When you order from a company like Luxurious Bastard, you know exactly what you're going to get...but what about those times when you don't know what you're going to get? Now, don't get me wrong, I can assure you that anything you pick up with that familiar brown paper label featuring the bearded skull with a pipe clenched between his teeth and a bowler hat, is going to be something that more closely resembles a luxurious spa day for your beard, than your, average run of the mill beard-care products. The beard butter offerings friom Luxurious Bastard are surrounded by all the lure and mystique of a high quality product that is rarely available for purchase (although they appear to be dropping more frequently lately), and as such, they seem to be snapped up quickly by fans of quality beard-care products everywhere. I've been wanting to get my hands on some of this stuff for a while now, so you can imagine how excited I was a few weeks back when it was announced that Mr Lux's latest collab with Dan C would include a butter...one of the most awesome beard care brands, working with one of the flat out best beard-care YouTubers in the game, and releasing the butter I've been wanting to try for quite a while? It would appear that the stars had lined up...there's just one last thing to consider...how does it compare? Not just to other butters out there, but to the high standard set by other Luxurious Bastard products...well, there's really only one way to find out...let's give it a try!
I'm sure somewhere in the lexicon of the most well versed professionals of beard-care and fragrance, there is a name for a scent that smells so very different resting in the package than it does on the body...I mean we've all experienced it before; you buy a cologne in the store because it smells amazing sprayed on that little piece of cardstock they give you for sampling, but as soon as you try it on, you feel like jumping right back in the shower to wash the funk off of you...or maybe it smells even better than you thought. Either way, it just doesn't smell the same in the bottle as it does on your skin. Every now and then you'll experience this phenomenon in beard care too, but never before have I experienced a product where the difference is so drastic. When the package containing this stuff arrived, I couldn't wait to twist the top off that silver tin and get a big whiff of the stuff inside (I know I'm not the only one who gets super excited to smell a new product as soon as they rip the beard-mail package open), what I got was pleasant, although a bit unusual; a rich gourmand vanilla, creamy and sweet, with an almost fatty edge that reminded me of coconut without actually smelling like coconut (if that makes any sense)...but there was something else, something familiar, something also gourmand, creamy and fatty, I had to do a double take and smell it again, but sure enough, I picked up a hint of...well...butter, real, honest-to-goodness, top quality butter, the kind you might find in the special grocery stores, delivered fresh from a nearby dairy. Now, don't get me wrong, I love butter (judging by how snugly my jeans have been fitting lately, probably a little too much), but I just wasn't sure of having my beard smelling like a pat of the creamy white stuff melting on top of a slice of freshly baked bread. So I tucked the tin away onto a shelf in the closet where I keep all of my beard-care products, waiting for a day that I wasn't planning on doing too much, to give it a try (I mean, I laugh at myself quite a bit...but a chubby, middle-aged dude running around in public smelling like butter? That's a punchline waiting to happen, right there). Now once I finally did pick a day to wear this stuff, I was kicking myself, because I should know better than to doubt the scent-blending abilities of one Mr Lux, especially with Dan and Sam C working in collaboration, I mean, those are some spohisticated noses right there, and there's no way that this scent wasnt going to be awesome...Melting this stuff between my hands was like being handed a key to unlock a door to a magical castle...
Long gone were any images of fresh butter drizzling over popcorn, instead a rich, beautiful dreamscape of a perfume emerged in its place. Built on a solid foundation of of Tahitian vanilla (If you've ever been lucky enough to smell a big pile of vanilla beans, you'd know that there is something so much more rich, and decadent about vanilla in this form, it's something that you don't get from extracts, no matter how high quality...and smelling just one pod doesn't give you the same concentration...no this is a big, enigmatic, beguiling vanilla blast that only comes from pounds and pounds of those valuable aromatic pods accumulating in one place), this scent stands like an ethereal monolith out of an epicurian's dream. Subtly sweet, vinilyc, and creamy, a relaxing cloud envelops the senses before a tide of fresh ginger, warm and spicy, sweeps you away. Faceted with eastern notes of spice, and a bright, tartness so mouthwateringly accurate, you'll swear you can taste the freshly minced root dancing on your tongue as it tickles your sinuses. Riding the edge of this accord with a razor sharp accuracy that declares its presence without insisting upon itself, is a plush, floral note that reminds me of tuberose; bright and complex with hints of juicy berries, pepper, and dust colliding explosively with honey and incense to create a brilliant sunshine-y vibe that adds the perfect amount of breathtaking contrast to this overall fragrance. Strength hovers right in between medium and medium plus, and staying power is phenominal, detectable and pleasant all day long.
How does it work?
Obviously Luxurious Bastard is a brand that knows all about top notch performance, and this butter only serves to further affirm that. Now, I try not to go to the same well too many times when it comes to my references, and as I sit here, staring into the open tin at the once prestine ivory colored surface of this product now marred by several finger dips, trying to think of an everyday item to compare the texture of this stuff to, only one thing comes to mind, but since I've already mentioned it when describing the scent, I feel that it's a cop out to bring it up agian, but, eff it, when you have the perfect comparison, use it...butter...this stuff is the consistency of butter that has been left out on the counter for a few hours. Everything about its apperance says "solid" but as soon as you touch it, its solidity becomes more and more questionable. Melting rapidly with the assistance of nothing more than my own body heat, this product quickly transforms into a silky smooth consistency that works into my beard easily and allows for a brilliant comb through where it seems to instantly impart a healthy, softness. In-beard feel is so feathery light, that it's almost difficult to believe that I am wearing any beard butter at all. Just about all of the top-notch carriers see some representation on the ingredients list of this product; Avocado, hemp seed, hazelnut, apricot, and castor oils all put in some serious work in having my beard feeling healthy and conditioned, while also keeping my skin refreshed and moisturized (we don't say "hydrated" any more). Hold falls somewhere on the spectrum between extremely light and non-existant...on days where I don't subject my beard to the blowdryer, and rock a natural curl, I find that this stuff does less than most butters to curtail the whole "former MLB relief pitcher, and disappointing Ned Colletti pickup, Brian Wilson, on a three day bender" look that I end up sporting after any activity that may ruffle my beard (like popping a hoodie on and off, for example), this is most likely due to the lack of wax in this product, and isn't necessarily a flaw, as this butter was clearly designed with nourishment and in-beard feel as the main priorities over styling (I just rember to bring a comb with me if I need to step out for a moment). Finishing properties of this product are incredible, leaving a wonderful shimmer on my beard that has it looking as incredibly healthy as it feels (especially on days when I don't skip the blowdryer)! Staying power is incredidible for a butter with such a lightweight feel, with a single application in the morning having my beard and face feeling their absolute best, well into the evening. Truly a "next level" type of butter!
The bottom line
So even though this is my first time trying a Luxurious Bastard butter, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect, I had a feeling the experience would be an epic one, and I definitely was not let down. With an ultra-high quality scent that seems to grow and evolve throughout the day, and a level of performance that not only lived up to, but shattered, the lofty expectations I had already set in my mind, this stuff checks all the boxes when it comes to a great beard butter. Unfortunately, like so many special edition products rolled out by Mr Lux, this product is currently unavailable on the Luxurious Bastard website...but at the time of writing this review, it looks like he still has some balms in this scent available, so if you want to experience an all around awesome fragrance in a good quality balm (you know I still highly recommend those Luxurious balms too), then head on over and grab some of this stuff...because who knows when (and if) the opportunity to pick up the Trusted Bastard in any of its permutations will present itself again?
Ingredients: Shea butter, almond oil, avocado oil, rice bran oil, hazelnut oil, hemp seed oil, apricot oil, castor oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, vitamin e, essential oils
$17.50 at luxuriousbastardco.com