Biblichor, the scent of old books, is perhaps one of the most evocative scents tied to memory, drawing up images of dusty old librairies, with row after row full of books, each one a ticket to an intellectually stimulating experience. The scent has become so popular lately that it has spawned all sorts of candles, air fresheners, and even colognes, so it came as no surprise when the good folks at Anointed AK (makers of some super uncommon beard care scents) decided to roll out their own "old book" scent...but where most biblichor scented products try to remain faithful to that musty-with-a-hint-of-vanilla scent that seems to greet you whenever you walk into any vintage bookstore, Anointed AK has done something different, crafting a scent that promises to be a sophisticated tribute to stacks of old books everywhere, but still maintaining a unique twist. Let's give it a try and see how it measures up...
Deep, brooding, and woody...this is, without question, an intellectual scent. Opening up with an erudite, scholarly note of polished teak wood, in all its fragrant, earthy, oily glory, which provides an extremely structured base for sumputous black suede, so soft and luxurious, like a pair of Ferragamo Opera slippers. A dark, mysterious oud rolls right over the top like a velvet fog, imparting an extremely regal bearing on this entire fragrance. Hovering just barely above it all is a herbaceous, almost fougere, layer of woodsy air, just confident enough to make its presence felt, but never insisting upon itself. The top note is just slightly astringent/acidic, but still a bit oily (if that makes any sense...think lemon scented wood cleaner), it provides a wonderful balance, and just the slightest bit of playfulness, to an otherwise very serious scent. Strength is medium-plus, perhaps even a tick above that, and staying power is phenominal, lasting all day and well into the evening on a single application. For an even greater treat to the senses, layer this oil with the Bilberry Bastard balm (that I reviewed last week) from Luxurious bastard.
How does it work?
So when I reviewed Anointed AK's Aiteall Oil, I found it to be good, but just couldn't help but think that there might be some way to make it better...This particular oil (though the carrier blends are listed as the exact same), seems to have just that little extra bit of "oomph" (perhaps this is all psychological? Who in the hell knows?). Viscosity seems to be a bit higher, coating each and every hair in my beard, and really working itself in there, providing a tremendous amount of conditioning, leaving my beard feeling incredibly soft. I will admit that this doesn't feel like it's "absorbing" into my skin as well as some oils, definitely remaining on the surface for a bit and leaving just the slightest residue (I would, however, stop well short of saying that this product leaves a greasy feel). Occlusive properties are fantastic, keeping my face moisturized and itch free. Just like with the last Anointed AK oil I tried, the shine, truly the downright luster, that this product imparts, well there is no other way to describe it than brilliant. Staying power is outstanding, lasting all day.
The bottom line
How can you not love a scent that stirs up certain feelings? Rather than an literal interpretation of the biblichor scent that has become so popular, which most people (myself included) would have enjoyed, just fine. Anointed AK (in collaboration with their embassador, samuel Postall), has instead opted to elevate the concept to the next level, creating a product that actually transports you to a very raridfied place; excusing yourself from some social event taking place in the great hall of some mansion tucked away far from the trials and tribulations of the "real world", sneaking down an out-of-the-way corridor, thinking to yourself that there is definitely a modicum of learned skill required to walk on immaculate marble floors in leather soled shoes, while the "click-clacking" of your steps still faintly echoes off of the impossibly high cieling, and you turn the handle of a heavy French door, to find yourself in a luxuriously appointed study, surrounded by leather-bound editions of all the classics, solitude, just you and the books. There is somehting about this scent that awakens somehting so deeply imprinted in my memory, that I cant help but consider it an instant personal favorite. Even if it doest kick up the same emotional reaction in your soul, there is no denying that between the amazing scent, and fantastic performance of this product, it is definitely worth adding to your collection.
Ingredients: Golden Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil, Vitamin E & Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils & Fragrance Oils.
$18 at anointedak.com