Ruddy Man is a brand that I only just recently tried for the first time a few months ago...their Moscow Morning and Corner Pocket scents let me know, right off the bat, that this is a company who is darn serious about crafting some outstanding scents. Their Ringside scent is one that had me interested right from the get-go. For my entire life, I've been a big time boxing fan, and even though the sweet science has lost much mainstream appeal over the years, I still find that a good boxing match is tough to top. Hell, I mean, it's literally the only sport where you can watch a replay of a match that already happened, and enjoy it, even knowing the outcome in advance, perhaps even more-so because you can anticipate certain big moments, and dissect them much more than you would be able to watching the fight live. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy MMA too, but there's just something so much more thrilling about Boxing...I was at the SAP Center (known then as the HP Pavilion) in San Jose for UFC 139, and got to witness the Shogun Vs Hendo match with my own eyes (honestly probably the fight that turned me into a full-on UFC fan), and I can say, without a doubt, that I still didn't feel the same levels of excitement as I did watching the first Ward Vs Gatti fight on television (and still do whenever I see a replay). I could go on and on about why boxing is such an under-appreciated sport these days, and how there are still good, and exciting fighters to watch, but let's circle back around to the product, since that's what you're here for, yes? When I saw that Ruddy Man was offering a boxing themed scent, I just knew I had to try it, I'd also been wanting to try their Ruddy Whips for a while, so I suppose it only stands to reason that I pick this very product up. I'd say something really groan inducing about "will this be a knockout?"...but, I can only go to that well so often, and still be able to look myself in the mirror...so let's just give this stuff a try and see what we're dealing with here...
So what is a boxing scent? A pair of old school leather gloves, soaked with sweat and blood? A dirty canvas? Maybe the smell of concessions and adrenalyne when you first walk into whatever venue you're going to see a fight at? Or is it more a snapshot of a bygone era when legends like Joe Louis and Jack Dempsey still walked among the mere mortals, and beat the living tar out of anybody who had the nerve to step into the squared-circle with them? Well, this particular product seems to do a great job of drawing up images of objects, places, and eras all at once. A dark leathery presence emerges center stage, not sweet enough to be suede, not quite elegant enough to be top-grain shoe leather, it could just be the power of suggestion, but it reminds me of a big, twelve ounce boxing glove, unsullied by the funk of sweaty bodies and bloody faces, its slick black surface still prestine and unmarked. This is given incredible life by fresh, green vetiver that eschews its typical "cologne-like" nature and blooms into a magnificently grassy, almost primal presence that wraps itself around the leather glove to create such a brilliantly vivid snapshot of sunlight filtered through the dirty windows of a dusty old boxing gym frozen in time. Brilliant slashes of freshly split cedar logs, camphoraceous and fresh, still sticky with sap further intensify the masculine, "old-shool" feel of this scent, adding depth and character. While woody tobacco, almost gourmand, with whispers of spicy cinnamon and cocoa, reads like ceremonial incense burning at some glorious altar as a tribute to the once mighty ghost of pugilism's heyday. A scent that doesn't quite fit into any one box; I wouldn't call it leathery, I wouldn't call it woody, and yet, reads as something so familiar and comfortable, so elegant, and packed with so much nostalgia, that it borders on spiritual. Business as usual for Ruddy Man, another multi-dimentional masterpiece that might just be my favorite effort to date from this company. Strength is medium plus, and staying power is phenominal, still noticable for a solid 8-10 hours after application.
How Does it Work?
So in case you haven't figured it out yet, Ruddy Whips are whipped butters...and holy smokes, this is some incredible whipped butter. Light as a feather, it can be a bit decieving at first (a tiny bit goes a long way). Now if your beard is anything like mine, it tends to just drink up product, where most guys get away with using three or four drops or oil, I usually need to use at least a whole dropper full, where most guys can get away with using a pea sized amount of butter, I usually find myself needing about 3 or 4 times that much...such is not the case with this product. The first time I used it, I took a generous scoop about the size of my fingertip out (about as much as I normally use), and found it to be entirely too much of this product, it weighed my beard down, wouldnt fully absorb, just felt heavy and sort of greasy, all-around...subsequent times using this stuff, I've used less and less, until today, I used a tiny little dot, about the size of a popcorn kernel (weird size comparison, I know, but that was the first thing that popped in my head, so we'll just roll with it). This stuff melts down to a rich, almost velvety consistency that does an incredible job of just getting down to business, finding its way deep down into my beard and all the way to my face, delivering tremendous hydration and protection, thanks to the high shea content of this product. Conditioning is also very good, leaving my beard feeling soft and strong...but the occlusive properties of this stuff are where it really shines, sealing in whatever oil I pair it with (It's especially effective at locking in that "shower-fresh" feeling on days I towel dry my beard and skip the blowdryer). Finishing properties are so good that I was shocked to read the ingredients list and not find any argan in this formulation, because it definitely imparts an argan-like shine. Staying power is good, not necessarily the most heavy duty butter, and it certainly doesn't offer much hold, but it does seem to hang around most of the day, delivering that great in-beard feel for hours.
The Bottom Line
While its popularity may have waned in recent years, boxing isn't going anywhere, there is still a fan base who as just as passionate as they've always been, and if you stand to be counted among them, then this is a product that you need to incorporate into your repertoire. But, perhaps boxing isn't your thing...well, as long as beard products that smell incredible and offer elite levels of performance are your thing, then you still need to pick this stuff up. Ruddy Man is one of those brands that just seems to "get it", with a catalogue full of quality products offered in distinct, multi-layered scents, every single offering I try only serves to turn me into a bigger fan of everything they do...and after trying this amazing butter, you'll be a huge fan too!
Ingredients: Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Essential Oils and Fragrant Oils
$25 at ruddymangrooming.com