Review: Long Rifle Soap Company’s Beard Oil
(2017) It’s halfway through November which could mean for some it’s halfway through No-Shave November, an awareness campaign where guys let their facial hair grow in solidarity for those diagnosed with cancer. The money saved in shaving products is donated to raise cancer awareness education as well as help those who are fighting. It is a wonderful cause.
As you know, creakybottombracket.com’s clubhouse embraces shaving and shaving supplies. No-Shave November is a combination of facial hair maintenance as well as preparing for the new colder season. When yours truly has grown out beards it has been a struggle to get past the two-week phase. The neck hair itches like crazy and, if I’m honest, never really gets better as the fur grows longer. A year or so ago the Missus recommended I try beard oil, but I dismissed the idea and the shaving continued for work as well as a new summer season shortly thereafter.
I remember the first time I saw my first tube of ChapStick. Back in the mid eighties, my family was being outfitted at the local ski shop for an upcoming ski vacation. The shop wafted of the welcoming smell of heated ski wax. The floodlights of the show room provided relief against the darkest season. I asked if I could add ChapStick to our increasing receipt of ski boots, skis, poles, pants, and jackets. I couldn’t stop applying the lip moisturizer from that moment on. (Naturally when the tube disappeared I moved on to other addictions.)
To order and receive a box from Long Rifle Soap Company harkens back to similar memories. Opening the box of beard oil vials smelled of frontier scents only captured by Amanda at Long Rifle Soap Company. Immediately memories of being in Upstate New York flooded the mind as I sorted through the box. I couldn’t tell which memory to prioritize as the sample slice of Hunting Lodge soap smelled of brand-new hockey goalie pads from an era gone by in Upstate New York. It is not in my DNA to dislike winter.
Fashioned after James Fenimore Cooper’s literary work, particularly his Leatherstocking Tales, Long Rifle Soap sets out to – successfully I might add – capture those scents of our literary imagination. What would a hunting lodge deep in the woods smell like? Long Rifle certainly convinces us it has zeroed in on it. Leatherstocking and Hawkeye, two of Natty Bumppo’s aliases throughout the Tales inundate our imagination with the green covered mountains of the Catskills or the slightly taller Adirondacks. Hunting Lodge sent our imagination to the Finger Lakes of New York where Bumppo resided in the fourth book in the series, The Pioneers. The beard oil named 1776 certainly makes us think of the gunpowder used during the Revolutionary War. Or my personal favorite scent, Bay Rhum, simply evokes images of a warm summer afternoon in the mountains, possibly at Muskrat Castle. It is incredible how well the scents come through. If you're not sure what scent to get, start with the beard oil sampler that features six Long Rifle oil scents.
This past weekend I decided to take on the self-imposed challenge of applying beard oil to moisturize the face and bristles. As the temperatures dropped so, too, did the skin moisture. I am conscious of flakes showing up on the chest of dark shirts and jackets due to dry skin. My combating the side effect of growing out the facial hair pushed me to ordering beard oil. Once I applied the oil I simply could not stop.
As I rode through the freezing temperatures I enjoyed the lingering citrus scents from the beard oil. In the past I applied Vaseline to my face in hopes of providing a layer of protection from the dry cold air. Here I found comfort in letting the beard oil do its job. The flaking had subsided after my addiction took hold of hourly application. I also noticed the subsidence of neck itching. I’d like to think the beard oil softened the hair grains to prevent itching. All the while my face felt comfortable while the near-freezing wind was no match for the groomed trim.
I took the vials to my friends at the local bike shop. After explaining what it was and what it did for me there was the usual uncapping and smelling of each bottle. After slight encouragement each person sporting a beard smeared the oil between the palms and then applied it to their beards. A nod of approval was all that was needed to convince me they approved. Cycling and fundraising go together quite well. Cycling and shaving are ubiquitous, too. Cycling and beards – unless you’re applying to ride for a certain Belgian team – go together, too. Don’t be surprised when the beard oil mathematically expected to last months suddenly dwindles as you (re) apply it multiple times per day. It’s no warming lotion, but damn does Long Rifle Soap Company’s beard oil make growing a beard for a No-Shave November a lot more enjoyable.
Each scent comes in a one-fluid ounce container for $22 (USD). Can't decide which scent is right for you? Consider the .5-fluid ounce sampler that comes with five Long Rifle Soap Company scents for $55 (USD). You could also use the store locator to see if Long Rifle is for sale in a shop near you.