Once in a while something comes into your hands that just oozes quality.
From the bottle, the cap, the applicator, the label and the typography: everything just feels right with this product. It feels whole. It feels like a complete package.
Ravenscourt Apothecary is the invention of artisan and bookworm Tanya Kuznetsova, who hails from the hidden foothills of England. I am always keen to sample specimens that are born from small apothecaries, since my current working theory is that the world’s best beard oil will eventually be found within such a secret laboratory.
This recipe contains the ancient elixir of Evening Primrose Oil. Something I remember my mother harping on about when I was a small child, so I assumed must have some beneficial qualities.
The oil itself is a wonderful white golden hue. Read on to see how I fared grading this specimen.
This Ravenscourt Apothecary offering impressed with lingerability. I applied the oil at 1:50pm and distinct tones were still detectable at 3:05pm – a massive aroma span of 1 hour and 15 minutes!
Most importantly, the complex notes of the vetiver and black pepper essential oils change in character as time wears on, providing a sublime musk about the beard.
This is a sign of very high quality essential oils used in this mixture.
This specimen emanates as one would expect for a beard oil of subtle character.
The emanation meter recorded a measurement falling precisely in the 1 foot range, which is the industry standard average – according to our beard oil review methodology.
Due to the deeply subtle and personal nature of this aroma, it is not one you would wish to emanate any further.
65%. Well blended.
I applied the specimen to my facial hair and my nostrils twitched in confusion.
My eyes grew four times as large as normal and my teeth began to vibrate at an unusually high frequency. My mind turned in on itself and the following thoughts occurred to me.
It is the antithesis of sweet. It is dark, charismatic musk.
It is deep, rich tones of mahogany.
Vibrant, tangy pepper scents dance in among deeper, more serious notes in an ever changing sensual waltz.
I was transported to crowded little antique shops selling ancient wonders with mythical qualities. Books containing secrets of ancient intelligence are stacked around me and my beard was freely imbued with this knowledge.
This is a scent for a serious man, with a serious mind.
89% Rock Solid
This is a wonderfully non-greasy specimen.
The magical ratio of oils have somehow struck a blend that grabs each beard hair and seemingly penetrate it, to its very core. Every strand is fully nourished and conditioned, without leaving any residual oil roaming in the beard itself.
I don’t believe any prior specimen has achieved this maximal level of absorption. My hat off to the Ravenscourt Apothecary!
This anecdotal evidence was also backed up by the formal test, where the oil dominated the 21cm glass substrate in a world record 19 seconds!
Setting a new world record for greasiness rating as of 3rd May 2016!
This specimen gave a serious performance in the hair impact test!
I can only presume that this is due to the secret ratio of Evening Primrose, Jojoba and Hemp oils that Tanya has blended in her cauldron, whilst casting ancient and powerful incantations.
Whatever the reason, my hair is palpably softer, shinier and more manageable after applying this golden sauce.
I applied this sauce to my chops and carefully monitored for sink rate and qualitative impact.
Sink rate was around the average benchmark, taking 9 minutes to complete absorption, with approximately 95% estimated absorption rate.
I can feel the skin is moisturized and improved.
I normally need to wash my hands after applying a beard oil to wash away any oiliness from my hands, however notably this was not required with the Ravenscort Apothcary specimen!
A noble effort.
90% for skin impact. Wonderful!
A 30ml bottle of this oil will set you back 10 UKP, which equates to a cost per ml of £0.33.
Based on my analysis of 57 specimens, the average market cost per ml of beard oil produced in the UK is £0.41 per ml
So, a little under the market average, representing good value for money.
Therefore, I award
70% Better than average.
So, overall, based on the weighted factoring of all criteria, the Vetiver & Black Pepper Beard Oil by Ravenscourt Apothecary scores a majestic:
A complex and lasting savory aroma with excellent nourishing properties. Strongly recommended.