John 'Fud' Zavacki

REVIEW: Alchemy Home Company creates the best beard and mustache products in Scranton… and everywhere else

REVIEW: Alchemy Home Company creates the best beard and mustache products in Scranton… and everywhere else
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Beards may be all the rage with the trendy folks, but for those of us who have been sporting whiskers for decades, it is painfully common that, even with the sudden boom in market share, beard grooming products are by and large a huge letdown.

The primary reason I’ve observed is that, almost without exception, these “beard specific” products are nothing more than relabeled standard above-the-nose hair products, and to those of us with the genetic prowess to be able to raise unruly beards, that’s simply not good enough. Lemme tell all y’all, your topknot ain’t the same kinda hair as your chin whiskers. Not even by a longshot.

As a result, beard grooming products have historically fallen significantly short of their projected goal, and those that perform in any functional way have a tendency to smell, well… they just smell.

But I’m here to tell ya… there’s somthin’ else…

Behold, my hirsute brethren, I bring you grand news and great hope for the future of your chin curtains! Allow me to expound and expand…

I’ve been blessed with a brilliant sampling of manly notions from Alchemy Home Company, handcrafted in Scranton by the wizardry of the illustrious Ms. Stacy Giovannucci and crew, and I’m about to gush like a bobbysoxer at a Sinatra show about the stuff, so buckle up, my lovelies!

Comb not included, ‘cuz it’s mine.

Now, I am aware that there are many poorly tended beards out there, but I have found the cure to all of your whisker woes and the secret to luxurious lineament locks (although none as glorious as my own… don’t feel bad, I’m superior in almost every way). This is your opportunity to redeem your mug.

I will now enlighten ye rogues. Take heed!

First off, the mustache waxes are beyond compare. The luster and deep sheen my ‘stache took on when I applied these miracle elixirs was nothing short of brilliant. Like the perfectly buffed fender of a 1939 Mercury Eight, every hair caught the glimmer and shimmer of even the dimmest of lights and projected the full awesomeness of my upper lip ornamentation to every corner of the room.

My beard took on the same fantabulous glow when I applied the miraculous beard oil to my eager beard. Unlike other oils I’ve used, the shine didn’t evaporate away; it lasts! Like, all day lasts, bringing great joy and tearful praise from all that witness the glory of my mug mane from dawn to dusk and into the wee hours.

Another trait exclusive to Alchemy Home Company’s many grooming goodies is that there is zero heavy or greasy feeling with either product. Zero, zip, nada. That’s something I can say only about the Alchemy Home Company products and no other. Despite my tendency to embellish, I promise you that this statement is absolutely factual.

Having tried, over the course of two and a half decades, everything from standard drug store foil tube waxes that come complete with those weird, green plastic brush/comb combos to overpriced English imports that dry like shellac and make your beard duller than an honest politician, I think I have earned the right to call myself an expert on the subject of beard grooming.

You could disagree with me about this if you’d like, but you’d be wrong.

Let’s move on to the exquisite scents now, shall we?

I am aware that I may appear as though I smell much like a recently moistened hound, but I assure you that, in reality, I am annoyingly particular about the scents I use, and I have very particular preferences and very refined tastes.

This is about as refined as I get.

I’ve had good fortune to sample four of Alchemy Home Company’s mustache wax scents: High Sierra, Cedar, Timber, and (by personal request) Leather.

All have authentic, subtle, organic qualities. None are overbearing, heavy, or perfumey, and each has its own personality and evokes its own individual mood.

My personal favorite is Leather. When I asked for something “manly, like leather,” I never suspected it would smell exactly like a brand new leather jacket; I figured something reminiscent of a leather-ish scent. What I got was the full-on awesome of newly tanned leather on my top lip. Seriously, I have no idea how it’s possible, but it’s not “like” leather – it’s leather!

Second to the top is Cedar. It’s crisp, sharp, but mellow, just like your grandmother’s wool scarf when she first took it out of the cedar chest each autumn. As soon as I opened the tin, I was brought back to a specific moment, rolling cedar needles between my fingers to let that amazing smell escape in my grandmother’s garden as a kid.

Timber has that awesome scent of freshly sawn wood that makes everyone stop, close their eyes, and deeply inhale at every possible opportunity. If you ever spent a summer roofing or framing or if, as I was lucky enough to experience, your dad carved wood and built guitars and cabinets, I promise you a flood of good memories.

And High Sierra’s subtle sage took me back to the adventure of my many reckless, youthful cross-country drives and a momentary opportunity to remember what it was like to have no place to be and all day to get there.

Every single fragrance is complex, authentic, and unique. There are no bad choices here, so I suggest you try one of everything I’ve mentioned and to further explore the ones I’ve yet to sample. I look forward to personally hearing your insights.

On to the beard oil, an experience whose greatness I was totally unprepared for.

The limited edition (that means get it now, son, ‘cuz it ain’t gonna be waiting around for “later”) Pine Scotch/Tonka/Cedar scent created one of those olfactory time machines that happen all too rarely, yet make such a massive impression.

I placed a dime sized dab onto my palm as per instruction and began to massage it into my beard. It was at this point that I was literally transported to the woods I spent the majority of my early life exploring that surrounded my hometown.

I could hear the laughter of my friends, retrace every step, visit each hut we’d built and burned, see every foot of every trail, and relive every single moment I’d spent surrounded by trees and the people who have ever since been the most important part of my life.

Without exaggeration, I can tell you that I was graced with a flood of an entire lifetime’s worth of perfect memories simply by opening one little bottle. That’s a bold statement, y’all, and I do not make it lightly.

All of this wonderfulness, combined with the fact that it makes my already glorious visage even more miraculously stunning simply by applying these manly beard products from Alchemy Home Company, is the ultimate jackpot situation.

I cannot urge you strongly enough to do yourself the favor and likewise acquire your own stash of awesome for your awesome ‘stache.

Stock up on Alchemy Home Company men’s grooming products and take your first step towards becoming (almost) as awesome as me.

Shop for custom-created small batch perfumes, scents, waxes, oils, scrubs, shave soap, skincare products, oddities, and more at Alchemy Home Company is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest and can be contacted at 570-687-8528 or