It may be the understatement of the year to say that the current normal is certainly a strange one. We find ourselves stuggling to get our hands on TP, of all things, (if you are having trouble finding any, peachgoods.com is still shipping their amazing, luxurious triple-ply, but just order what you need so that every body else can get their hands on some too), stores can't keep canned goods on the shelves (although I've had more luck finding both canned and dry goods at my local Dollar Tree than I have at either of the grocery stores in my neighborhood, so if you aren't too "cool" to stock up on canned goods from your local dollar store, you may want to give them a try), heck, we couldn't even celebrate St Paddy's Day properly yesterday; but just because you couldn't go out wearing something green, your beard could still smell deliciously green...and that's where the minty, green subject of today's review comes in.
I was lucky enough to recieve a care package from Sircar Grooming a couple weeks back when I was fighting off a particularly nasty cold, and have been using their Peppermint scented balm pretty regularly since then. Now I'm quite familiar with Sircar's amazing beard oils, from their 100 point Oud oil, to the brilliant and straightforward Musk oil that I still find myself reaching for pretty regularly when I want a great cologne scent brimming with masculinity, I've yet to try an oil bearing the Sircar name on the label that is anything but stellar...but I've never tried their balms before. Will this balm make a worthy match for their superlative oils? Only one way to find out...let's get down to it!
There are mint scented beard-care products, and then there are mint scented beard-care products. This may be a straightforward mint scent, but don't think for a minute that it's just another plain old, middle of the road peppermint designed to be pleasant enough while offering very little in the way of excitement. It's a guitar solo being ripped out by the otherworldly gifted fingers of whoever your favorite guitar player is (I'm imagining Jimmy Page, but that's just me...feel free to go with whoever inspires you), it's a spotlight burning down on a singular, brilliant focus. Brisk and energetic, big icy notes of peppermint swirl with the intensity of a hurricane full of fresh mint leaves. The intensity seems to be contained in a cool, sweet structure reminiscent of home made mint ice cream. A wonderful fresh mint that is sure to invigorate you on hot muggy summer days, rainy winter mornings, and everything in between!
Perhaps the most unique aspect of this scent is sensory envelope that it pushes, not only bursting at the seams with tons of great mint scent, but also imparting a cool tingle that takes this product out of the realm of strictly fragrance and moves it into something more all encompassing. Easily the highest quality mint scent I've ever experienced in a beard-care product. Because of the singular nature of this scent, I find that it makes a great layering partner for a wide variety of oils, some of my favorites so far are Tabac Black by The Bearded Bastard and The Dundee by Barbu, but honestly, I've yet to find the oil that it doesn't act as a wonderful compliment to, so feel free to expiriment away with this stuff! Strength is just a notch or two below medium-plus, and staying power is outstanding, with that intense, natural mint still detectable for a minimum of 8 hours after application every time I've worn it.
How does it work?
This may be kind of a weird thing to say, but from a texture standpoint, this reminds me of how beard balms used to be. Now-a-days balms run the gamut from being so soft and almost jelly-like that they more closely resemble butters, all the way to hard pucks of wax designed to keep every single beard hair in place (often at the expense of tactile softness, with the waxy "crunch" that they impart)...but this stuff reminds me of the balms I used to pick up back when I was first getting into beard-care; it's soft enough to scoop out with my finger, while still full-bodied enough to provide some styling benefit (it's strange that this style of balm used to be the norm, but is now something that I consider unique). With a lower melting point, this stuff easily coats my hands, meaning I can quickly and efficiently style my beard using only my palms, with the need for only a quick pass-through of a boars-hair brush to give it a great finished look. I wasn't able to find the exact ingredients list for this balm, but it's pretty clear that Sircar is using some of the same top quality stuff in this that they do in their beard oils, as in-beard feel is wonderful, and lightweight as one could possibly expect from a balm, leaving behind no greasy residue, or waxy stickiness whatsoever. It offers a great amount of conditioning too, imparting that same incredible healthy feeling that I get from all of Sircar Grooming's oils. Hold is incredible, keeping my beard looking photo-ready all day long (I find that it also keeps my beard looking much neater than usual on days when I skip the blowdryer and go with a natural curl). Finishing properties are very good, imparting a great shine to my beard that keeps it looking as great as it feels! Staying power is excellent, delivering that awesome hold and great in-beard feel all day long on a single application.
The bottom line
Mint scents are always an enjoyable experience, but rarely are they an exciting one. This balm, however, is incredibly easy to get excited about...definitely the fartherst thing from your typical run-of-the-mill mint balms that can be found just about everywere. Performance is outstanding, with its back-to-basics functionality that over-delivers on the fundamental promises of any good balm...and on top of that I must reiterate, this stuff tingles! I mean, who doesn't love a balm so fresh that you can actually feel it? In fact, that tingle actually represents improved circulation (mint oil is, after all, a natural vasodilator), which could actually promote healthy beard growth, and keep shedding at bay. There arent many companies out there who are able to do what Sircar Grooming does, combining the absolute highest quality scents with peak performance, while also offering incredible service and value. This balm is just another in an ever expanding line of products from Sircar Grooming that have only served to make me that much more of a fan of this company. Even if a straight-up mint scented balm doesn't sound like it would really be your thing, you'd be doing yourself a terrible disservice not to pick this stuff up, as it truly is quality in a tin!
96 See where this lands on The Big List
$27 at sircargrooming.com
~The balm sampled for this review was provided by Sircar Grooming Co