The Story of Elements by RUNESILK
After the release and success of Revolution, I wanted to create something a bit more challenging. I read a lot about alchemy and essence, and one of the things that shows up a lot in ancient alchemy is the importance of the four alchemical elements; Air, Water, Earth and Fire. Immediately, I knew this had to be the theme of next release, and set myself the challenge to release them all within a year, and by releasing each of the Elements on the associated season that aligns, albeit with a slight alteration, as I flipped Water and Fire. It seemed fitting to make a counter element. When it’s cold, you want Fire; when you’re hot, you want Water.
The Elements project was rewarding, albeit stressful. I wanted to create a series of beard care products that weren’t typical of others currently available, and at times I’ll admit, I almost took the easy way out. A year of hard work brought together a collection of beard oils and balms that I am proud to have developed, and the feedback I have received so far has made it all worthwhile.
The journey began early in 2019.
With just a few months to get the first element released by spring, I had to get cracking. I wanted to pull in “clarity” scents while at the same time not making it too simple. The idea was that it would be an initial “wake up” hit while subtly changing to be more of a typical manly scent.
After a couple of months playing with variations of essential oil blends until I finally got olfactory fatigue, I created the first attempt at the scent. We sent samples out to a select few people I had been speaking with from various beard communities on Facebook. We used the feedback we collected to make some slight tweaks, and Elements Air was ready to send out to the world. Both oil and balm were reviewed by Guardians of the Beard administrator Zec Richardson, who awarded us a Golden Beard Award for both oil and balm. So far so good…
As soon as Air was released, I set about working on Elements Water. It was at this stage where I hit the first sets of hurdles and challenges. I tried to create several solutions, all of which were just missing the mark. Lemon and Rosemary was one of the first combinations I attempted, trying to link to drinking water in a restaurant. But it needed to evoke sensations and emotions, not just be literally water.
I almost gave up many times and considered releasing Elements Water as an unscented oil (as water doesn’t have much of a smell, apart from maybe chlorine depending on where you are located in the world).
Then I a light bulb switched on. My wife and I used to make soaps and candles, and one of the scents I loved was cucumber. Also, cucumbers are 95% water, that works. OK, so lemon and cucumber = win! Still not entirely happy with it, I played around a bit more and finally content with the current blend, it was time to send it to the test; instant hit! So in July, literally by the skin of our teeth, we got the paperwork together, labels printed and got the first batch out in time for summer. The result, a fresh, and bizarrely cold smelling fragrance.
I have to mention at this stage, I was also working in the festival industry, so time wasn’t on my side during the creation of Elements Water as I was slap bang in the middle of festival season.
Halfway in and already feeling the stress of the project, I tackled Elements Earth. Surprisingly, this one was developed fairly quickly and released without any delays. I knew what I wanted to achieve with Earth and had started working on this one alongside Elements Water. Elements Earth was also the first one I released without consulting any of the bearded communities; It was also the one that was put up against many incredible brands in Zec’s 2019 Product of the Year (and almost won!)
One thing to note here; I dislike camphorous scents and not a particular fan of piney scents either as they remind me of Toilet Duck, so anything medicinal, isn’t for me. So that struck off anything typically woodsy. But I did want to evoke the sensation of the forest. Elements Earth is like walking through a damp forest after the rain has cooled a hot, muggy day.
The biggest challenge in the creation of Elements was Fire, and I knew this one was going to be the most anticipated of them all! After releasing Elements Earth towards the back end of October, I left myself just five weeks to develop the final product in the collection in time for a December release.
I knew this one was going to be a “love it” of “hate it” scent as it was going to resemble the element of fire closely. Everything I tried just wasn’t right, I mean, I made some cracking scents during this time of experimentation, some of which I’m sure to release in the future, but they weren’t what I envisioned of Elements Fire. This final piece of the puzzle was the most expensive one to develop, and the last release was changed several times before being launched in December of 2019. The end product is a sweet and smokey combination that will transport you to a log cabin with an open fire.
“If you are looking for something a bit different to your typical barbershop beard oils, you should definitely try something from the Elements collection. Daniel from RUNESILK has cleverly managed to capture the essence of the elements in each one - you may just find a new favourite.“