In the world of beard care, it seems that we see a great many companies selling their interpretations of certain scents, tobacco/cigars is definitely one of those scents that everybody seems to be making. Seriously, think of how many companies offer their own unique version of a tobacco scent...there are a ton of great interpretations out there, so it's always a toss-up when it comes to trying a new one; is it awesome? or are the other tobacco/cigar scented products that you already own better? Today we have a balm from a company that caught my attention a while ago. More commonly known for their line of high end shaving products, Henri et Victoria also offers a decent sized beard care line, so that everybody can enjoy the exotic scents that have earned the Canadian company something of a cult status among traditional shaving enthusiasts. Will their balm live up to their already lofty reputation? Or should they stay in their lane and leave the beard care to somebody else? Let's give it a try and find out...
So, if youre a cigar enthusiast, you'll instantly recognize what youre smelling when you take a big first whiff of this product. Imagine opening the door to your humidor, grabbing your most aged box of cigars, whatever they may be...open that box take a moment to admire the meticulously aged, perfectly rolled tobacco staring back up at you...close your eyes, and inhale...it's a magical sensation that transports you to another place, another time, perhaps it's a luxuriously appointed parlor with well worn club chairs and a crackling fireplace...maybe it's a beautiful tropical beach with the most prestine sand and crystal clear waters. It's a very different and very personal experience for each and every cigar smoker, but either way, it's a strong reaction triggered by this very specific scent. Henri Et Victoria have somehow managed to capture that EXACT scent! a sweet cedar mixes with an aged tobacco, with just a hint of leather, and a warmth that implies Cognac rather than imitates it. The scent of this product is nothing short of heavenly, something that you wish you could make your whole house smell like. Strength is medium...present, but never strong, nobody would smell this on you unless they were close to your beard. Unfortunately longevity leaves a bit to be desired...it lasts, but just not long enough for a scent this awesome.
How does it work?
After falling in love with the scent, you can hardly contain your excitement as you go to scoop some out...here's where the problem starts. The wax content of this product must be insanely high as it takes effort to scrape any amount off of the prestine white surface, the closest thing I can relate the texture to is parafin (I had to double check the ingredients list to make sure that the only wax in this product was, in fact beeswax, and not something less natural, thankfully, that's all I saw listed). As you spend way to long warming this product in your hands, you'll notice how thin it becomes. it works into the beard well enough, but It never really seems to penetrate deep down. Hold is as good as you'd expect for a product that is clearly mostly wax, but, your beard just never feels right witht his stuff, more rough and bristly, no softness, no shine, just not very healthy feeling. It also doesn't seem to have the staying power of most balms, fly aways become noticable after a few hours. I suppose that this would be a fine wax for guys with shorter, stick-straight beards, but all around performance just isn't where it should be for a product in this price range.
The Bottom Line
After smelling this product, I was convinced that it would become one of my new favorites...after actually trying it, I was convinced that it's probably going to stay in the cabinet under my bathroom sink until I eventually just give it away (I may actually try to use it as a solid cologne from time to time). Never have I tried a beard care balm that smelled so amazing, yet performed so poorly. Hopefully at some point in the future, Henri et Victoria decides to reformulate this product while still offering this great scent.
Ingredients: Cera Alba, Butyrospermum Parkii, Argania Spinsosa Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Coco Nucifera Oil, Parfum, Vitamin E
$20 at henrietvictoria.com