I harp on quality a lot here...after all, without quality, what's the point? There are brands out there who rely on gimmicks and slick tactics to sell their product, but once they've gotten your dough, what's left is an inferior product that finds its way into the garbage, or tucked into the corner of that one bathroom cabinet full of disappointing products that you've sort of forgetten about (except for when you come across another junky product that you tell yourself you'll "come back to later"). Then, there are companies who do the exact opposite, they let their product do the talking and save the 1980's hedge-fund manager act for Halloween, companies that treat their customers like they're smart, not marks...Chesapeake Beard is one of those companies. They even go so far as to state on their company website that their one, single goal is to provide the absolute best possible product and service, a lofty target to say the least. Crafting a full compliment of beard care and grooming goods for both men and women, they dedicate painstaking amounts of time on R&D (a process that no doubt takes a big bite out of their bottom line, which is why so many of the "premium" brands that rely on song-and-dance to sell their product don't do it). That, plus the ingredients list on the back of this bottle of oil was enough to pique my interest, let's give it a try and see if the quality is good enough to keep me coming back for more.
How many beard care products can you name that use sudachi as the cornerstone of their scent blend? Counting this product, I can think of...hmmm...maybe...one? For those not familiar sudachi is a sour citrus fruit from Japan, it looks like a lime, and smells and tastes like a greener version of grapefruit (it's one of the key ingredients of ponzu sauce, if you're familiar). This unique scent provides a cool, fresh base of bright citrus tartness, with the slightest exotic twist. Pounding aquatic notes crash forward like waves on the shore, bristling with a vibrant minerality...while brilliant layers of sweet, refreshing mandarin swirl around a volatile green component. Theres a splendid warm high note of amber and soft glove leather that work in brilliant concert to add a wonderfully sporty edge. Strength hovers around medium initially, but dips a mit to medium-minus as the day goes on, but be that as it may, staying power is still very good, lasting all day.
How does it work?
When it comes to performance, this stuff doesn't play around, conditioning properties are, without question, some of the best I've experienced from an oil in quite some time. I suspect the secret ingredient here is cherry kernel oil; a very expensive carrier oil prized for its ability to repair damaged hair (perfect to correct the frizz that those of us who regularly use heat on our beards are forced to contend with from time to time). It's also an absolute powerhouse when it comes to moisturizing, leaving your face feeling more nourished than it has felt in a good long time, downright renewed. As amazing as this stuff will have your beard feeling, the brilliant shine imparted by this product will have your beard looking even better. Staying power is great, requiring zero reaplication at any point.
The bottom line
I couldn't be more pleased with my introduction to Chesapeake Beard Company. This is an oil that checks every box imaginable when it comes to quality. The scent is deep and sophisticated, and the price-point is considerably lower than that of a great many other upper eschelon oils. For those who are looking to add an oil to their arsenal that really takes their game to the next level, I can think of no better recommendation than this stuff.
Ingredients: Jojoba, sweet almond, cherry kernel, coconut and abyssinian oils, Essential fragrance blends
$16.98 at chesapeakebeard.com