Few companies in the beard-care game enjoy the almost mythical reputation that Luxurious Bastard does. Their products are considered the crème de la crème among in-the-know beardsmen, so much so, that if your timing is off, it can be difficult to get your hands on anything they make (new releases drop every Sunday at noon Pacific on their site, by mid-week, you can pretty much forget about anything being left). With exacting quality standards, and a collection of scents unlike any other brand out there, it's easy to see why bottles and tins with the destinctive logo of a bearded skull, smoking a pipe and wearing a derby can be found on the top shelf of every true beardsman's grooming arsenal. Perhaps no single fragrance by this company enjoys as much buzz as The 1912 Bastard, part of their more core lineup this scent seems to see more frequent releases than many others in the company portfolio. When it dropped a few weeks ago, I knew I needed to add this oil to my collection. Will this become my new favorite from a company that seems to produce nothing but hits? Let's give it a try and find out.
Perhaps one of the most complex scents I've come across in a long time, there is a lot to process here. Layers upon layers tightly folded upon each other like the petals of a rosebud, not offering any individual secrets at first glance (sniff?), just an indescribable scent that conjures up a sense of place rather than any mental images of individual components. It just feels like something special, like walking into a resplendant parlor on a brisk autumn day, sitting by the fire, a drink in hand as a Vivaldi plays on vinyl in the background...sheer sophistication wrapped in a soft woolen blanket of pure comfort. If you don't feel like being analytical, you can leave this scent alone, and just appreciate it for what it is, a smoky, dusty, sort of gourmand type of fragrance that reads as brilliantly artistic...but of course, if you want to really sit and think on it, there is a lot to digest; a rich smoky presence that at once exists in two worlds; not quite pipe smoke, not quite incense, just sweet clouds of vapor, envelop this entire fragrance, winding themselves tightly around freshly ground, light roasted coffee beans, damp burlap, and the faintest dusting of cocoa powder and baking spices. A soft cigar box accord creeps slowly to the forefront, rich in cured white cedar and fresh vegetal bracts, with aromatic tobacco. While just slightly below this, a candied, fruity note makes its presence felt without being completely identifiable...is it orange? is it cherry? I can't really say for sure. The high vibrates rapidly on its own destinct frequency, offering the faintest flashes of something like fresh baked croissants, savory and rich, but still light as the morning air on the patio of a Parisian cafe. Strength is just slightly below medium plus, and staying power is in a class all its own, as not only does this scent last well into the evening, but it continues to evolve and reinvent itself throughout the course of the day, with each component taking its turn at the forefront.
How does it work?
Quality is just as great as any offering I've tried from this company. Sporting a medium viscosity, this product definitely works into my beard with ease, and combs through like a dream. With the same wonderful carrier blend as The Fantastic Bastard oil, this product combines legendary conditioning for my beard with brilliant moisturing for my face. We've already discucssed how incredibly beneficial hazelnut oil is, but let's talk for a minute about how the apricot oil in this product works overtime to make my beard so touchably soft. Rich in fatty acids and vitamins, apricot oil is prized for it's light texture and brilliant absorption, delivering first-rate conditioning while also acting as a natural emolient (so you know it's going to keep itch and dryness in check). This stuff works in conjunction with the other all-stars in the carrier blend to create a beard oil that truly does seem to hit every single mark. Seriously you won't believe how healthy your beard and face feel after using this stuff. Staying power is fantastic requiring absolutely zero reapplications at any point throughout the day.
The bottom line
In the past, I've compared Luxurious Bastard to a cult wine producer, making a product that has almost become anecdotal in both quality and exclusivity...requiring a certain level of dedication to get your hands on. This comparison is as true now as ever as this is a label that occupies a very rarified space within the entire beard-care industry, and this particular oil is the perfect example of why. The scent is, without question, one of the most sumptuous fragrances ever offered in a beard care product, and the quality is of course uncomprimising. It's safe to say that pretty much every single Luxurious Bastard release is a winner, but even among winners, the true titans stand out, and that is exactly what this particular product does. The entire most recent run of this scent appears to be sold out on the Luxurious Bastard website, but that should only serve as motivation to sign up for their mailing list (if you havent already) so that you can be sure to get your hands on some the next time it becomes available!
Ingredients: Almond oil, Avocado oil, Rice bran oil, Hazelnut oil, Hempseed oil, Apricot oil, Castor oil, Grape seed oil, Jojoba oil, Argan oil, Vitamin E oil, Essential oils.
$17.50 at luxuriousbastardco.com