(Editor’s Note: Nate Lewis, member of Team Beardbrand, first published this detailed Beardbrand Beard Oil scent review on his blog Iron & Tweed.)
When it comes to beard oil, there’s no topping Beardbrand.
All of the ingredients are top quality carrier and essential oils used to nourish, protect, and manage even the unruliest of beards. I wouldn’t even be able to get a comb through my naturally coarse and curly beard without the aid of my daily Beardbrand oil application. In addition to keeping your beard healthy and manageable, these oils make your beard smell great. Each scent has been expertly formulated to be masculine, unique, and very wearable.
And that’s important since you’re putting this stuff on your face.
The last thing you want is a beard oil that overwhelms your nose like the dense, synthetic fog that hovers over a department store fragrance counter.
Here are my experiences and thoughts with each of the scents offered by Beardbrand.
I had the pleasure of sampling this oil months before it was released, and let me tell you, it was a long wait.
It was dispensed into my palm from an unmarked bottle. I rubbed my hands together, cupped them around my face, inhaled deeply, and quickly proclaimed, “oud!”
The rich, smoky, resinous scent of this beard oil is simply intoxicating and impossible to ignore. Oud has been a prized ingredient used in incense and fragrances since the third century AD, but has seen a recent resurgence as all the top fragrance houses have taken their shot at showcasing this super star. Its rarity and recent demand has driven prices higher than gold. So to spread the word about this coveted scent, I brought my bottle in for my barber to sample.
He actually made an involuntary “oooooh!” upon smelling it for the first time. For the remainder of the haircut, he said he kept catching a whiff of the incense-like aroma (and was very pleased by that), despite only applying a single drop between his thumb and forefinger.
Out of all the Beardbrand scents, this is the most exotic, luxurious, and longest lasting without being overpowering. When I wear it, I catch a whiff every time I turn my head or look up or down for the entire day. Learn more about Temple Smoke here.
This blend of hops, cannabis, tobacco, and coffee is proof that four wrongs can make a right. None of the individual scents overshadow the others, but they play quite nicely together.
After spreading Four Vices on my palms, I detect the front end being loaded with “green” and earthy notes up front. I imagine smashing hops and buds between my palms and taking a big whiff.
Quickly following the vegetal notes is the richness of whole bean coffee and tobacco to ground the scent. The combination has an almost high-cocoa chocolate quality to it.
Now, I know what you’re thinking and don’t worry. It doesn’t smell enough like the fumes pouring from your uncle’s VW Bus to attract extra attention from the law. Four Vices is a very light scent.It’s hard to detect from the bottle, but really opens up once you spread it between your hands. Learn more about Four Vices here.
I wrote about my experience with the Spiced Citrus scent when I reviewed Beardbrand’s entire range of beard care products (i.e., mustache wax, beard oil, wash, and softener). When you first think of citrus, your mind may go to fresh colognes formulated specifically for the heat and sunshine of spring and summer.
But this isn’t a fresh citrus scent.
It’s very sweet and warm – like Christmas cookies with a candied orange glaze. One can’t possibly smell spiced citrus without immediately thinking of Christmas. In fact, I’m pretty sure this is what Santa Claus’s beard smells like. This scent is particularly appealing to me because in a way, the blend of citrus and baking spices is almost like the classic Old Fashioned cocktail. Learn more about Spiced Citrus here.
After crafting a few less than stellar DIY grooming products, I’d developed a small aversion to tea tree essential oil. Using apple cider vinegar in homemade products can do that to you, haha. But after cracking open this beard oil and inhaling the delicious aroma, my mind has been officially changed.
The tea tree isn’t overpowering at all here. It actually seems to be accompanied by equal parts peppermint. So my first thought with this scent was mint chocolate, almost like a peppermint patty with another layer from the botanical tea tree oil essence. Later while reviewing the notes listed on the Beardbrand website, I realized that this blend also contains vanilla, which explains the mint chocolate perception. The crisp, minty aromas of the tea tree and peppermint blended with the sweet, creamy vanilla create a delicious yet wearable scent perfect for cooler months. Learn more about Tea Tree here.
Eucalyptus leads the charge in this vivid, refreshing scent.
It’s no surprise that this beard oil is so invigorating as eucalyptus is often used in aromatherapy and cold treatments because of its respiratory benefits. After the therapeutic scent of eucalyptus, I can detect some other woody notes. My first impression besides eucalyptus is pine sap. There could also be some cedar in there, but it’s hard for me to separate the notes beyond that.
Full disclosure, eucalyptus isn’t my favorite scent. So this probably won’t ever be a daily wear oil for me (Though I’m curious to try it out the next time I’m battling a cold to see if it brings any relief!). There are simply too many other great options from Beardbrand for me to settle on a scent that I don’t love. Learn more about Tree Ranger here.
As a guy who managed to take four years of wood shop in high school (even though it was only offered for two), refinished furniture for three years, and spent his summers as a laborer on construction sites, I have a serious soft spot for woody scents.
But most manufacturers get it all wrong.
Some widely available grooming products aimed at young men may claim to have “spruce” notes but end up smelling more like Mountain Dew than anything remotely mature or masculine. So I was completely mesmerized by the scent of Beardbrand Lumber Yard beard oil. It doesn’t smell like a synthetic pine forest or imaginary mountain air. It smells exactly like a lumber yard! They got the blend perfect on this one. Just be careful not to get a splinter when twisting off the cap. Learn more about Lumber Yard here.
Urban garden is hip, bright, and interesting.
This beard oil is very fresh and herbal. I get mostly licorice and cucumber. The licorice makes up the “body” of this scent. It’s very sweet and gives the aroma a kind of fullness. Following that is a less prominent cucumber note that provides a nice coolness to balance the heavy licorice. On the end, I detect basil or some other garden herb I can’t quite identify, but it’s there.
I’m most likely going to reserve this one for the early days of spring. I think it will be a light, cheery scent to ring in the first crisp days of the year. Learn more about Urban Garden here.
I’ve written about the importance of having unscented products on hand for those days when you really want your cologne to take center stage.
Like all natural products produced with unrefined ingredients, Blank Slate does have a very mild aroma. The main ingredient, jojoba oil, has a very light sunflower seed scent that fades rather quickly. But otherwise, it’s completely devoid of any added fragrances.
So my impression of Blank Slate here is more about how the product works, rather than how it smells. Like all other Beardbrand beard oils, Blank Slate dispenses predictably and without any mess into the palm through the dropper top. Just rubbing it between your hands and stroking your beard is all the fancy application necessary. And since this product is made of all natural carrier oils, the excess can be rubbed onto your arms, elbows, or backs of your hands.
That’s all there is to it. Now you have a lightweight, conditioning, and protective layer on your beard. Learn more about Blank Slate here.
My favorite Beardbrand beard oil
Picking a favorite here was actually painful, so here are my top three.
1. Temple Smoke
The smokey, exotic, resinous scent is unexpected and uncommon. Combine that with the fact that Temple Smoke lasts longer than a designer cologne and you have my absolute favorite beard oil scent.
2. Lumber Yard
This scent is like a time machine that takes me back to high school.
Lumber Yard is to me what the smell of old books is to a retired librarian. Total nostalgia.
But my own infatuation with woodworking aside, the accuracy at which they were able to recreate the intended scent is beyond me.
3. Spiced Citrus
This was the first beard oil I used, so Spiced Citrus is kind of synonymous with my beard growing experience.
Even leaving my personal feelings out of it, this is still an outstanding aroma that captures the spirit of the colder months.
If you’ve never treated yourself to a beard oil before, I highly recommend the experience. And when choosing an oil, you literally can’t go wrong opting for one of my top three recommendations above.
I’ve got to say I’ve enjoyed being the guinea pig in this little experiment (Combining a review of grooming products and fragrances!). While I hope I’ve been able to steer you in the right direction with my top three picks, remember that your nose and preferences are unique, so your perfect Beardbrand scent may vary from mine.
Happy hunting and beard on!
Iron & Tweed