This softly fragrant, intoxicating 1915 Redwood Beard Balm was inspired by a series of photos of lumberjacks in California’s Redwood forests at the turn of the last century. Tiny men dwarfed by awe inspiring trees, working in teams with long, jagged saws to fell ancient redwoods. What would it have been like to be there? To explore an untouched forest, to live among the giants? This is what I came up with.
The base of this beard balm is a blend of honeyed beeswax and warm, forest floor scented bayberry wax. To that I’ve added some green unrefined hemp seed oil, and these three things come together to create a wonderfully green, organic scent base to build on. I’ve also included some castor and sweet almond oil to help stimulate hair growth and add shine to a gentleman’s beard.
I started with warm, intriguing labdanum, sweetly vanilla-like peru balsam, and a hint of smoke from birch tar essential oil, evoking memories of the sun on the forest floor and a fire burning in the distance. To that I added a bit of coffee, fresh cedarwood and pine, and bright camphor; like a breath of fresh air.
The final scent blend starts bright and fresh, and mellows to a warm, intoxicating base of sunshine and cool soil. Since I’m beardless I spread it all over my hands, and it makes a lovely body butter/hand salve as well. Give this 1915 Redwood Beard Balm a go; it’s lovely.
1915 Redwood Beard Balm
2 drops coffee essential oil
1–2 toothpick swirls birch tar essential oil (you can also use vetiver or cade instead)
1 blob labdanum essential oil
3 drops cedarwood essential oil
5 drops camphor essential oil
1 drop pine essential oil (fir essential oil or spruce would also work)
2 drops peru balsam essential oil (you can also use benzoin essential oil, though take care not to use too much!)
Weigh the waxes and oils out into a heat resistant measuring cup and place it in a small saucepan with about 3cm/1″ simmering water in it. Heat until everything has melted through.
Once all the oils have melted, remove the measuring cup from the water bath and stir. Count out the drops of essential oils into the oils, stirring to combine.
Pour the mixture into a 30mL/1 ounce tin and let it set up before using. Makes enough to fill a single 30mL/1 ounce tin.
A toothpick swirl is where you dip a toothpick into your bottle of essential oil and then stir it into the oils. Depending on how big your “dip” is, how much you like smoke, and which smokey essential, the number of times you do this may vary. Be sure you’re using a clean end of a toothpick for each dip into your EO bottle. This is a great way to include super potent essential oils without overpowering the scent blend; I find even a single drop of any of the smokey essential oils is overpowering in smaller batches.