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The Best Smelling Beard Oil: DEEP Inhale… Ahhhhh

Before we dive into our list of the best smelling beard oils, we're going to be honest for a moment:

We love that beard oil makes your beard look full and healthy, and that it moisturizes your whiskers and the skin underneath those whiskers. That's all wonderful, and we're really appreciate that beard oils work so well.

But even if beard oil didn’t do all that, we'd still want to wear it. For us, the most important—and most rewarding—aspect of beard oil is how it smells: the experience of the fragrance when you open the bottle, when you whisk it underneath your nose, and when you apply it—and then when you wear it around all day.

So, after (literally) years of experimenting, here are our favorite beard oil scents. We've broken them down into type, so you can skip down to exactly the category that interests you.

Have fun, inhale deeply, and enjoy!

Quick Picks: Our Favorite Beards Oil Arranged by Scent

We get into the details below, but here's a quick recap of the most delicious and enticing scents we've found:

Best Sweet Scent: Honest Amish Beard Oil. Gentle and sweet (but not floral), this is a totally unique fragrance that's great as an every-day beard oil

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Masculine/Cologne-Like Fragrance: Beardoholic Beard Oil. Deep and rich, this is great for "formal" events or nights out

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best "Clean" Smell: Jack Black Beard Oil. Clean and crisp (but not soapy), this is a REALLY effective hydrator and great for dry beards

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Vanilla Scent: Striking Viking Vanilla Beard Oil. A *strong* and unmistakable vanilla scent, this is great if you 1) love the sweet scent of vanilla and 2) want others to enjoy it too

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Citrus Fragrance: Zeus Verbena Lime Beard Oil. Pleasant and exotic, this is a great summery scent that's lively and enticing

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Forest Scent: Cremo Forest Blend Beard Oil. There are a LOT of "pine" beard oils out there, but this is our favorite, and it's great for anything outdoorsy

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Sandalwood Concoction: Viking Revolution Sandalwood Beard Oil. Of all the sandalwood beard oils we've used, this has the clearest, most enticing "barbershop" scent—classic, manly, and good for just about any event

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Bay Rum Beard Oil: Grave Before Shave Bay Rum Beard Oil. Both sweet and spicy, this is lively and funky and summer-y, and we kind of want to drink it (Editor's Note, and note to self: beard oil is not for drinking, so do not ever drink beard oil, regardless of how delicious it smells), and...

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Minty Scent: Cremo Wild Mint Beard Oil. Lively, perky, and wakeful (but not medicinal), this is our top pick for mint fragrance—inviting and fun but not too pushy.

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Smelling Beard Oils: Our Favorites

Alright! Let's get into the nitty-gritty. We'll start with a beard oil that many guys seem to know:

Best Sweet Scent Beard Oil: Honest Amish

Sweet, but not *too* sweet, with a nice range of unique elements: clove, anise, lavender, and cinnamon

We'll start with what is probably—and maybe surprisingly—the most popular beard oil out there: Honest Amish Beard Oil.

Why is that surprising, you might ask? Well, because when most other beard oils are tripping over themselves to create a broad range of scents, Honest Amish has a single scent, and it's the same scent across all their other products—their beard balms, their beard waxes, and so on. It's kind of gutsy to have a single scent, really, especially when everybody else is offering an entire range.

But that signature scent is perhaps their biggest selling point: it's totally unique, and really enticing. It's a mix of clove (which has a sweet, warm, earthy smell), star anise (which has a calm, licorice-like smell, but not too powerful), a little bit of lavender (flowery, but not too much so), and cinnamon (which is a sweet smell, but has a little punch to it). It's difficult to explain, but it's kind of earthy, and sweet without being floral—welcoming, in other words.

Honest Amish - Classic Beard Oil - 2 Ounce*
  • Hand Crafted in the USA
  • Organic Virgin Argan, Golden Jojoba and 6 More Premium Hydrating Oils
  • All Natural and Organic Ingredients

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

And, to be sure—not everybody likes it. In fact, some people really dislike it! And that's the challenge, when you make a "signature" scent that doesn't smell like anything else—some people are going to love it, and some won't (and they'll be vocal about it). But, given Honest Amish's popularity, it's safe to say a lot of people appreciate it.

This gets our vote as best smell-smelling beard oil—it's pleasant and warm, without being TOO sweet. Many sweet scents are way too powerful and smell like a dessert, but Honest Amish strikes a nice balance in something that's unique, interesting, and inviting.

Best Cologne-Like Beard Oil: Beardoholic

A more serious, dignified scent that feels appropriate for formal events, nights at the club, work, etc.

If you're not in it to smell sweet, we'll switch gears and give you something completely different: a smell that's serious, and perhaps even a bit commanding: Beardoholic Beard Oil.

The marketing copy for Beardoholic says it has a "light cedar" fragrance, and we kind of get that, but it's not strong enough to get that sense of being in the woods, like you get with some other "pine" or "forest" scents. Instead, this smells a bit like a cologne—it has a deep, rich scent that smells unique and compelling. Instead of a light, airy smell that a lot of beard oils have, it's got that sort of gravitas that colognes have. It doesn't smell like alcohol, like a lot of colognes do (and there's no alcohol in this formulation, or any beard oils, that we know of), but it's got that "heft." That's unique among beard oils, and it's noteworthy—there's not really anything else out there that smells like this one. 

Beardoholic Premium Quality Beard Oil and Leave-in Conditioner, Softener - 100% Pure Organic Natural, Light Cedar Scent - Beard Growth and Stops Itchiness - Jojoba and Argan Oil*
  • 100% NATURAL AND ORGANIC INGREDIENTS: A perfect mix of almond, argan, castor, jojoba, grape seed, wheat germ and essential oil straightens and softens facial hair while moisturizing dry skin under your beard. Get rid of beard itch, dandruff and split ends once and for all. With just a few drops a day, this men oil that’s free of additives, GMO’s and parabens will boost your beard’s growth making it grow faster, fuller and thicker than ever before.
  • EXTRA ABSORBENT AND NON-GREASY: Keep your facial hair neat, smooth and entirely tangle-free without making it look and feel greasy. This growth beard oil absorbs into your beard completely after only a few minutes, leaving it to look clean and incredibly soft to the touch. Only a few drops of this beard grow oil is enough to provide the full coverage and make your beard incredibly manageable and easy to tame.
  • PLEASANT LIGHT CEDAR SCENT: The essence of light cedar is subtle and not overwhelming so you can combine this beard grow oil even with your favorite cologne or face wash without mixing the fragrances. You won’t have to worry about the overbearing smell that follows you around since the scent is mild from the beginning and will leave you with a subtle, but delightful feeling all day.

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Aside from the smell, which gets thumbs up from us—we love it—we have to give a tip of the hat to the design of the of the beard oil. Whereas most beard oils come in a bottle shaped like a lab vial, Beardoholic comes in a short, squat bottle that's a throw-back to old medicine bottles. That's a nice touch, and it makes it stick out a bit—most other beard oils come in vials, and if you look at the rest of our list, that's the case.

So we appreciate that, but the next design decision is inspired, and we're big fans: instead of retrieving and applying the oil via a dropper, you simply turn the bottle over and drop it out.

Allow us to explain. In most beard oils, you remove the oil via a dropper that looks like this:

That's fine, but if you're not paying attention to what you're doing, it tends to leak everywhere—it dribbles out when it's not supposed to, and if you're not holding the dropping end-side-up, you can end up wasting a lot of it.

Beardoholic designed their beard oil with an opening aperture at the top, that looks like this:

That aperture allows you to use as many—or as few—drops of the oil as you'd like, and it's a lot easier to use and a LOT cleaner. It's also a lot easier to travel with—dropper-top beard oils tend to leak in luggage, whereas Beardoholic has a screw-up cap that seals it up right nice. That's a GREAT design.

Best Gentle, "Clean" Smell: Jack Black

One of few beard oils with a "clean" scent to it, that doesn't come across soapy or flowery. Also—a GREAT moisturizer, and as far as performance goes, probably the best beard oil in our list

You're probably asking: "Do you mean that Jack Black?" and no, we don't. We don't know exactly who the Jack Black here is, but it's not the Jack Black of film and stage fame. It would be cool if that Jack Black had a beard oil, and we'd definitely check it out, but as far as we know, 1) that Jack Black doesn't have a beard oil, and 2) he doesn't have any plans to.

Whoever this Jack Black is, though, he gets our kudos for an oil well done. First off, the bottle! You're going to come across a lot of brown bottles when you're looking for a beard oil, and they all tend to look alike after a while.

But look at Jack Black, in that striking blue jar!

How handsome! We're not sure if that blue bottle has any real-world advantage—if it protects the oil from UV light, or anything like that—but we can say that we think it's very pleasant to look at. Most beard oils kind of look the same, and they come in a brown bottle with a dropper, and that's that. This guy, however, is quite unique and dapper, and that's wonderful. 

Anyway. We're talking about scents here, and Jack Black Beard Oil is very unique in a subtle, tame way—it has a very calm, "clean" scent, that a lot of beard oils shoot for but don't attain. If you're looking for something even and not too showy, but gently adds a little something your fragrance, this is what we'd recommend. It has a way of making a beard smell clean, which is wonderful, because beards have a reputation for smelling... well, not clean.

In addition to that interesting, somewhat neutral scent, though, we should mention that in terms of performance, Jack Black is probably one of the best beard oils on our list. It's made with some really great ingredients, including kalahari melon oil, marula fruit oil, and plum oil. Those three ingredients do an incredible job moisturizing your beard hair and the skin beneath it (and we love that they included plum oil, which has a ton of vitamins and is easily absorbed into the skin).

Jack Black - Beard Oil with Kalahari Melon Oil & Vitamin E, 1 Fl Oz*
  • Plum Oil softens brittle dry facial hair for added control healthy shine
  • Free of synthetic fragrance parabens or colorants
  • Dermatologist tested

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

That ingredient list is really unique, and pretty exotic—most beard oils have one or two carrier oils (like almond oil or grapeseed oil) and one or two essential oils and then call it a day. In fact, many beard oils feature the same ingredients as many other beard oils, and there's not really that much difference between them, other than scent—so the unique ingredient list with Jack Black really is wonderful.

Next on our list of the best smelling beard oil…

Best Vanilla Scent Oil: Striking Viking

A straight-forward, unmistakable, clean vanilla-scented beard oil

Very often, you'll come across a scent in a beard product, and you'll think to yourself, "What is that? Is it... rosewater? jasmine? clary sage?" Sometimes you're not quite sure what you're smelling, and without looking at the bottle, you'll probably never know. Scents are kind of mysterious.

That is not our experience with Striking Viking products, and especially Striking Viking Vanilla Beard Oil. Striking Viking is known for their straight-forward scents—their lime smells really strong of lime, their mint smells really strong of mint, and so on—and they really lean into the vanilla scent here. In fact, if you wear too much of this, you may end up smelling like a cupcake from your favorite cafe. Not a bad thing, maybe, but it can be a surprise if you're not expecting it. 

And, listen: we're not being glib. There are a quite a lot of guys—and quite a few ladies—who like that bakery vanilla scent. It's really pleasant, and it tends to get a strong reaction from the people you wear it around. If that's what you're hoping for, this is what we'd suggest.

Striking Viking Vanilla Beard Oil (Large 2 oz.) - 100% Natural Beard Conditioner with Organic Argan and Jojoba Beard Oils with Vanilla Scent - Softens, Moisturizers, and Strengthens Beard Growth*
  • Invigorate Your Senses - Our vanilla beard oil for men is non-greasy and made with nothing but pure all natural ingredients, leaving your beard looking and smelling its best
  • Softens and Conditions - Our beard oil conditioner is made with high quality ingredients to help tame your beard, while also making it thicker, fuller and softer. Striking Viking beard grooming products for men will give you the confidence to conquer the world!
  • Healthy Beard Growth - Our beard conditioning oil promotes growth by effectively restoring the natural moisture to the root of your beard leaving you with thick luscious hair

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you want a vanilla scent but toned down a little, we'd recommend Zeus Vanilla Rum Beard Oil. It's not as powerful, and it's got a couple other notes along with the vanilla, including a rum + spice mix, that gives it a liiiiiittle bit of kick. It's not as in-your-face, but again—everybody is looking for something different when it comes to scent.

Best Citrus Scent Oil: Zeus Verbana Lime

A well-made, exotic beard oil that’s a nice change of pace from ordinary citrus scents

best smelling beard oil

First, credit where credit is due: while so many companies that make beard products took the easy way out and named their products using some variation of the word "Viking" (Smooth Viking, Striking Viking, Viking Revolution), the good folks at Zeus looked around for another bearded guy with a lot of name recognition, and went with Zeus. Good on you guys—way to be creative!

(By the way: we don't mean to knock any of our Viking-named beard companies, of course—we love you all. We're just saying, "Viking" is an easy go-to when it comes to beards, and it's nice to see companies “unique-ify” themselves).

Anyway. Looking for a citrus scent? We'd suggest Zeus Verbana Lime Beard Oil. It's not a straight-up-smack-you-in-the-nose citrus scent (and if that's what you're looking for, we suggest Striking Viking Citrus Beard Oil, which does, indeed, have a striking citrus scent). This is more subdued—it smells like lime, but not in an overpowering way. You a pleasant whiff of it and you know what it is, but the aroma doesn't bowl you over. And that's a good thing.

It's a "higher-end" concoction, and among the world of beard oils, it's one of the "deluxe" options. It's got some great ingredients in it, including argan oil and grapeseed oil, but most specifically safflower oil, which has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and isn't included in too many other beard oils.

ZEUS Natural Beard Oil, Premium Conditioning Beard Oil to Soften Beard & Mustache – MADE IN USA (Verbena Lime) 1 oz.*
  • BEARD OIL: Our Beard Oil can be used in unison after our beard shampoo & conditioner. The beard oil is formulated with an exclusive antioxidant blend of Grapeseed Oil, Safflower Oil, Argan Oil and Vitamin E which moisturize and aides with healthy hair growth. It adds a slight shine to your dry facial hair without leaving you with the feeling of an oily and greasy feel on your face. Another positive with using our beard oil, it helps reduce beard itch while moisturizing both your hair and skin.
  • MADE IN USA: Zeus is based in California and most of our formulated items were created in house and filled in the USA. Our team strives to provide the best personal care products through countless hours of research and development and bring forth new and cool products. Unlike others in the market, we take pride in our products from start to finish and always listen to our base to update or even come up with new goods.
  • ALL-NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Our Beard Oil was created with all-natural based ingredients like Safflower Seed Oil, Argan Seed Oil, Vitamin E and Grape Seed Oil. The beard oil ingredient list is under 8 ingredients and is Paraben/Sulfate/Cruelty Free. These ingredients all target specific areas of normal beard growth and issues with growing a beard. It helps with adding moisture, aides with healthy hair growth and adds a slight shine to your dry facial hair without that greasy feeling.

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Zeus also has a nice range of other scents, too, including some you might not find elsewhere—they've got a Zeus Italian Cypress blend that's an exotic mint + citrus scent that a lot of companies don’t even try to make, and a Zeus Spiced Maple blend that's a warm, sweet, and inviting.

Best Forest Scent Beard Oil: Cremo

A pleasant, woodsy smell that doesn't break the bank

Some "forest" scents are less of a "scent" and more of a "punch in the jaw"—they can be very powerful. We don't know why that is—why beard companies decide to go all-in when it comes to forest scents—but that's what we've found. Maybe it's because it's such a natural, relatable scent, or maybe it's because it's difficult to tamp down a pine/cedar/woodsy scent—we're not sure. But we know that a lot of beard oils go way too hard on the woodsy scent, and that Cremo Forest Blend Beard Oil gets it just about right. It's clean, it's fresh, and it smells like the woods, without making you smell like a bucket of pine tar.

Cremo Beard Oil, Revitalizing Cedar Forest, 1 fl oz - Restore Natural Moisture and Soften Your Beard To Help Relieve Beard Itch*
  • Moisturizes and conditions your beard and the skin underneath to reduce beard itch
  • Keeps your beard and face smelling fresh and clean with aromatic cedar forest scent
  • Designed for beards of all lengths

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you'd like your beard oil to have a *slightly* stronger "forest" scent, here are the options we might suggest:

> Northern Fir Beard Oil. This is a neat blend—it's a mix of cedar wood (which kind of has a classic "forest" smell), black pepper (which, despite the insistence of every cartoon you've ever seen, doesn't make you sneeze—it's more of a fresh, pungent smell), and juniper berry (which is pine-y and aromatic). If you're looking for a forest scent that's very unique, this is what we'd suggest.

> Grave Before Shave Pine/Cedarwood Beard Oil. Most "forest"-scented beard oils make your think you're in the woods someplace, and experience the fragrance of trees—but not any kind of tree in particular, just "trees." This is a little bit different, in that it's very piney—think more "Christmas tree" than woods. It's a bright, crisp, alert smell.

Best Sandalwood Scent Beard Oil: Viking Revolution

Sandalwood is considered by many to be the "classic" masculine scent, and it comes through bright and clear here

Of all the scents that people equate with male grooming, sandalwood is probably the most recognizable scent, and the one that a lot guys call the "classic" scent. It's that clean, comforting, gentle-but-masculine smell that a lot of guys equate with coming out of a barbershop with a new haircut, because a lot of barbershop products have sandalwood in it. It's a cornerstone of many beard products, because it's strong but not overpowering, sweet but not floral, and somewhat cologne-like without being bracing. If we had to choose *one* scent to go with for the rest of our lives, it would probably be sandalwood—it's a classic masculine scent that's great for pretty much any situation or event. It's the benchmark for masculine fragrance, in a way.

Viking Revolution Beard Oil Conditioner - All Natural Sandalwood Scent with Argan & Jojoba Oils - Softens & Strengthens Beards and Mustaches for Men (Sandalwood, 1 Pack)*
  • Be a Stunner - Great Sandalwood scent will leave you to revel in the fragrance of your beard for hours
  • Goodbye, Beardruff! - Soothe your itchy and irritated skin with a just a few drops a day
  • 100% Natural - A perfect blend of Argan & Jojoba strengthens facial hair & helps avoid thin patches

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

So, as you'd imagine, there are a lot—like, a lot a lot—of beard oils that have a sandalwood scent, or include sandalwood in their formulations. There are good ones from Striking Viking, Isner Mile, Ranger, Every Man Jack, Grave Before Shave, Rocky Mountain Barber Company, and scads more.

Our favorite, however, is Viking Revolution Sandalwood Beard Oil. It's what we consider the "essence" of sandalwood—you can actually smell the sandalwood, and it's not mixed or matched with any other scents. That mix-and-match can be great—and Grave Before Shave makes a great Bourbon/Sandalwood scent—but when we want that classic, masculine sandalwood scent, this is our go-to. It's warm, inviting, and it matches the occasion, regardless of what the occasion is. One of our favorite beard oils, overall, and in our list of best beard oils.

Best Bay Rum Scent: Grave Before Shave

Fun, lively, tropical—there are a lot of Bay Rum scents out there, but we think this one is best

If sandalwood is the "classic" masculine scent, bay rum is probably second (it's not a close second, but second nonetheless). Our go-to pick when it comes to bay rum is Grave Before Shave Beard Oil.

Bay rum, as a fragrance, actually has a really fascinating history, and it was invented almost two centuries ago when a Danish chemist was messing around and combined the oil of the Pimenta racemosa tree, aka the West Indian bay tree, with West Indies rum, and thought, "This smells really, really good," and fast forward nearly 200 years, and you're here reading about bay rum beard oil.

It's got a really enticing scent—it's playful and sweet and tropical, without being silly or trivial. It doesn't smell like citrus—a lot of guys assume it will—it's more like a blend of cinnamon, clove, sweet vanilla, and... a little muskiness? It's unique and very pleasant.

GRAVE BEFORE SHAVE™ Beard Oil (Bay Rum Scent)*
  • 1 OZ. Dropper Bottle or 1 OZ. Pump Top
  • Amazing Bay Rum scent, with coconut afternotes
  • Helps keep the beard shiny and healthy

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There's a lot that can go wrong with a bay rum, and very often, beard oil companies will go too heavy on the sweet side of it, making it smell a little frivolous or dippy. Grave Before Shave gets the balance just right, so that the fragrance is fun and inviting without smelling like a candy or something.

One unexpected surprise about Grave Before Shave Bay Rum is that the scent lasts a LONG time. We had actually forgotten we had this one—it got buried in the back of the medicine cabinet for over a year, and forgotten about—and the scent was still going strong. Impressive!

Best Mint Scent: Cremo

A pleasant, mild mint that smells nice and feels cool on the skin

Cremo Beard Oil Mint Blend gets our vote for the best cooling, minty beard oil. It's actually a combination of mint scents—it has both tea tree and peppermint—and they work together nicely. That's good, because "mint" is another one of those fragrances where a lot can go wrong.

Cremo Beard Oil, Revitalizing Wild Mint, 1 fl oz - Restore Natural Moisture and Soften Your Beard To Help Relieve Beard Itch*
  • Moisturizes and conditions your beard and the skin underneath to reduce beard itch.
  • Keeps your beard and face smelling fresh and clean with aromatic wild mint scent.
  • Designed for beards of all lengths.

Last update on 2023-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why is that, you might ask? Well, mint is one of the few scents that actually has a "feel" attached to it, and using too much of it can be uncomfortable on the skin. It's important that a mint beard oil not be too powerful, because the whole point of a beard oil is to get up close and personal with your beard hair and your skin, and this works nicely. It's got a mild feel to it, and doesn't lean too heavily on the tea tree. We've heard from a lot of guys who use a tea tree shampoo (like the Paul Mitchell tea tree shampoo), and that's REALLY brisk—it creates that sort of "hot and cold at the same time" feel on the skin. This isn't like that—it's a little more mild, with notes of mint, so you don't bowl over whoever is near you.

Best Range of Scents / Best Unique Scent Line: Grave Before Shave

A mix of both "classic" scents (like pine and coffee) to new and creative blends (like "Teakwood" and "Tequila")

We've approached this post by giving our picks for each type of scent—best citrus beard oil, best vanilla beard oil, etc.—but we know that a lot of guys like to have OPTIONS, and for those guys, we'll recommend our favorite *range* of beard oil scents, which would be the Grave Before Shave Beard Oil. If you're looking to experiment with a wide range of scents, they've put a lot of thought into re-creating the classics, while also branching out into fun, weird scents that no one else has:

> Grave Before Shave Bourbon Sandalwood Beard Oil: Bourbon has a nice, warm smell, and when coupled with sandalwood—which has that clean, classic, "barbershop" scent—it creates something new and luxurious;

> Grave Before Shave Caramel Mocha Beard Oil: We always wondered why more beard companies don't make mocha-inspired beard products, because it's such an easy and well-liked scent. This is a sweet-but-perky smell that's part coffee, part dessert—very pleasant;

> Grave Before Shave Teakwood Beard Oil: This is a one-of-kind scent, and we don't know of another company that makes a teakwood beard oil. It's hard to describe, but it's a mix of peppercorn, ginger, and spice, and altogether it's a little bit musky (but not too much so). Overall, a great "manly" scent;

> Grave Before Shave Tequila Limon Beard Oil: This is surprisingly sweet and lemon-y, and it smells a little bit like candy—we thought it would very strong, but instead is very sweet;

> Grave Before Shave Headhunter Beard Oil: "Headhunter" is a pretty intense name for a beard oil—we don't want to know what a headhunter smells like—but this is a tropical-inspired beard oil, that's a little reminiscent of punch, or something like that, and very unique and playful;

> Grave Before Shave Pine and Cedarwood: A mix of two forest-y scents (pine and cedarwood, which are different, but complement each other nicely), which is strong but not as strong as...

> Grave Before Shave Outdoorsman Beard Oil: we love this, because it's got a nice "campground" thing going on, but there are some people who HATE it, because it's got hints of citronella, which some people find offensive.

They've also got their Bay Rum, which we mentioned above (and is actually our favorite Bay Rum Beard Oil, which is saying something, because there are a lot of Bay Rum scents out there).

This is all to say—if you like options, and you want to explore your way across a wide scent range of beard oils, Grave Before Shave may be your jam. The offer a lot of really fantastic and fun beard oils to choose from. 

And—this doesn't really matter, but the artwork on these bottles is fantastic. We're big fans comic books and animation, and the theme on Grave Before Shave is simply gorgeous. It doesn't feature a single character, per se, which is what most companies do—Honest Amish has their guy with the corncob pipe, Mountaineer has their Constitution-era gentleman-looking guy, etc.—but instead they stick to a single type of artwork, which is a sort of "Gothic Chic." Here's one of their beard butters:

And here's one of their beard washes:

It doesn't really matter what the beard oil labels look like, but we're totally into the *look* of products, and Grave Before Shave is a standout in that department. Gorgeous.

Best Fragrance-Free Beard Oil: Gentleman's Blend

A beard oil with no fragrance added—great for thick, course beards

Last but not least! We know the title of this post is "Best Smelling Beard Oils," so you're probably here because you want to experience fragrance. But maybe after all this chitchat about aromas and smells you're a little burned out, and want no smell.

If that's where you're at, we've had good experiences with Gentleman's Beard Unscented Beard Oil. It's got absolutely no scents added to it, it's all natural, and as a bonus, it's one of the few beard oils out there that's a great match for thick, course beard hair.

And—that's it! That’s at least one fantastic smelling beard oil from each scent type we’ve used over the years.

For those of you who might want to dive a little deeper, here are a few other things to think about when you're getting a beard oil. We hope it helps, and if you have any other questions, feel free to hop over to our "Contact" page and drop us a line.

best smelling beard oil

Fragrances You May Come Across, and How They Smell

If you're new to buying scented beard oil, you'll probably read about certain fragrances and have absolutely no idea what they smell like. That's pretty common, but it makes the practice of buying a scented beard oil something of a challenge.

So, inasmuch as we can, we'll describe the experience of certain scents. We'll skip the ones you know—lemon, lime, vanilla, mint, etc.—and go for the odder, lesser-known scents. Some of these you'll see frequently in beard oils, but others are a bit more rare.

Also, keep in mind, this is something of an impossible task, as it is impossible to accurately portray scent via the internet, but we'll do our best.

Cedarwood: Surprisingly Familiar

Many guys might say they don't know what cedarwood smells like, but it's actually a really familiar scent to most of us. It's a wood, and in its simplest form, it kind of smells "neutral," like one of those yellow pencils you used to use in school. That scent isn't going to bowl you over, but it's nice and calm and relaxing.

Cedarwood mixes really well with other scents, and you'll usually find it paired up with other, more "exciting" scents—and usually stronger, more "exciting" woodsy scents. You'll find that in Mountaineer Brand Cedarwood and Fir Needle Beard Oil and Grave Before Shave Pine/Cedarwood Beard Oil.

Clary Sage: Deep and Mysterious

Of all the scents listed here, clary sage is one of the few that guys have no conception of. That's a shame, because 1) it's a very interesting, inviting scent, and 2) it'll set you apart, because a lot of guys don't wear it. It's biting and aromatic and a little bit "deep," kind of like what sage smells like, but a little less intense and less bitter-smelling. 

There aren't too many beard oils that feature a clary sage scent, but one of the good ones—and our favorite clary sage scent—is Viking Revolution Clary Sage Beard Oil.

Vetiver: A Fragrant Grass / Very Unique

"Vetiver" just sounds interesting, doesn't it? Vetiver is a tall, thin grass that's related to other fragrant grasses, like lemon grass (although, we should mention—it doesn't smell lemon-y). This is more of a smoky, leather-y smell, and it's almost a little "root-y," if that makes sense. It's one of those fragrances that smells related to nature, and not related to perfume-y fragrances.

It's pretty rare in the world of beard oils, and the only concoction that we know of is Proraso Cypress and Vetiver Beard Oil. Proraso makes high-end shaving gear, and we looooove this beard oil—it's one of the few we'd describe as "exotic." It's another one that might set you apart a bit, because it's very unique.

Tobacco: Not What You Think

Obviously, when most people think "tobacco," they think "cigarettes." Cigarettes have a *very* distinct scent—especially when they're lit—and while we're sure some guys like them, most of us experience that scent and think, "Gross."

But that's not the scent of "tobacco," in terms of beard oils. When beard oils include "tobacco," what they're referring to is the rich, pleasant smell of dried-but-not-lit-or-smoked tobacco. That smell is deep and rich, while at the same time, invigorating—in the same way that a "coffee" smell is deep and rich yet also invigorating.

There aren't too many tobacco beard oils out there, but we like Live Bearded Sweet Tobacco and Cedarwood. Very nice.

Eucalyptus: Perky and Bright

Most guys know, vaguely, what eucalyptus smells like, because it's included in so many grooming and skincare products: it's got that powerful, minty smell that "feels" a bit cold and wakes you up. You're probably familiar with it, and wondering why we're discussing it.

Well—it deserves that reputation as "perky," because the smell is very refreshing, but a good eucalyptus is actually a little bit more sweet than straight-up mint, and you can usually find notes of honey in it. It's one of those nuanced fragrances that presents pretty boldly at first, but if you really sit with it for a moment, reveals itself to be pretty complicated.

We really love eucalyptus, and a well-made beard oil with eucalyptus can be a treat. We've had good luck with The Henna Guys Lemongrass and Eucalyptus Beard Oil. It's kind of complicated but really rewarding.

Musk: Pleasant, Despite Its Reputation

When you say the word "musk," it usually has some negative connotations, and when someone says something is "musky," the implication is usually that it's... a bit extra. People don't usually use the word "musky" when they mean "enticing."

And—that makes sense, because "musk" is a strong, bitter scent, but... it's a shame it's got that reputation, because a strong musk scent can be combined with a lot of other fragrances to make really interesting and worthwhile compounds. Our favorite is Lumber Prince Beard Oil (great name!)—it's got that husky musk scent, but not too much of it.

Oud: Supa-Dupa Classy

While the word "oud" sounds odd, make no mistake: it is a highly-prized compound for fragrances. In fact, it is one of the most expensive perfume ingredients out there, and that's probably why so few of us know about it.

In terms of scent, it varies widely, and that's because it's 1) from a tree that's hard to cultivate, making it so that 2) each sample smells a little bit different. Sometimes it's warm and has a hint of vegetation, and sometimes it's smoky and sweet and "easy." It's so rare, and so unique, that it's difficult to pin a scent label on it.

Isn’t that interesting? You learn something new every day.

There's only one beard oil that we know of that features oud, and that is Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Beard Oil. This is—and we're going to put this lightly—a little bit more "high-end" than most beard oils, and we'd save it for special occasions.

Sandalwood: Classic Masculine

We described this above in our "Best Sandalwood Scent Beard Oil: Viking Revolution," but here's a quick recap: sandalwood is a classic masculine scent, that's not quite sweet, but at the same time, pleasant, calming, and steady (which are all adjectives all good men should be).

There are plenty of sandalwood scents, and it's interesting how differently it expresses itself from bottle to bottle. It's one of those scents that's appropriate for pretty much any occasion, and never seems to go out of style.

Bay Rum: Sweet, Perky, and Tropical

We described this one above, as well, and you can read about it in our "Best Bay Rum Scent: Grave Before Shave" section above. This is basically the marriage of fragrance bay leaves (native to the Caribbean) with rum (also native to the Caribbean). It's one of the few scents that's something sweet and fun while also being respectable at the same time.

Black Pepper: No Sneezing

Pepper is an interesting ingredient for two reasons: 1) everybody equates it with food, which is odd, because when you hear about a lemon or lime scent, you take it for what it is, and don't necessarily equate it with food, and 2) everybody thinks they know what it smells like, when you try and describe it... you can't. It's a weird one.

If we had to try, we'd say that it's pungent and fresh and a little bit hot and has something of a bite. It gives fragrance a bit of a "pick-me-up," which is great, because a lot of scent concoctions would be a little bit boring without it.

Our favorite beard oil that includes pepper is Scottish Fine Soaps Company Thistle and Black Pepper Beard Oil. This one isn't very well-known, and that's a shame, because POW! it's got a lot of pepper. We appreciate that—rather than being coy, it's all about the pepper. This one is another unique beard oil that stands out.

Bergamot: Basically Citrus

Last but not least! Bergamot. This is another one that guys don't think they know, but actually do. In fact, it's pretty simple: bergamot is a citrus that's usually yellow or green and bumpy and smells like a lemon meets a lime. It's tropical, sweet, and even though it sounds exotic, it's actually pretty familiar.

There are lots of great beard oils with bergamot in them, but our favorite is the Art of Shaving Bergamot and Neroli Beard Oil. Art of Shaving is an awesome company which doesn't make too many beard products—their main gig is, as you may have guessed, shaving—but we really like this, especially as it's paired with neroli, which is another citrus, similar to a bitter orange. Wonderful.

We're in It for the Whiffs

There you have it! If you're into scents, hopefully there's a lot here for you to think about. If there's a scent that you love and we missed it, drop us a line and we'll update the post.

Until then, be good, have fun, and happy beard!

Michael Morris is the head writer here at Rough and Tumble Gentleman. He's got a ducktail beard and loves Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He's married to the woman of his dreams and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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