People speak of going "back to basics" constantly, as far back as I can remember it has been a rallying cry to eliminate the surperfluous and embrace the best parts of unfussiness. Today we are going to have a look at a scent that does just that. It would seem as though when it comes to the world of beard care, the current dictum is that more is better...now, I'm not going to disagree with this assertion, as I find that the current trend to pack as many different scents as possible into a product while still keeping a harmonious fragrance has yielded some really exciting results...but there's really something to be said about taking one note, and experessing it very well. After trying the Musk scented beard oil by Sircar Grooming, we quickly learned that this is a company who is capable of making one note resonate on frequencies that others wished to acchieve with an entire symphony of fragrances. Presenting a single note in such a brilliantly expressive way that it read as something so much more (plus we also learned that the performance of Sircar oils is anything but basic). So now it's time to examine the Amber offering from this company...have they once again managed to elevate one single note to such a brilliant level that it can go toe to toe with any multi-note accord? Let's give it a try and find out.
What exactly is "amber"? Well, aside from being the color of your energy (If that didn.t land with you, don't worry...it's a terrible dad joke for guys of a certain age who probably smoked way too much pot when they were younger, and still have the concert ticket stubs to prove it, tucked away in the bottom of some box in the garage), amber is one of the most popular notes of all time in perfumerly, truly it is in a class all by it's self...but what is it?
The answer is a bit tricky...so there are a couple different families of scents that go by the name amber...the first being the resinous, crystalized sap of certain species of trees, this is the oldest application of amber. Appreciated throughout ancient times, and across many cultures, this stuff has been burned as a sort of incense, it is also alcohol-soluable, and breaks down into a fragrant oil which has been used as a sort of perfume for centuries. The next most typical note that we commonly refer to as "amber" is from something called ambergris, now this was actually the first permutation of amber to be used in perfumery, and what it is, is basically a waxy substance that sperm whales produce in their intestines; you see, the whale eats squid, and is unable to digest the beak, so it creates a mass of this stuff with the help of some sort of whale biology that I am far from qualified to speak on, long story short, the whale throws this stuff up and it washes ashore...at some point in history, somebody thought it would be a good idea to make perfume out of this thing they found on the beach...and sure enough, it was. Now-a-days, with sperm whales being an endangered species, and people not wanting to scent themselves with what is essentially the puke of a marine mammal, modern perfumery has turned to new means of creating amber scents. This brings us to our third scent that goes by the name amber, a product made from labdanum (a sticky resin obtained from certain specific varieties of rockrose), there are other plant based ambers that can be derived from anything including sugar cane, vanilla, and all sorts of synthetics. What all three of these have in common is that they all produce a scent that is warm, sweet, and musky...and that is definitely what you get with this product.
I don't know exactly where Sircar is sourcing the essential oils they use in their fragrances, but this is without a doubt one of the most high quality ambers I've smelled in quite a while. A whole world of warm, intense amber gracefully unfolds in just a few drops of this fantastic oil. Rich, resinous labdanum breathes a heady, energy that is at once dark and mysterious, but also floral and inviting. While angular little sugar crystals sink deeply to the bottom of a swirling green, thorny essence that draws up mental images of freshly cut flowers in a magnificent lead crystal vase, parked on the dining room table. An unexpected spicy note playfully flutters back and forth in a gorgeous dance with a natural honey that typifies the best ambers. The entire thing is accentuated brilliantly by a stout earthiness tinted by just the slightest hint of burning cinnamon stick. It's truly unbelievable that a single note can tell such a story, but this is what a quality amber is capable of. Strength is just the slightest, polite whisper above medium, and longevity is an all day affair, as this scent continues to evolve and ooze amber allure over the course of the entire afternoon, and well into the evening hours.
How does it work?
Just as with their Musk scented oil, Sircar has managed to achieve a level of performance commensurate with the incredible scent of this product. I'm particularly impressed with the rapid absorption of the carrier blend, delivering instant hydration to my face, and imparting a brilliant one-two punch of silky smoothness as well as healthy strength to my beard. The overall experience is luxurious, leaving both my beard and face feeling touchably soft without even the slightest hint of greainess. In-beard feel is fantastic, light as a feather, the only way I would even know that I have beard oil in my beard is by how incredibly conditioned it feels all day long. The outstanding results acchieved by this oil are ttue indicators of a top1quality all-natural product. Finishing properties are outstanding, imparting a wonderful thickness and a brilliant shimmer that has my beard looking its absolute best (making this the ideal oil for a night out, or any time you just need that extra little confidence boost that comes from knowing your beard looks even more incredible than usual). Staying power is also outstanding, as a single application of this oil lasts all day long, no matter what my day might throw at it.
The bottom line
I don't know if this was done intentionally or not, but I notice that on the label of this product, right below the name of the brand, is a row of five little stars, as I sit here and type this, I cannot help but think of how appropriate this little touch to the packaging is, as the product inside delivers a five star experience all around...from the incredible scent, to the outstanding performance, Sircar has really created something special here. Between this and the Musk scent, it is very difficult to pick a favorite, but either way, you cannot go wrong, and I suspect that such is the case for every product that Sircar makes. I cannot recommend this product highly enough as it truly does offer something for everybody, fans of unfussy scents will appreciate the fact that this amber is so tremendous that it is able to easily stand on its own, and fans of multi-component scents will be only too happy to get back to basics when they smell what a top-quality amber like this one is capable of!
Ingredients: Grape Seed Oil, Almond Oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Fragrance
$18 at sircargrooming.com
~The oil sampled for this review was provided by Sircar Grooming