oil like this, something that offers a very straightforward experience. Everything about this product screams practicality, from the scent that just about everybody will find agreeable, all the way to the larger two-ounce format so that you won't need to be bothered with re-ordering as often. This is a product for guys who want effective beard care without any of the pomp and circumstance that can sometimes come along with it. From a value standpoint, it's pretty difficult to argue with the aforementioned large format bottle which sports a similar price tag to a great many products half its size. While not the most destinctive oil you can buy, this product does still possess a modicum of uniqueness in just how honest it really is.
Ingredients: Apricot Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Black Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Hibiscus powder (infusion), and Fragrance
$25 at beardenbeardco.com
~The oil sampled for this review was provided by Bearden Beard Co. (essential oil blend).