Nicholas Beard Works is a company that captured my esteem with their outstanding beard butter a few weeks ago. Having seen many positive reviews of their oil on various YouTube channels as well as countless blogs, I figured that adding some to my collection would be a can't-miss idea. After checking out their site, I noticed a curious thing, they offer several different styles of oil; there's their dry oil, which, from what I can tell is more of a solid-state product (like a balm) that converts to oil when you apply it, there is also their Hairy Vagabond blend which seems to be fortified with some extra mineral rich carriers and comes in a really cool looking skull-shaped bottle, then there's their standard line, an "entry level" product, if you will. While I'm intreagued by their other options and most likely will circle back to those in the future, for introductory purposes, I'll be reviewing their standard beard oil today. So without further ado, let's give it a try and see if I'll join the cadre of beardsmen singing the praises of this already very famous oil.
The name Italian Leather conjures up images of walking into one of your favorite couture house boutiques, and breating in that oh-so-familiar leathery/vinilyc melange of hand crafted shoes and bags, riding a breeze of potent colognes and perfumes, as the air crackles with that implacable "high-end" essence designed to put you in a spending mood. While there is an initial flash of that in this product, there is something a bit more artistic at work here...A Softer, well worn leather seems to take center stage; sweet, comforting, and just slightly funky (in the best possible way), I find it reminds me less of the polished marble floors and gauche gold-plated fixtures of an upscale boutique, and more of the calming, familiar embrace of an antique French club chair tucked in the corner of a tastefully apointed reading room. There's definitley a discernable amount of birch (a common ingredient in many leather scents), but beyond that I get a juicy, sweet berry medly, (reminiscent of fresh fruit compote), that provides a candy-like structure upon which a graceful high-note of something dusty/powdery wrapped around a dry herbaceous note that seems to lazily float on into forever. While not as multi-layered as the previous scent that I tried by this company, this is oil definitely makes a statement; evoking not only a mental image, but also a feeling of success and comfort, this stuff could be a serious show-stopper when layered under the right balm or butter. Strength is just a tick under medium, which, I'd be lying if I said I wasnt just a bit disappointed in (if this stuff were stronger, it would easily be my favorite leather scent). Staying power is decent, but stops short of being really good (I find that there are no detectable traces of this product an hour or so after application).
How Does It Work?
A slightly-less-than medium viscosity translates (for me anyway) into the need to apply a bit more of this than I do most oils. Once it's in beard, however, it seems to go to work right away, almost magcally imparting an instant softness as I comb it through. The ingredients list reads like a formula for making the ultimate beard-care product as it's chock-full of beneficial carrier oils...you want castor? It's in there...you want rosehip? It's in there...you want sea butckthorn? It's in there. It seems like Nicholas Beard Works has taken every oil that goes above and beyond and added it to their carrier blend, and the results speak for themselves; my beard feels full, strong, and thick, while my skin feels nourished, hydrated, and soft as a pair of deer-leather driving gloves. There is also an incredible amount of shine and luster which make this a perfect oil to wear on special nights out. I find that this is one of those oils that seems to "absorb" incredibly well, leaving not even the slightest trace of greasiness. Staying power is phenominal, lasting all day with no need for any touchups. Truly a delightful oil all around.
The Bottom Line
Clearly Nicholas Beard Works is a company that is serious about producing top shelf beard care products...from their extremely well thought out list of beneficial ingredients, to their made-to-order approach when it comes to fulfillment, this is definitely a company built upon an ethos of quality above all. I would have zero reservations about recommending this oil, but am now even more intreagued than ever to try some of their other oil offerings. Considering the fact that two ounces of this stuff costs as much as a single ounce of some other products I've tried which aren't quite as good, I'd say that this particular line in their portfolio represents a fantastic value, and as such should be a part of any serious beardsman's regular rotation!
Ingredients: Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Castor Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Rosehip Oil, Botanical Infusions, Essential Oils
$25 at nicholasbeardworks.com