Krampus by The Bearded Elite
The Bearded Elite are a new company within the UK small batch beard sector which went live on 4th April 2021. I had the pleasure of giving some private feedback during their R&D phase but now they are back, CPSR certified and fully trading. Founded by Steve and Kai, their intentions are built into the company name, with an aim to be a bearded elite. This Review will dive deeper into the Krampus beard oil and see if they guys are ready to take their place amongst the elite.
Random Fact Before We Start
Krampus has an orange scent within the overall profile which ties fantastically into the Krampus name which could be blissfully ignored by many people.
Krampus for those who don't know is pretty much the opposite of St Nicholas. Krampus would scare, steal and beat naughty children into being nice. A long horned, tall standing goat like figure with sharp fangs, a snake like tongue which would droll saliva and shackles dragged across the floor. Often carrying a bag to steal children or bundles of birch to beat naughty little kids. A figure which aims to scare children to be nice before the dreaded date which was the 5th of December however to survive a meeting with Krampus then you must offer it a piece of fruit like an orange. This would prompt Krampus to sit and share with the child to which he would leave the little kiddy unharmed in the knowledge that this child has done something nice.
A more commercial view regarding St Nicholas then this actually takes on various stories but with similarities none the less. St Nicholas would leave oranges, dried fruit and walnuts within the stocking of children as golden gifts which was once seen as a rarity. This gifts would once again be shared but this time with family members.
A religious point of view the orange is used in a Christingle, which is an orange with a candle through the middle, wrapped in a single red ribbon and classically decorated with clove however modern times have seen them decorated with sweets for the children to eat. The overall item represents the light to people in theoretical darkness, and provides a gift of nourishment to those in need.
No matter what version you choose to believe the symbolic meaning is to give to others which I'm sure The Bearded Elite will give back to this community.
Outside the bottle
A 30ml bottle with a pipette applicator will cost you £12.99, a price which at the current market is competitive. A matte black, glass bottle which feels heavy and really sturdy in the hand is an impressive start. A simplistic black label which protrudes from the bottle slightly like it's almost been printed on card or embossed is another unusual factor and gives the bottle a premium feel when it's rubbing amongst your fingertips. A simplistic skull and beard design with the logo at the front and appropriate labelling wrapping around giving you ingredients, company details and directions for use.
Even though the design is not outlandishly different than the normal skull and bones, which is widely used nowadays, I feel this separates itself from a crowd once the product is actually in your hand. It feels well made, as if I could drop it on the floor yet it would scream for more punishment. There are few brands which I feel could be tossed into the bottom of my gym bag and survive unscathed without the need to be wrapped up in a towel. The Bearded Elite are prepared to take these steps and stand out slightly which is applaud.
Inside the bottle
An interesting mix of base carrier oil consisting of Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil, Castor Oil and Vitamin E make up the carrier base for your beard. An all natural essential oil blend of Orange, Grapefruit and Cinnamon is used for the scent which is great to see and runs nicely with the Christmas / Krampus theme. Long term, essential oil only brands can limit themselves with scent possibilities however I love companies who want to take this stance. Fragrance oil vs essential oil is always a fierce debate yet surely there's room for both? This carrier mixture uses ingredients which are widely used and known to be great for your beard.
Why change a winning formula? Well there's no reason to but I am always keen to see companies use new ingredients to push the community however as I said before, don't break something which isn't broken.
Krampus comes as a medium thickness oil which is released perfectly, allowing easy management from the bottle due to its pipette applicator. The oil has a medium absorption rate which typically would hold within you beard for around 5 to 6 six hours before any dryness crept in. Over zealous use would leave you beard slightly heavy and excessively oily which means a minimalistic approach to usage is suggested but this is to be expected for an oil which is made up of slower absorbing carrier oils. Throughout the course of the testing period I happily noticed general softness of my beard throughout the day but come evening it started to pull back to its natural dryer state yet it still had a elements of nourishment where some of the carrier oils would be clinging on like a child to a bedpost when Krampus was pulling them to his liar.
The scent profile is a simplistic yet effective blend with the rich, warming cinnamon being the dominant scent which is bolstered by the citrus orange and zesty grapefruit. It represents the Christmas theme really nicely for me and it produces a little bit of magic with the symbolic connections. The orange is very subtle, which I would prefer a little more sweetness yet there's enough citrus to absorb the cinnamon kick which would normally be produced. On average I found the orange and grapefruit would be lucky to last an hour however the warming cinnamon could last towards the 5 hour mark.
The Bearded Elite have entered the mix and have set a really great benchmark for their first attempt. The oil hits every mark nicely for a medium thickness oil, it gives good oil longevity, nice absorption rate, a general softer feeling beard, nice scent duration and in my opinion a premium feeling product bottle. A really good all round product yet for some reason it doesn't scream attention or that elite status YET.
Longer term plans I would love to see them progress either creating more complex scents or an oil longevity to hit the 8 hour mark at least. Perhaps a tall order for any company to want both yet to truly stand out I feel there does have to be a little R&D somewhere to take them from good to The Bearded Elite.