Today I have a specimen from Brisbane based Australian beard care specialists The Urban Swagman.
The Swagman’s stated mission is to ‘bring the bush into the workplace’. A noble objective.
This specimen arrived in a really cool little cardboard box, stamped with the company logo.
Whilst grading packaging is outside of my direct sphere of assessment, I nominally award top marks for this container. I’ve received great products before in God awful, clunky, oversized boxes. This box is nicely compact and aesthetically appealing enough to be used as a gift.
The life of a professional beard oil collector is hard. I get to see the best and worst of the world in a single day. Where the man on the street might just see a ‘great beard oil’, having analysed hundreds of specimens, I see exactly what is unique about each and every product.
In this case, the Swagman range has a curiously oversized label wrapping around the bottle like a blanket. This will help keep the oil warm in winter and provide additional protection against any UV rays. Ingenious.
Let’s see how the specimen fares in the full suite of tests.
I’m going to be straight up and state this specimen has the best lingerability of any I have graded thus far!
I was able to detect the subtle tones of this oil for 105 minutes after application!
This is massive. The average beard oil and benchmark average is 30 minutes.
96% for lingerabilty. Incredible!
The Spicy Pirate has a subtle aroma.
Some beard oils will smack you (and any passing closely by) around the face with their off-the-charts potency. The Swagman’s range is on the more subtle end of the spectrum. Don’t see this as a bad thing. When combined with it’s excellent lingerability, the experience of a long-lasting subtle aroma in your facial hair is really very pleasant.
In the formal sniff test, this oil scored 1 foot precisely on the emanation meter – which is in line with the benchmark industry average.
Note: I am grading two of the The Urban Swagman’s products here. Spicy Pirate and Bushman’s Secret. Only Emotional Response has been graded separately for each, since all other aspects are common.
Deep and earthy, yet subtly spicy tones of clove dance hand-in-hand with the sweet, tangy scent of aromatic lime – creating a fusion that gently massages your nostrils and imbibes you with a sense of optimism.
As I took my morning walk, with my winter coat wrapped tightly around me, the aromas swirled up from my beard and danced around my face.
This bought a smile to my lips, a glimmer to my eye and set me in stead for the day ahead.
91% – A really great way to start the day!
Charismatic and playful notes of lemon myrtle took great pleasure in making love to my nostrils and permeating directly up into my brain, where they combined with the intensely refreshing yet floral tones of eucalyptus.
For 8 seconds I was transported directly into the heart of the Australian bush land, where I was surrounded by primal wild life and fantastic creatures of nature – all of whom were wary of my dominant bearded essence and erred far, far away from me.
The essence of Australian bushland releases your uncontainable inner warrior as you stalk around the office floor.
93% – Sublime!
This specimen fares well in the greasiness test.
When I hold this oil up to the light in the applicator it gleams, shimmers and shines like an elixir of kings.
I am not sure if these qualities reflect directly on the greasiness of the specimen, but it is certainly not an overly viscous substance – although not the thinnest I have sampled either.
In the formal race down the 21cm glass substrate, the oil did the distance in precisely 21 seconds. A nimble and athletic rate of 1 cm per second!
This is in comparison to a 30 second benchmark average.
85% for greasiness. Impressive.
I’m really impressed by the hair impact of this specimen.
After I applied the oil, my beard just kept on getting softer and softer! It takes a good couple of hours for the full effect to settle in as the argan, jojoba and almond oils nourish your hair.
Those that have read my how to apply beard oil expose, know that I always recommend applying 2 coats. After the second coat of Spicy Pirate, my beard was as soft as a well groomed and extremely intelligent wizard’s!
This was backed up by the formal blu-tac test, where the post application hair indentations were barely visible.
95% for hair impact – Rock on!
After applying this recipe to the parts of my face around the beard, my often dry skin was literally nourished. There were no problems with absorption either, with the skin drinking up every last drop of the oil and leaving no residue behind.
This carrier oil blend somehow does a fantastic job of delivering the benefits of jojoba oil directly into your skin.
95% for skin impact. Wonderful!
A 50ml bottle of this oil will set you back $49 (AUD), with P&P of $10 (International delivery is available and priced at checkout).
The Total Price of $59 therefore equates to $1.18 per ml.
Based on my market analysis of the 47 major Australian beard oil producers, the average market price per ml of beard oil produced in Australia is £0.93 per ml.
Therefore, this specimen is a little over average and in fact lies in the top 68th percentile of the market.
However, somehow, the the crew at the Urban Swagman have managed to craft an almost perfect blend of carrier oils that deliver an extremely therapeutic effect on both the hair and skin. The aroma is also very pleasant and I will therefore adjust the value score to reflect this.
As per my beard oil review methodology, I am unable to award more than 90% Overall to any specimen that is graded below 75% in Value. This is the reason the coveted Golden Thumbs Up award exists. I award the Golden Thumbs up to oils that would have scored 90%+ had they been offered at a lower price point.
52% for Value with Golden Thumbs Up.
So, overall, based on the weighted factoring of all criteria, the Spicy Pirate by Urban Swagman scores an fantastic:
The Urban Swagman has delivered on what it set out to do and bought the bush into the workplace!
An incredibly nourishing product with a great, long-lasting subtle aroma. Highly recommended.