Disclaimer: Mad Alchemy is an advertiser here at RKP. We hope you won’t be too surprised if we happen to like their products; it was our belief in their mission that made the relationship possible.
Checking out embrocations is a bit like candle shopping. The very first thing I do is unscrew the top and then bring the jar right up to my nose and inhale deeply. I enjoy the mystery of trying to figure out what ingredients have been combined witches’ cauldron style to give those creations their unique scent; it’s quite like wine tasting. As a candle shopper (and Yankee Candle fanatic) I never found candles labeled “Douglas Fir” terribly interesting. One-note creations lack depth and the adventure of figuring out the unique elements the give the blends their character. Show me a candle named “Christmas Cookie” or “Autumn Harvest” and I’ll show you a candle with some depth.
So it was that when I received the new Mad Alchemy Chris Jones Signature Blend that I opened the top, inserted my schnoz and breathed in what I detected were the very flavors of summer. It was distinctly mellow smelling and while that designation was more about the heat factor, I couldn’t help but think that descriptor was just as apt in metaphor. Coconut. That was the dominant tone of the scent and brought back memories of countless stunning beauties from my youth wearing Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion. Beneath that was the uncomplicated yet rich fragrance of vanilla.
The label sports a pastiche of the perennial favorite surf wax, a brand whose stickers transcended surfers themselves: Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax. While the connection between summer and surf wax made a certain amount of sense to me, it wasn’t until I went to the Mad Alchemy site and read Pete’s description that I understood the intersection point between Chris Jones, surfing and this embrocation. Aha!
Because how you apply an embrocation will affect just how hot it is, I have realized that I need less of a Mad Alchemy embro on my legs to get the job done than I would use with most other brands. The friends who taught me had learned the old-school Euro method of applying enough embro that their legs gleamed with a glossy car wax look and remained slick to the touch. I’ve found that if I apply that much Mad Alchemy to my legs the mellow will carry me into temperatures I don’t think of as, well, mellow. Pete rates this as being effective from as low as 35 degrees to as warm as 70. In my experience, I wouldn’t use this if the temperature was above 65 degrees and I go light on it if the ride is going to be three hours or less. I applied this before the San Luis Obispo Gran Fondo and eight hours layer it was keeping me warm on the drive home. Pete credits the embro’s staying power to ultra-fresh ingredients he was able to source for this blend.
One word of caution: Shea butter has a rather orangy tint to it and that can leave visible marks on white Lycra should you choose to wear some on a cool day.
This is one of those rare embros where, at least for me, the scent alone conjures the heat of a summer day, ensuring my comfort no matter what it’s like outside.
A 4 oz., recyclable jar goes for $21.95 and 5 percent of the proceeds go to the Just Go Harder Foundation.