A common theme among many beard care companies, is that they were started out of necessity; their founders just couldn't find products for their beards that worked the way they wanted them to. The Hubris Company is definitely born of this necessity as their founder, Jay Thornton states on the company website...but what makes this particular company different is their dedication to letting their clientelle dictate their own specific needs and tailoring the end result to meet those. Can you name another beard care company out there who lets you pick how strong you'd like the fragrance of your beard oil to be? How about one that lets you choose the amount of hold your balm offers? Yes, The Hubris Company is downright restructuring the process of shopping for beard-care products, letting each and every man feel like a company founder, and order a product designed to meet their individual standards. As I'm still feeling motivated to stock up on balms for the chillier months we find ourselves in (I mean, I'm in Arizona, and I had to break out the long sleeves today with it being a brisk 80-something outside...but I digress), I figured this balm would be a great way for me to become truly acquainted with this company and what they have to offer...let's give it a try and see what we really have here...
I went with their Amber Oud offering, because, as readers of this site know all too well, I'm a bit of an oud junkie. Initially, right out of the tin, I thought I might find this scent a bit too sweet, as big concentrated, almost perfumey notes jumped forward...but in-beard, this stuff really calms down, brilliantly. Heady, resinous amber chords roll gracefully to the forefront, laying a structured groundwork driping with syrupy sweetness that borders on floral, while maintaining a decidedly masculine, almost animalistic edge of musk tinged with violin rosin and black pepper. A hint of calming vanilla wraps around something vegetal that almost reminds me of tobacco flower, but stops just short of being identifiable as such, and holds the door open for a dark staircase of warm, smoky minerality (think incense burning on wet river rocks...if that makes any sense), and up that staircase, a rich deep oud presence plays out with all the brilliance of a Charlie Parker saxophone solo. Bursting at the seams with life force and as deep as the Marianas Trench, this is the very embodiment of oud; the dark and light dichotomy; brooding and suicidal while also convivial and full of joie de vivre...sweet, smoky, indescribable, truly a magical note, and so brilliantly used in this particular fragrance blend. Strength is medium-plus...perhaps even a tick above. Staying power is wonderful, lasting all day, and well into the evening.
How does it work?
I seriously can't stress enough how brilliant this company is for letting you pick the amount of hold you'd like in your balm. I went with a medium hold for the purposes of this review, I figure that's the amount of hold that you'll find in most products on the market, so it would make for an easier apples-to-apples comparrison to stuff I am already familiar with. True to its name, this balm offers a perfectly medium amount of hold, probably not quite enough for the days when your beard is acting wild, but more than enough for average use. The texture of this balm is soft and smooth, feeling closer to a dense butter than a true balm, especially with its relatively low melting point. In-beard feel is amazing, so incredibly light, with a great absorbtion rate, leaving behind no greasiness at all. Conditioning properties are also tremendous, again performing more like a butter than a balm in the way that it leaves my beard so wonderfully, touchably soft, with a lustrous shine, and has the skin underneath feeling extra happy and hydrated. What I find most impressive about this product is the staying power, leaving my beard feeling just as good as when I first used this stuff, well into the later part of the day, and even into the evening on just a single application.
The bottom line
The only thing better than an innovative company is one that makes a product that just plain works, and The Hubris Company is both. Without question this balm checks all the boxes from it's amazing scent to it's brilliant performance...factor in the ability to customize hold options, and you have a truly magnificent product. There is no shortage of great balms on the market, but when one is able to set itself so completely apart from the pack, it goes without saying that it belongs in the rotation of every discerning beardsman out there. I can not recommend this product highly enough!
Ingredients: Beeswax, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Argan Oil
$17 at thehubrisco.com