There is nothing quite as satisfying and attractive as a well-groomed beard. Chris Hemsworth, Jason Momoa, Hugh Jackman, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Idris Elba, and LeBron James have proven this time and time again.
You may have a man in your life that sports his own mane, or you might be looking to try a beard oil for the first time yourself, but there’s something you should know: a beard oil is essential to maintaining the look of a beard and the health of the hair, too.
When it comes to beard grooming, there are so many products available to the modern man: balms, combs, shampoos, conditioners, and butters, but none quite as important as beard oil. While some beard oils don’t smell like much at all, there are some that smell just as good as cologne.
Like any other product on the market, there’s the good, the bad, and the downright ugly (or in this case, stinky). Luckily for you, we rounded up the best beard oil of 2021, so that you don’t have to go out looking for yourself.
First off, why should you use beard oil?
For starters, it conditions your beard, helps to avoid dandruff, and it smells great. Plus, oil protects the skin underneath your beard and keeps it looking soft – not wiry. There is nothing cute about a frizzy, unkempt, crusty, flakey, foul-smelling beard that has no other purpose but to collect crumbs.
For these reasons, we believe that using beard oil should become just another step in your skincare routine.
Choosing the Best Smelling Beard Oil: A Guide
The best smelling beard oil for you will depend on what kinds of scent you are drawn to. Beard oils range from citrusy to fruity to musky to earthy to sweet. Typically, men will go for a more masculine olfactory experience with woody notes like ambrox.
That said, there is nothing barring anyone from scents that lean on the fruity or musky side. Again, the scent of a beard oil should only be decided by the wearer for the simple fact that it’s applied so close to the nose, they’ll be smelling it all day!
The factors that affect the price of beard oil are brand and ingredients. Between a beard oil from luxury fashion designer Tom Ford and a beard oil from skincare giant Kiehl’s, Tom Ford’s is bound to cost more.
When it comes to ingredients, if the contents of the oil are rare or valuable, they will drive up the cost. Typically, if you see ‘rare’ or ‘imported’ on the label, you’ll also see a hefty price tag.
There are so many brands that dabble in men’s grooming and hair care. Some names that offer more affordable options are Hawkins & Brimble, The Ritual of Samurai, and Kiehl’s. Then, there are labels that offer more luxurious beard oils at higher prices such as Tom Ford, Acqua Di Parma, and Le Labo.
Besides price point, you may also have concerns about ethical labor, sustainably sourced ingredients, or even cruelty-free testing practices. Different brands have different loyalties and personalities, so it’s best to weigh out whether or not they align with you.
What kind of hair do you have? And I’m not talking about the hair on your head – that’s for another article. Similar to how we can be picky and selective about our hair care products, beard care products are just as important to be choosy over.
If you have dry, coarse beard hair, you’ll want to look for a beard oil that’s deeply moisturizing and, in effect, softening. If you have thick beard hair or curly beard hair, then you may want to look for something that will tame it and shape it up.
- Province Apothecary Beard Oil, $36
- Le Labo Beard Oil, $78
- Acqua Di Parma Barbiere Beard Serum, $75
- Tom Ford Oud Wood Conditioning Beard Oil, $67
- Elemis Smooth Result Shave & Beard Oil, $36
- Seven Potions Beard Oil in Citrus Tonic, $21
- Kiehl’s Grooming Solutions Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil, $29
- Hawkins & Brimble Beard Oil – Elemi & Ginseng, $15
- The Ritual of Samurai Beard Oil, $21
- Baxter of California Beard Grooming Oil, $28
The Best Smelling Beard Oil: Our Top 10 Picks
Why not jazz your grooming routine up with a little beard oil? Our favorites come with more benefits than just their scent: they’re moisturizing, smoothing, and do not clog pores. So, you can use them as skincare products too.
If you’re ready to peruse the best smelling beard oils that money can buy, at least one (or five) of our top 10 picks will suit your fancy. Happy shopping!
#1 – Province Apothecary Beard Oil
Julie Clark founded Province Apothecary after struggling to diagnose struggles with her skin. She is devoted to creating organic, seasonal, and fresh products for all skin types. Her brand is certifiably ethically sourced, vegan, recommended by naturopaths, and cruelty-free.
The PA Beard Oil deeply nourishes with botanicals from the root of the hair to the tip, leaving a light scent and moisturized skin underneath. Notable ingredients include cedarwood oil and black spruce oil, which fortifies hair and adds volume. This woodsy formula sells for $36.
#2 – Le Labo Beard Oil
This popular fragrance house was established in 2006 and has since gained fame for its unique and complex scents, vintage apothecary packaging, and fascinating, almost-cryptic naming convention. You will notice that a lot of Le Labo scents are named with a word and a number: the word is the most prominent note, while the number is the total amount of notes within the fragrance.
The Le Labo beard oil is vegan, as well as paraben, sulfate, phthalate, artificial colorant, and cruelty-free. Using sunflower, grapeseed, and jojoba oils, it nourishes beard hair so that it’s moisturized and smooth.
Plus, it’s scented with bergamot, lavender, violet, and tonka bean. Price-wise, it rings in at $78.
#3 – Acqua Di Parma Barbiere Beard Serum
Since 1916, Acqua Di Parma had been bottling Italian luxury in elegant fragrances and lifestyle products. Everything is handmade in Italy using high-quality ingredients, and the Barbiere Beard Serum embodies the brand’s dedication to its craft.
Recommended as part of a grooming set, the serum leaves beards looking conditioned with hyaluronic acid, pomegranate, basil, and lemon. Sweet almond and grapeseed oils are also blended inside the vibrant mustard yellow bottle, which sells for $75.
#4 – Tom Ford Oud Wood Conditioning Beard Oil
Tom Ford offers luxurious takes on everyday products like nail pigments, makeup, and skin treatments, including men’s grooming essentials. The designer’s namesake brand has always resembled three things: sophistication, class, and high-fashion steeze.
The Oud Wood Conditioning Beard Oil is unmistakably Tom Ford, given its sleek, all-black appearance aesthetic. The oil itself softens and nourishes parched hair with a lightweight, subtly scented blend of almond, jojoba, and grapeseed oils, in addition to vitamin E.
Dress up your facial hair with this sultry potion for $67.
#5 – Elemis Smooth Result Shave & Beard Oil
Elemis is a British brand devoted to providing high-quality products that focus on four things:
- Skin wellness
- Proven results
- Feel-good skincare
- Transparent innovation
Elemis blends artistry, aromatherapy, and science to create products that cater to the body and the mind.
The $35 Smooth Result Shave & Beard Oil is a multi-purpose product that can be used on the hair and skin to prep for shaving. It contains nourishing jojoba, hazelnut, and grapeseed oils, and it leaves a light minty, herbal scent behind.
#6 – Seven Potions Beard Oil in Citrus Tonic
This men’s grooming line was founded by John Bouridis in 2014 when he realized that lacklustre products overtook the market. Ever since, he’s been elevating the grooming category with products that focus on sustainability, quality, performance, innovation, and confidence.
The Seven Potions Beard Oil features apricot kernel oil, crambe seed oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, kukui nut oil, and vitamin E to protect the beard from split-ends, dandruff, and dryness.
It comes in three fragrance options: citrus tonic (our favorite), woodland harmony, and pure equilibrium (unscented). Nourish your beard or a loved one’s with Seven Potions for only $21.
#7 – Kiehl’s Grooming Solutions Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil
Kiehl’s began as a humble apothecary on a street corner in NYC, but it has become one of the leading skincare and wellness brands in the world. It boasts an impressive range of nature-inspired, scientifically proven formulas to help your hair, skin, and nails.
Using pure, organic ingredients, the Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil conditions, removes dead skin and prevents dandruff with salicylic acid. It also smells incredible, thanks to a mixture of cedarwood, sandalwood, and eucalyptus.
This earthy, woodsy, aromatic concoction retails for $29.
#8 – Hawkins & Brimble Beard Oil – Elemi & Ginseng
Hawkins & Brimble is a fully recyclable, cruelty-free, natural, paraben and SLS-free shaving, skincare, beard, and hair care company. Founded by Stephen Shortt in 2016, the brand offers intriguing scents, organic formulations, and high-quality ingredients.
In the Elemi & Ginseng beard oil, argan oil, olive oil, shea butter, and vitamin E prevent flaking. When it comes to scent, top notes of coffee, elemi, and rose flow into lavender, geranium, and patchouli, then finish with base notes of musk, amber, and vanilla.
Is this a cologne or a beard oil? Find out for only $15!
#9 – The Ritual of Samurai Beard Oil
We perform rituals in our everyday lives. We wake up, brush our teeth, make our breakfast, and go about our day, but in between those moments, we are always methodically doing something. This brand recognizes the importance of rituals with luxe, accessible products, including The Ritual of Samurai Beard Oil.
With a fusion of sencha, Japanese mint oil, and jojoba oil, any skin type can use this product to achieve a better beard. Priced at $21, the matte black bottle enhances the formula’s masculine energy and mystery.
#10 – Baxter of California Beard Grooming Oil
Since 1965, Baxter of California has been improving the men’s grooming sector with expertly curated hair, skin, and shave essentials. The company’s Beard Grooming Oil features squalene and avocado oil to moisturize skin and hair, as well as natural botanicals to soothe and nourish.
The paraben-free mixture is quick-absorbing and full of vitamin E to stimulate healthy hair growth. It is scented with an earthy, musky blend of sandalwood, jasmine, and cedarwood and costs $28.
Which beard oil is best to use on sensitive skin?
If you have sensitive skin, you will want a beard oil that avoids using irritants and comedogenic ingredients, like ascorbic acid, parabens, and alpha-hydroxy acids such as glycolic, malic, and lactic acid.
Unfortunately, heavy fragrances can also irritate your skin, which means that you will have to pass on most scented oils. With one look at our list, you’ll notice that some brands are more dedicated to skin safety and overall health than others.
That said, some of the best brands to shop for sensitive skin are Elemis, Kiehl’s, The Ritual of Samurai, and Province Apothecary.
Which beard oils are the most affordable?
By far, the most affordable beard oils on our list are from Hawkins & Brimble ($15), followed by options from The Ritual of Samurai, Baxter of California, Seven Potions, and Kiehl’s that lie within the $20 range.
The past year and a half have been challenging for personal care services like hairstyling and aesthetics. Given the increase in at-home beard trimmings, it’s more crucial than ever to have the right products on hand for after-care, like beard oil. After reading through this list of the best smelling beard oils, we hope that you feel a bit more confident in choosing one that’s right for you.