Article updated: May 30, 2022
What’s the best way to keep a beard looking healthy, happy, and smelling awesome?
Easy — use a great smelling beard oil or beard balm.
While beard oils and balms have a few key differences between them (balm offers light hold), they both essentially serve the same primary purpose: to moisturize, hydrate, and soften coarse beard hair. They can even help prevent beard breakage, split ends, dandruff (beardruff), and itch.
Another excellent reason to use a beard oil or balm is to give your beard a fresh, masculine scent. Ideally one that’ll have panties hitting the floor upon first whiff.
But when you consider the fact that there are literally thousands of beard oils and beard balms available on the market — and just as many different scents — it’s no wonder that it can be incredibly difficult to determine which ones smell great and which ones don’t.
So in an effort to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, I compiled this list of best smelling beard oils and balms. Each one is hand selected by me based on extensive personal experience, and since scent is highly subjective, I also solicited the advice of thousands of user reviews from gentlemen just like you and me.
The end result is this comprehensive list of best smelling beard oils and beard balms. I hope you find what you’re looking for.
- The Bearded Grenade – Stem to Stern
- Badass Beard Oil – The Viking
- The Bearded Grenade – Santal
- Grave Before Shave – Beard Oil 4 Pack
- Badass Beard Balm – The Viking
- Simply Great Beard Oil – SEXY
- 18.21 Man Made – Spiced Vanilla Beard Balm
- Wild Dog Beard Co. – Blueberry Day Beard Oil
- Grave Before Shave – Aphrodisiac Beard Balm
- Viking Revolution – Bay Rum Beard Oil
- Grave Before Shave – Cigar Blend Beard Balm
- Lather & Wood – Original Scent Beard Oil
- Gladiator Beard Co. – Icon Beard Balm
- Viking Revolution – Beard Oil 3 Pack
- Zeus – Verbena Lime Beard Balm
Best Smelling Beard Oils and Balms Reviewed
The Bearded Grenade – Stem to Stern
If you’re in search of the best smelling beard oil in existence, I highly recommend you check out “Stem to Stern” scented beard oil from The Bearded Grenade. This super premium beard oil is made in the USA and features an excellent aquatic cologne scent that smells fresh, clean, and incredibly masculine. With notes of citrus, amber, marine, and wood, Stem to Stern is a bonafide crowd pleaser and smells about as unique as they come. Aside from the awesome scent, Stem to Stern contains a ton of beard beneficial ingredients that you typically don’t find in other beard oils. Inside the bottle is a unique blend of carrier oils that not only smooth and soften coarse beard hair, but also moisturize and nourish the skin underneath the beard. Available in a 1oz glass bottle (2-3 month supply) with a shaker insert for dispensing. Here’s what’s inside: Meadowfoam seed oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, pomegranate seed oil, watermelon seed oil, castor oil, passion fruit seed oil, vitamin E.
What else is great about TBG Stem to Stern?
• Handmade in the USA in small batches
One of the things I really like about The Bearded Grenade is the fact that it’s a small, USA based company that prioritizes quality and freshness. All of their beard oils are handmade in the USA in small, quality controlled batches. This not only ensures consistency, but it also means a fresher product for us the consumer. While most large companies order their ingredients in mass quantities to save on costs, The Bearded Grenade orders their ingredients in small quantities, ensuring nothing but the freshest ingredients go into every bottle of their beard oil.
• Feels great in the beard
One of the things that stands out about The Bearded Grenade beard oil is how great it feels in the beard. It makes the beard feel incredibly smooth and soft, all while moisturizing and nourishing the skin underneath the beard. It’s non-greasy and lightweight, but still helps control those annoying flyaway hairs thanks to the addition of castor oil. It’s also formulated using 100% non-comedogenic carrier oils which means it won’t clog pores.
• Excellent scents
Scent is a very subjective thing. If Stem to Stern doesn’t peak your interest, The Bearded Grenade also offers a few other beard oil scents that smell just as excellent, including: Plague Mask, Ragged Wood, Fresh Squeeze, Santal, and RAW (unscented). Here’s a closer look at The Bearded Grenade’s scent descriptions:
- Plague Mask – A warm spicy scent that contains notes of cinnamon, clove, leather, tobacco, coffee, resins, vanilla, and patchouli.
- Ragged Wood – A masculine woodsy scent that contains notes of cedar, sandalwood, pine, and vetiver.
- Fresh Squeeze – A fresh citrus scent that contains notes of orange, tangerine, bergamot, mandarin, and vanilla.
- Santal – A cologne type beard oil that contains notes of sandalwood, powder, white musk, and amber.
- RAW – Unscented
• Cool packaging
While this isn’t directly related to the beard oil itself, it’s worth mentioning that The Bearded Grenade offers some really cool product packaging for their beard oils. Every bottle of their beard oil comes in an embossed metal tin with an included mini drawstring bag for storage. It’s definitely a cool little touch that makes unpacking their beard oil a little more special. It also makes it very gift worthy.
Badass Beard Oil – The Viking
In search of a great smelling, everyday type beard oil scent? Consider giving Badass Beard Oil “The Viking” a try. This all-natural beard oil is sure to give your nose hairs something to be excited about with it’s unique blend of 100% organic essential oils, including: white fir, orange, and clove. I would describe the scent as woody, citrusy, warm, sweet, and slightly spicy. It’s a long lasting scent that will keep your nose company all day but without coming off as too strong or overbearing. Meaning the scent lasts, but it doesn’t overpower or clash with cologne or body spray. Aside from it’s great scent, Badass Beard Oil does a great job of softening coarse beard hair, detangling, and it even soothes beard itch and unsightly beard dandruff (beardruff). Bottom Line: Expect many compliments with this beard oil.
The Bearded Grenade – Santal
White musk, sandalwood, powder, amber, and lavender – does it get anymore masculine than that? Santal from The Bearded Grenade features a masculine, cologne type scent that smells simply incredible and is borderline addictive. One of the things that I really like about Santal beard oil is its versatility. The clean, cologne scent of Santal makes it suitable for pretty much any occasion. Whether it’s date night, work, or if you’re simply looking for a great everyday beard oil, Santal from The Bearded Grenade fits the bill very nicely. The soft, manly scent of Santal isn’t too strong or overpowering, but it makes itself known when loved ones are close – pretty much exactly what you want from a great cologne type beard oil. Bottom line: Smells excellent, the ladies love it, and it makes an excellent everyday beard oil. Highly recommended.
Grave Before Shave – Beard Oil 4 Pack
What do you do when you can’t decide on one particular beard oil? You take the easy way out and get a variety pack. This 4 pack from Grave Before Shave is a collection of their most popular smelling beard oils and is an excellent choice for men who like a little bit of variety in their life. The 4 pack includes: Bay Rum (my favorite), Pine Scent, O.G. Scent, and Viking Blend. Each scent is distinct and masculine in their own unique way, and perfectly suited for manly men such as ourselves. Scents aside, all of these beard oils are formulated with all-natural ingredients that are designed to soften coarse beard hairs, moisturize and hydrate, and promote healthy growth. Bottom Line: The Grave Before Shave 4 Pack is an awesome smelling option for men who like assortment and variety.
Bay Rum – A classic bay rum scent but with a subtle coconut twist. It smells woody, warm, herbal, spicy, and subtly sweet. My favorite of the 4.
Pine Scent – A classic pine tree scent that smells bold, woody, rugged, and masculine. Think lumberjack cutting down a pine tree — but without the lumberjack or the axe.
O.G. Scent – A refreshing blend of orange, lemon, and rosemary. It smells citrusy, sweet, tangy, and slightly herbal.
Viking Blend – Contains no added fragrance but instead gets it’s subtle aroma from a blend of all-natural essential oils. It smells fresh, herbal, and slightly citrusy. A great low-key option for daily use.
Badass Beard Balm – The Viking
If my top pick peaked your interest but you’re more of a beard balm type of guy, this one is definitely for you. Just like Badass Beard Oil, this balm features the same great “Viking” fragrance, but it’s offered in a convenient, easy to use balm that is designed to nourish and hydrate beard hair, tame fly aways, and of course give your beard a kick ass scent that your nose hairs are going to love. The scent profile contains: white fir, orange, and clove, and I would describe the smell as warm, woody, citrusy, sweet, and slightly spicy. It’s definitely bold and masculine but without being too strong or overbearing. Meaning the scent lingers in the beard all day, but it won’t overpower or clash with body spray or cologne. Bottom Line: when it comes to best smelling beard balms — The Viking is absolutely a top contender.
Simply Great Beard Oil – SEXY
If you’re thinking about bringing sexy back, you might want to start with this “SEXY” scented beard oil by Simply Great Beard Oil. If ever there was a beard oil fragrance that was capable of causing panties to drop and women to go weak in the knees — SEXY would without a doubt be it. Opposed to most beard oils, SEXY features a cologne type fragrance that I would best describe as smelling warm, citrusy, leathery, woody, clean, slightly sweet, and slightly spicy — with notes of rosemary, lavender, and sandalwood. It’s bold and masculine, and perfectly suited for bearded gentlemen such as ourselves. Great scent aside, Simply Great Beard Oil is full of beard beneficial oils that moisturize, hydrate, and soften, while promoting growth and overall beard health. Bottom Line: SEXY is a bold smelling beard oil that exudes confidence and masculinity.
18.21 Man Made – Spiced Vanilla Beard Balm
When nothing but a rugged, masculine smelling beard balm will do, 18.21 Man Made Spiced Vanilla is the beard balm for you. This super premium beard balm is designed to moisturize, hydrate, and soften beards, while it tames flyaways and promotes beard thickness and growth. And while the performance is everything you would expect from a premium beard balm, it’s the awesome scent of this product that really makes it stand out. The scent profile contains: vanilla, ginger, clove, coconut, star anise, amber, smoked tobacco, wood, and musk. It’s very bold, rugged, masculine, and definitely unique as hell. It’s the sort of beard balm I would envision James Bond would use — if he ever decided to sport a beard. Bottom Line: 18.21 Man Made Spiced Vanilla is a true man’s man beard balm that the women will love.
Wild Dog Beard Co. – Blueberry Day Beard Oil
If you’re looking for an incredibly awesome smelling beard oil but want to experience something truly unique and different, Wild Dog Blueberry Day is definitely worthy of your consideration. Blueberry Day is inspired by the warm, cozy smell of ‘straight from the oven’ blueberry cobbler with a subtle touch of zesty lemon. It’s unique, creative, and most definitely one of a kind. And while the scent may tempt you to chug the contents of the bottle, I advise you to fight the urge and only use this beard oil for it’s intended purpose. Seriously, don’t fucking drink it. Awesome scent aside, Blueberry Day is full of moisturizing oils that smooth and soften coarse beard hair, add a touch of shine, and encourage healthy growth. Bottom Line: While Blueberry Day might not be suited for every man (blueberry haters), it’s certainly a unique and awesome smelling beard oil that will definitely turn some heads.
Grave Before Shave – Aphrodisiac Beard Balm
If your two main focuses in life are to have a kick ass beard and to make as many panties wet as humanly possible, then this is certainly the beard balm for you. Grave Before Shave “Aphrodisiac” beard balm is designed to condition, moisturize, and hydrate, while it tames stray hairs and flyaways. And just like the name Aphrodisiac suggests, this beard balm’s scent is sure to stimulate sexual desire in any women who catches a whiff of the awesomely masculine fragrance. The scent profile contains notes of rich leather and cedar wood that I would describe as smelling bold, woody, earthy, manly, rugged, and refined. It’s also worth noting that the scent works well as an everyday beard balm since it isn’t overpowering, and doesn’t clash with body spray or cologne. Bottom Line: Grave Before Shave Aphrodisiac is a manly smelling beard balm that’s almost impossible not to like.
Viking Revolution – Bay Rum Beard Oil
If you’re a fan of old school barbershop scents then this Bay Rum Scented beard oil from Viking Revolution might be for you. They take the classic scent of bay rum and give it a unique Viking Revolution twist that smells very woody, warm, spicy, and sweet with a distinct note of cinnamon. It’s bold and masculine, but isn’t too strong or overbearing. It provides a long lasting scent in the beard, but doesn’t overpower or clash with cologne or body spray. Great scent aside, Viking Revolution Bay Rum beard oil is full of moisturizing oils that soften, smooth, detangle, prevent split ends, elimintate beardruff, and even take care of beard itch. It’s also worth mentioning that this stuff is pretty damn inexpensive compared to most beard oils on the market. Bottom Line: If you want an awesome smelling — and performing — beard oil at a very reasonable price, Viking Revolution Bay Rum is definitely a solid pick.
Grave Before Shave – Cigar Blend Beard Balm
If you enjoy the bold, masculine scent of fresh cigars then I recommend you take of whiff of this Cigar Blend beard balm from Grave Before Shave. With a scent that is reminiscent of an old style smoke shop, this Cigar Blend beard balm contains notes of fresh tobacco and vanilla, and can be described as: warm, earthy, spicy, musky, woody, and slightly sweet. It’s bold, rugged, masculine, and perfectly suited for gentlemen who aren’t afraid to smell like men. Aside from the awesome scent, Grave Before Shave beard balm is full of moisturizing ingredients that soften and smooth coarse beard hair, prevent split ends, eliminate beard dandruff, and even promote stronger growth. Here’s a look at what’s inside: coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, tea tree oil, apricot oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, vitamin E, and aloe vera. Bottom Line: This is an excellent smelling cigar inspired beard balm that pairs perfectly with a bold, masculine beard.
Lather & Wood – Original Scent Beard Oil
Take your nose for a walk on the wild side with this Ultra Moisturizing Beard Oil from Lather & Wood. Although Lather & Wood doesn’t give the scent of this oil a formal name — except “Original Scent” — it’s still an awesome smelling beard oil and a worthy edition to this list. The scent is derived from a complex blend of 7 natural ingredients and can be described as woodsy, minty, fresh, clean, earthy and even slightly nutty. It’s very rugged and masculine, and quickly elicits thoughts of a bearded, flannel wearing lumberjack chopping down trees. What could be more manlier than that? Aside from it’s rugged scent, this beard oil is packed with moisturizing ingredients that soften coarse beard hair, eliminate beard dandruff, and prevent split ends. Here’s a quick look at what’s inside: jojoba oil, castor oil, argan oil, coconut oil, rosehips oil, grapeseed oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus, aloe, hazelnut oil, lavender oil, and green tea extract. Bottom Line: Lather & Wood Beard Oil is a fresh and rugged smelling beard oil that is pretty much impossible not to like. Perfect for every-day use.
Gladiator Beard Co. – Icon Beard Balm
You don’t have to fight to the death like a gladiator in order to smell like one. Gladiator Beard Co. gives us this “Icon” scented beard oil that smells about as tough and masculine as a gladiator looks. The scent profile contains a complex blend of frankincense, myrrh, lavender, bergamot, and orange. It smells woody, spicy, earthy, citrusy, warm, and slightly sweet. The scent is not only strong and masculine, but it’s incredibly unique and well refined. It’s definitely not your average smelling beard balm. Great scent aside, Gladiator Beard Balm is designed to moisturize and hydrate, provide a light hold, and promote healthy beard growth. It also contains shea butter and vitamin E that protect the beard, and do a great job of preventing split ends and breakage. Bottom Line: Gladiator Icon contains some uncommon essential oils that give this beard balm a very masculine and unique scent that is absolutely worth a sniff.
Viking Revolution – Beard Oil 3 Pack
They say that variety is the spice of life, right? But that’s not the only reason why I included this Viking Revolution variety pack to this list. The fact that each one of the included beard oils smells friggin awesome has a whole lot to do with it too. The pack includes: Clary Sage, Cedar Pine, and Sandalwood. Each one is formulated with all-natural and organic essential oils that do an excellent job of moisturizing, hydrating, and softening coarse beard hair. They are also excellent at preventing beard dandruff and uncomfortable beard itch. While the ingredients vary slightly between scents, each one contains organic argan oil and jojoba oil. Both oils are known for their moisturizing and softening properties, and their ability to increase hair’s elasticity, which greatly reduces beard breakage and split ends. Bottom Line: If you’re struggling to find the best smelling beard oil for you, this variety pack from Viking Revolution is a fool proof option. It’s priced really well too.
Clary Sage – A subtle fresh scent that smells herbal, floral, earthy, and slightly fruity. An excellent subtle fragrance that works really well for daily use.
Cedar Pine – A masculine, rugged scent that smells of fresh cut cedarwood and pine trees with subtle citrus and earthy notes.
Sandalwood – A classic scent that smells very woody, warm, earthy, musky, and fresh. In my opinion it’s the boldest of the 3 scents, but isn’t too strong or overpowering.
Zeus – Verbena Lime Beard Balm
Start smelling like a Greek god with this Verbena Lime scented Beard Balm from Zeus. While I personally have no idea what a Greek god might smell like, I imagine he would probably smell about as awesome as this beard balm does. Verbena Lime is one of Zeus’s signature scents and the smell can be described as citrusy, tangy, fruity, sweet, and slightly floral. It’s very refined and masculine, and makes for the perfect every-day beard balm due to it’s light, fresh scent. Another thing that’s awesome about Zeus Beard Balm is it’s long list of natural ingredients that are designed to moisturize and soften beard hairs, eliminate itch, and even provide a light hold. Here’s some of the key ingredients: sunflower oil, beeswax, candelilla wax, carnauba wax, soybean oil, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, avocado oil, hempseed oil, shea butter, and aloe. Bottom Line: Zeus Verbena Lime is the perfect beard balm for men who prefer a light, fresh scent that isn’t too strong or overpowering.
How to Apply Beard Oil
If your goal is to have a happy, healthy, and great smelling beard then beard oil is a must. By now I’m sure you know all the benefits that beard oil can offer, but you still might have some questions regarding proper application and usage.
The good news is that applying beard oil isn’t exactly rocket science. But just like most things in life: there’s a right way and a wrong way of doing it.
Below I’ll cover some of the most common questions men have when it comes to applying beard oil.
When should beard oil be applied?
One of the most common questions men ask regarding beard oil is, “when’s the best time to apply it.”
While it’s perfectly fine to apply beard oil anytime, it actually offers the most benefits for the beard when it’s applied directly after a shower. That’s because steam and hot water temporarily open the shingle-like structure of the hair shaft called the cuticle — allowing beard oil to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft.
This not only moisturizes, hydrates and softens course beard hair, but it greatly improves beard hair elasticity which can help eliminate breakage and split ends.
How much beard oil should you use?
Another common question men have about beard oil is how much should be used. But since beards vary in length and thickness, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
So here’s a general guideline for determining how much beard oil you should be using based on average growth.
Stubble to 1 month of growth = 3-4 drops of beard oil
1-3 months of growth = 4-6 drops of beard oil
3-12 months of growth = 6-10 drops of beard oil
12+ months of growth = 10+ drops of beard oil
How often should beard oil be applied?
Everyday. Beard oil should be used on a daily basis in order to keep your beard feeling soft, hydrated, and looking it’s best. While one application in the morning should be suitable for most men, it’s okay to reapply throughout the day if your beard is feeling dry or you’re experiencing itchiness.
What’s the proper way to apply beard oil?
Now that you know how much beard oil to use and when to use it, maybe it’s time you learned the proper way of applying it to your beard. Don’t worry, the process is pretty simple.
1. Place your beard oil into the palm or your hand using the above beard oil drop chart for reference.
2. Work the beard oil between the palm of your hands and between your fingers.
3. Thoroughly work your hands through the length of your beard making sure to apply it to the skin under your beard as well. This will help prevent beardruff and uncomfortable itch.
4. Use a comb or a good boar bristle brush to thoroughly distribute the beard oil throughout the length of your beard. This also helps with detangling and adding thickness and fullness.
Thanks for checking out my list of best smelling beard oils and balms. If you found this article helpful, check out my list of best smelling body lotions for men. As always, if you have any comments or questions feel free to drop me a line in the comment section below.