Having already carved out a name for themselves among high-end beard care labels, it would be an understatement to call Barbu a brand on the rise. Last month they made a big splash with their The Shaman beard oil, an awesome concoction that gets heavy rotation in my beard care routine, but it would be a mistake to overlook their previous releases too. I've been looking to find a solid lineup of balms for the chilly months (even though, you already know, I admit to being a bigger fan of butters), and as such, I couldn't resist the opportunity to add more Barbu to my collection. This is a scent that doesnt seem to get quite as much attention as some of the more marquee names in the Barbu stable, but it intreagued me none-the-less, promising a combination reminiscent of the citrus trees that Barbu's home state of Florida is known for, I definitely had to check it out. Let's give it a spin and see if I made a good choice, shall we?
Extremely citrus forward, with a crispness that cuts like a well honed chef's knife, a bright lemon aroma jumps out and slaps you across the face just to make sure that you were paying attention. This isn't that polite, sort of lemon-ish, cleaning product, candy-like scent that many products play it safe with, this stuff tosses a big, fat meyer lemon up in the air and whallops it with a Louisville Slugger painted yellow, as chunks of juicy flesh erupt mid air spraying drooplets of unapologetically tart juice in every direction like so many tiny yellow diamonds, sparlking in the morning sunlight. This is tempered by a deep green bouquet of herbaceous mint and lawn clippings, dripping with a chlorophyl freshness that doesn't so much so much remind you of summer , as it does transport you to a peaceful afternoon in the park, an ice cold lemonade slush in hand as you let the hypnotic sounds of the fountain in front of you relax your every single care away. This is definitely a summery scent, but it's so properly executed that it actually has the power to bring just the slightest, energizing flashes of summer to a rainy autumn afternoon. Strength is medium-to-medium plus, strong enough to be noticed, but not so strong as to overpower whatever oil you've paired it with (and it makes for some great scent pairings if you layer it over the right oil, lately, I've really been enjoying it with more "cologne" type scents as the two combine for a great freshness that is impossible not to notice). Staying power is good (you'll get a few hours out of it), but you may find yourself wishing you could smell it a bit more as the day wears on.
How does it work?
While not the softest balm out there, I definitely wouldnt call this product stiff. The melting point of is surprisingly low considering the beeswax content I suspect that it has, just rub it in your palms once or twice and it's completely liquid. It works into my beard easily, almost like a butter, easily spreading from root to tip with minimal effort. It combs through brilliantly (although I do notice that it does brush out fairly easily too, so if you give your beard a pass with a boar's hair brush after combing, be mindful not to overdo it, or you may end up needing a touchup right away). In beard feel is outstanding, again more closely resembling a butter from a tactile standpoint, leaving my beard feeling soft, and refreshed all day long, while still offering a level of hold that lets you know it's most definitely a balm; strays and fly-aways dont stand a chance against this stuff. Staying power is good, not requiring any touchups (although I have yet to wear this during any really high impact activities).
The Bottom Line
Even though I have had only limited experience with Barbu products, I can already surmise that this is a company that does not mess around when it comes to making scents that are designed to stand out. From a performance standpoint, this is definitely a balm that I have no complaints about, it works extremely well. This product not only checks all the boxes when it comes to what an ideal balm should be, but it actually moves the needle a bit as it over-delivers from a quality standpoint. It doesn't matter if you like citrus scents, or if you don't use balms that often, until you own a tin of this stuff, your beard care arsenal is less than complete.
Ingredients: Beeswax, Unrefined Shea Butter, Jojoba, Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin E, Coconut Oil, Castor oil, 100% pure essential oils
$9 at barbubeardco.com