Ruddy Man Grooming's Moscow Morning Oil, which I first tried a few weeks ago, has quickly become one of my favorite scents this season, so it only stands to reason that I need to check out some other offerings from this company. After peruisng their website, one thing becomes incredibly obvious about this company...they don't do basic scents...they really seem to take pride in pushing the olfactory envelope, which is, of course, awesome, but can also make it difficult to settle on just one product at a time to try. After reading the descriptions for scent after scent, each more enticing than the last, I finally settled on the next Ruddy Man creation that I needed to try. Created as an omage to old school billiard-halls from a bygone era, their Corner Pocket scent immediately caught my attention, not only as a fun product to review, but also something that I may want to add to my regular rotation. So will it be another instant hit like Moscow Morning? Or will I need to go back to the Ruddy Man catalogue to try and find something else? Let's give it a try and find out?
I havent set foot in a pool-hall in probably a decade, and maybe my pool-hall experience was different than others, but I remember three very different places that I would frequent depending upon which circle of friends I happened to be hanging around with that day...one was this weird sort of neon and stainless steel monstrosity where upwardly mobile young professionals would congregate to show off how impressed they were with themselves while, without the slightest hint of irony, sipping on dollar beers...another was this dark cavernous, thunderdome, where droning punk rock filled the air almost as thickly as stale cigarette smoke and the omninous feeling that a fight could break out at any second (that place was the most fun)...the last was this kind of modern spot completely devoid of personality (like if you could imagine a chain restaurant concept applied to pool-halls), just rows and rows of coin-op tables, a bar that never had an interesting beer on tap and exactly three whiskey choices (Jack, Crown, and some plastic bottle rotgut which pretty much guaranteed that at one point or another, you'd need to babysit that one friend who liked to order "whatever's cheap"), and a very random playlist of music that ranged from hip-hop to country, with no rhyme or reason to any of it...these places were all as different as can be, but one thing is for certain, when you walked into any of them and took a deep breath, you didn't think to yourself "hmmmm...I'd like to smell like this". With that being said, there is definitely something familiar and almost nostalgic about this scent, it doenst draw up mental images of leaning over a Brunswick table in a dimly lit bar or anything, but at the same time, it is a scent that makes me think of the days when I spent a little more time in such places.
A floral, sort of incensy accord provides instant appeal. A toasty, almost charred whiskey barrel note breaks sharply from the initial chord and provides a hint of power, but quickly calms down to something much more charming as is eases back into that sweet heady incense, which seems to solidify into a core of something pleasantly astringent with an edge of fruitiness like a dried currant black tea (again, I'm finding tea notes in a Ruddy Man product...go figure), before making the softest landing on a bed of relaxing, creamy vanilla and something that I kind of want to say reminds me of charcoal (but I wouldnt swear to it). There is a brilliant old-school feel that I get from this scent, almost reminiscent of one of the many magical potions a barber has parked along the mirror ledge in his station, but with a sophisticated edge that borders on dark and dramatic, in the most wonderful way. Strength is juuuuust shy of medium-plus, but stilly plenty strong. Staying power is fantastic as this scent not only lasts all day, but continues to open up and evolve as the day goes on, like a fine wine.
How does it work?
I kind of feel like my review of Moscow Morning read as a bit negative when it came to performance, and I certainly don't want people to think that I didn't like it, because it performs really well...but...The same issue (if you can really even all it that) I had with that product is what I have with this one; this is a very good oil, but I just feel like it's missing that little bit of "somehting" to take it to an entirely different level of performance...maybe a bit of hemp oil? maybe avocado? I'm not quite sure, and I damn sure am not going to complain about the way this stuff works, because it conditions like a dream, leaving my beard and face feeling incredibly healthy and nourished. Occlusive properties are off the charts (I used this stuff after conditioning with my all time favorite conditioner by Detroit Grooming, and let me tell you, those two provided a one-two punch that had my beard feeling smooth as silk all day long), and it does a great job of keeping my face hydrated. Maybe I'm just being selfish, but I keep going back to thinking that an oil which smells this amazing could easily go from being very good, to being legendary with just the slightest little boost from an ultra high performing component in the carrier blend. Either way, this stuff still works incredibly well, imparting a wonderful finished look in the form of a great shine, without even the slightest trace of greasiness, and lasts all day long on a single application, able to stand up to the chilly winter weather with ease. Definitely a qulity oil from a performance standpoint.
The bottom line
After trying only two of their oils, I can say without a doubt that I am a fan of Ruddy Man Grooming. With an absolutely amazing scent that is versatile enough to be worn out shooting pool at the local bucket-of-blood where your buddy's band is performing, or playing nine-ball like a true gentleman, at a classy function hosted by your rich friend with the palatial home, this stuff is never out of place. Performance is on par with many quality oils out there. From a value standpoint, this product treads into the pricier end of the pool, but it appears to currently be on sale (plus Ruddy Man has been hinting at offering some Black Friday deals), so now is the perfect time to add this product to your collection, trust me, after you use it just once, you'll be glad you picked it up!
Ingredients: Fractionated Coconut Oil, Golden Jojoba Oil, Moroccan Argan Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Essential and Fragrance Oils
$24 at ruddymangrooming.com