Mastering Men’s Grooming with the Brooklyn Soap Company
Victor Dik and Felix Ermer founded the Brooklyn Soap Company in 2013, at a time when a culture-wide interest in “natural” grooming products for men was just starting to blossom. Dik and Ermer had known each other from going to elementary school together in New York City, and it wasn’t until later that they decided to team up after realizing that there wasn’t really any natural, plant-based, and cruelty-free products on the market that were that could still be “mostly centered on that handsome face”. (Their endearing Instagram bio reads, “Cruelty-free products made from the good stuff & none of the bullshit. Turning regular dudes into dapper gentlemen.”)
Victor and Brooklyn Soap Sales Manager Dennis Rauschenberg– both of them with noticeably well-groomed beards– recently sat with me for an interview about their brand, their mission to create truly natural grooming ingredients, and to let me try their products.
Although I’m a woman and don’t have a beard, Brooklyn Soap products can smell for themselves. Victor, Felix, and Dennis created a line of shower gel, shampoo, deodorant, and styling products for men’s hair and beards which are all produced ethically from plant essences and other natural, land-sources products– no synthetics.
They make a point to tell me that most personal care products have a habit of name-dropping wholesome ingredients, even if they are not really necessary for the product or only occur in minimal quantities, just so that manufacturers can mention the “natural” ingredient on the package. Prefabricators, for example, will put 0.2 percent of certain anti-wrinkle lenitive agents into their products so that they can claim their product is “anti-aging”.
Not so with the Brooklyn Soap Company, whose “bullshit”-free “good stuff” is hand crafted in Germany with an emphasis on simplicity. Because oil doesn’t fuse with water, for example, the team’s packaging encourages users to simply shake their solutions in order to activate (read: mix) their ingredients rather that using a chemical emulsifier. The company’s signature “beardwash” uses peppermint and rosemary essences, which are cooling and healing to the skin. Their aluminum-free deodorant (aluminum in deodorant has gotten a lot of negative media attention over the years) is meanwhile formulated with Australian tea tree oil, eucalyptus, elderflower, and marigold. For added ruggedness, they also include cedar, cyprus, lemon, and bergamot, which add an earthen, masculine scent.
Brooklyn Soap products adapt to the nature of men (their hashtag of choice: #sodapper) as they favor simplicity over ostentation, even in their packaging. Right now, the line is sold in heritage stores where men’s clothing and shoes are also available, and they are also available online. Currently, the dudes are working on a cologne called “The Woods”, which will debut at the end of October. We’re personally fans of “The Beard Bag”, which is a Brooklyn Soap jute filled with Beard Wash, Beard Oil, and an original, hand-made “gents comb”. They call it an “anti-shaving kit”, and if that’s not charming enough to get you to buy it for the GC Guy in your life, then we don’t know what is.