As I add more, and more beard care products to my arsenal, I find myself asking the same question over, and over again; are all beard oils really created equal? I mean, it seems that there is a fair amount of overlap in carrier oils and fragrance profiles...with the exception of a few outliers here and there (Bossman Brand Beard Jelly is one that comes to mind right away), you know you're going to get a nourishing blend of oils that make your face and beard feel good, while keeping itch and dandruff away. While this may all be true, I think any beardsman worth the hairs on his chin knows that there are definitely marked differences in quality when it comes to ingredients, blends, and overall performance. That quality is something that Brooklyn Grooming stakes its reputation on, they have been pioneers in the all natural/organic grooming category for nearly a decade now, and their handcrafted products have earned them countless fans worldwide. Will their beard oil be able to set itself apart from all of the others out there, or will this be just be another oil that blends in with the pack? Let's check it out and see...
So, I've used this oil a couple times this past week, and I still can't quite nail down exactly what it is that I'm smelling. The Brooklyn Grooming website describes Williamsburg as a blend of cedar, ho wood, and ylang ylang...and each individual component is recognizable when you pause to really sniff them out...but together, they combine to create something greater than the sum of the individual parts...an earthy, dusty, essence combines with a mellow, dewy "green", and just a hint of something spicy/exotic. It's a very erudite, distinguished aroma, part nature hike, and part old books, with a fresh breath of clean evening air on your first night of vacation. In short, it smells awesome! Strength is on the medium-minus side, it's subtle, but I suppose that plays into the charm of this particular product, if you need a scent that will get you noticed from across the room, this isn't the one youre looking for, however, if you're looking for something that will leave just the slightest essence of refined elegance in your sillage, then look no further. Staying power is tragically short, and really the only place that I really can find fault with this particular scent, it wont hang around much more than an hour or so after you apply it.
How does it work?
This is where the rubber really meets the road when it comes to the quality conversation. Work a bit of this viscous oil through your beard, and you'll instantly feel a difference from what you've grown used to. There seems to be a generous portion of hempseed oil in this product, as it imparts a noticable "plumpness" and strength to each individual beard hair. The ho wood oil is known to help your skin slough off dead cells, leaving your best feeling face under your soft mane, and the unrefined sesame oil is great for circulation (so much so, that I notice a faint "warming" sensation that is extremely pleasant after combing this product through my beard). Conditioning is incredible, and staying power is great, as your beard feels downright luxurious for hours (I find that it never really requires reapplication, but I haven't worn it while doing anything too strenuous or while spending a lot of time outside in the heat, so I can't say for sure, that when exposed to more harsh conditions, that it wouldnt require a touch up here and there). The quality argan oil in this product also imparts a great shine giving your beard a really nice "finished" look that seems to last all day as well. The feel is never oily or greazy, it seems to absorb perfectly into your beard an face.
The Bottom Line
This product really leans heavily on the curative properties of beard oil, while some oils are strictly a styling product (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that), this feels like something designed for all around beard health first and foremost. I was actually surprised to see on Brooklyn Grooming's website that they have stopped selling this product strictly as a beard oil, and are now re-labeling it as an all around "grooming oil". It makes sense, as this seems like it would make an awesome face serum or pre shave oil, they even suggest emulsifying a bit of it with warm water to make a facial cleanser (I havent tried this yet, but I can imagine it would be super refreshing). If you're looking for an example of what a truly great beard oil should be, look no further...I cannot recommend this product highly enough!
Ingredients: Cannabis Sativa (Hempseed) Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil Argania Spinsosa (Argan) Oil, Essential Oils of Cedrus Deodara (Cedarwood), Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang), and Cinnamomum Camphora (Ho Wood). Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, and (Tocopherol) Vitamin E.
$29 at brooklyngrooming.com