As I lay drinking my morning coffee, my concubines gently massaging my chin, I pondered upon the world’s great dualities.
Are human beings innately good or bad?
Will the one beard oil to bind them all be found in a hidden mountainside apothecary in the Himalayas, or a large commercial producer in Australia?
On the one hand, since I started this project I’ve harbored a romantic notion that the best beard oil on the planet will be secreted away in an obscure hiding place, subject to an age-old secret recipe handed down over generations.
On the other hand, do perhaps the larger beard oil manufacturers stand a better chance of perfecting the ultimate recipe? After all, they do have years of commercial experience and resources to apply to refining their products, based on huge customer bases.
Today we have a specimen from big name Australian beard care outfit Milkman Grooming Co. Milkman was founded in 2014 by head honcho Ben De Campo with his wife Jackee and is one of the most popular beard grooming brands in the country.
The specimen is known as the Chai Latte and arrives in a stylish custom made 50ml bottle printed with the Milkman logo.
On paper, the recipe sounds like a winner. We have 7 carrier oils and 8 essential oils – including the brilliantly engineered combination of cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg and clove!
Enough of the theory, let’s look at the practice and see how this specimen fares the rigours of my beard oil review methodology.
This specimen almost broke my methodology for lingerability.
When I started up this project in January, I defined the 50% benchmark as 30 minutes and the 100% benchmark as 4 hours. Sound reasonable, right? And so far, it has fared me well – with 16 specimens falling within that range.
The Chai Latte lingers practically all day!
In fact, when my alarm clock woke me up at 5am the next day, I could still smell the scent of this specimen lingering in my beard. Unbelievable!
What I find with many beard oils is the aroma will linger strongly for an hour or so and then fade away completely. With Milkman’s blend, the lingering is incredibly subtle right from the start but lasts much longer.
I am bound by my charter to act in accordance with my published methodology and therefore I award:
100% for lingerabilty. Doesn’t get any better!
This is not the kind of aroma that will blast down the front door as you enter the house and cause your family to hide in the cupboard under the stairs in woeful anticipation of your overbearing facial hair.
The Chai Latte is more of subtle scent that you and your loved ones (or any body else that ducks in for a hug) will appreciate when they come close.
The emanation meter backed up my observations in the formal test, with the specimen scoring a more than respectable 1.2 feet (1 foot being the 50% benchmark).
65%. Better than average.
The Chai Latte hits you more like a cologne than a typical beard oil.
I believe this is due to the wily inclusion of cinnamyl alcohol, which the experts at Milkman have cunningly included in their recipe.
I am a fan of this approach. Sometimes at the end of a hard day reviewing artisan beard oils, I feel like a worn out old bag of my grandma’s pot puri. With the Milkman blend you get that sexier, muskier fragrance that sits somewhere between an aftershave and a beard oil.
The aroma itself is rich yet refreshing. Spicy yet masculine.
One can pick the deep, earthy warming tones of nutmeg and cardamon interplaying with the sweet notes of clove and cinnamon. All of which is offset by a subtly sharp background musk of juniper and lemon.
I felt enthused with physical strength, refreshed and ready to start the day!
95% – Exceptional
The Milkman recipe uses grapeseed oil as the primary base oil.
This results in a thinner beard oil product than many on the marketplace.
Where this scores strongly is in the greasiness stakes. There is practically no greasiness at all with this specimen.
Interestingly the Chai Latte took 32 seconds to traverse the 21cm glass substrate, which would indicate a higher viscosity substance.
However, I am taking the executive decision to overrule this indicator, since anecdotal evidence illustrates this is a thinner oil and is not greasy. When you drip it out of the applicator you can see it isn’t a thick oil.
98% for greasiness. Exceptional.
Bobert Brush’s beard hair was conditioned by this brew, this I cannot deny.
I went for a calming ocean swim before reviewing this product and shampooed my beard afterwards, so my hair was particularly dry and parched. After waiting 20 minutes for the brew to sink in, I observed additional manageability, additional softness and additional lustre.
The grapeseed and cinnamyl alcohol mixture doesn’t perform quite as strongly in the hair impact department as some of the thicker beard oils out there. But one might well consider that a worthy sacrifice in view of the specimen’s outstanding aroma and lingerability.
And having said that, the Chai Latte still conditioned my beard admirably and in fact I still grade it within the top quartile of beard oils for hair impact.
Therefore, I score:
84% for hair impact – Respectable.
Likewise with skin impact, the blend delivered an effective enough moisturizing performance for me to grade it:
83% for skin impact. Effective.
A nice decent size 50ml bottle of the Chai Latte will set you back $32 (AUD) with P&P (within Australia) of $7.50 for a Total Price of $39.50. International postage is available and priced at checkout.
This equates to $0.79 per ml.
My complete analysis of the Australian beard oil industry tells us the average market price of beard oil in Australia is $1.11 per ml.
Therefore the Milkman offering is significantly cheaper than the market average. In fact, out of the 44 major Australian beard oil vendors, Milkman is priced the 6th cheapest. Considering you are getting a well respected brand name product for your money, this represents mind-bendingly good value!
Therefore, I award the Chai Latte:
90% for Value. Outstanding!
So, overall, based on the weighted factoring of all criteria, the Chai Latte by Milkman scores an awesome:
Great value, professional beard oil with an aroma of rich, spiced cologne. Highly recommended.