Michael Reid Beard Oil enterprise australian bush

Taming the beard | Australian bush remedies | campfire couture

Brainy and cheeky. Witty and inventive. Always smoking hot.

If you could bottle a bushranger – and his campfire …

Enterprising Sydney art dealer Michael Reid has sought inspiration from the Australian bush for a new line of beard oil. Forget your patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood and cedar, to tame the big bushy beard, you need a scent that is more pioneering – bushranger, campfire, cinnamon whiskey, or good strong black coffee.

The bottled lion tamer comes in four scents, for $25 each, and you can pick up a comb for $10, from Reid’s online venture, Murrurundi Art Shop, named for the pretty town in the Upper Hunter (New South Wales) where he has a property and an art dealership to supplement his Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, and Berlin galleries.

Reid explained its genesis to Excess All Areas.

“Years ago, I wanted a really good fire-pit for my property at Murrurundi, and for the love of anything well-made and simple design, I could not find one. So I had a fire-pit designed and made at a foundry in Wagga Wagga.

“From there, and with the development of the Murrurundi art gallery and Art Shop, I have been working in collaboration with artisans to produce what I need and what I would like. I have Big Brown Dog honey, which is sourced locally from yellow box trees a couple of kilometres away. From the fire-pit and the honey comes our own coffee blend (via Cafe Hernandez in Sydney’s Kings Cross).

“I want something done special. So I have it specially done.”

Last January Reid grew a beard. In May he bought some Tom Ford Beard oil from Bergdorf Goodman in New York, for $75. “I knew I could do better.”

Coming soon – by the end of November in fact –  are limited edition Joseph McGlennon & Catherine Nelson silk art scarves made in England. In Florilegium Study # 1 below, from 2014, photographed in Madagascar, Tahiti and Singapore, McGlennon has captured each bird, flower, vine and butterfly to create a Florilegium that is a landscape, straight from the Age of Enlightenment. Thanks to digital technology it can be transposed onto silk as wearable art. The scarf is produced in collaboration with tiny Midlands scarf business, Kmossed, and will sell for A$900.

Michael Reid McGlennon scarf murrurundi art shop

Joseph McGlennon’s vibrant and elaborate silk art scarf. Photo Phoebe Grigor

Reid plans to launch an Alesandro Lubjicic art scarf and a handmade perfume (from Damask perfumery in Brisbane) called Magnolia next February. Candles and soaps are in train, too.

“What I do, and the products I have made or work with in having made,” says Reid, “are very simply all about what I want. The force of will to end product, in a way.”

Related stories: Marc Newson tea service; Catherine the Great ice cream server


Editor. Writer. Traveller. Keeping tabs on all things fab. susan@excessallareas.com.au

'Taming the beard | Australian bush remedies | campfire couture' has 1 comment

  1. October 23, 2015 @ 5:10 pm Susan

    Well I have been well and truly educated. I did not know there was such a thing as beard oil which comes in so many different scents.
    Would love to have seen a picture of the fire pit. I’ve didn’t know they could be so complex. Wonderful reading5


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