If you have ever asked for a shave cream recommendation in the Blackbird Apothecary, you will know how fond we are of Ursa Major. Not only does the stuff provide one of the closest shaves available, it provides a sublime sensory experience to boot, evoking towering fir trees and mountainside meadows, for a pacifying, manly shave. Added to that the company's refusal to use harmful chemicals, and you begin to see the picture: Ursa Major is great.

And now Ursa Major has added two new grooming products to their repertoire: a Face Cleanser and a Face Toner, coming soon to the Apothecary, of course. The New York Times has the story...

It took some nerve for Ursa Major, a men’s “super natural” skin-care line from Stowe, Vt., created by Manhattan expats, to debut last year with just one product sold mostly at their Web site: a shave cream with aloe, birch sap (which purportedly helps improve skin’s elasticity) and moisturizing sunflower oil.

“It’s got to work,” said Misha Anderson, a founder of Woodley & Bunny, a salon and apothecary in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that stocks the line. “You’re banking a lot.” Indeed. But this moisturizing shave cream, which subtly smells of ginger and vetiver and gives an incredibly smooth shave, has done well enough that Ursa Major’s fall crop includes a $26 face wash, a $24 toner, and a $29 hydrating balm for men’s weather-worn mugs. The face wash from Ursa Major (which stands for Great Bear, the constellation that encompasses the Big Dipper and guides explorers) just might be your boyfriend’s gateway drug into the wild world of exfoliation. It’s a low-foaming, grime-reducing, pore-cleansing wash with exfoliating fruit acids that’s a pleasure to use in less time than it takes to brush teeth. Ursa Major’s “toner” is a misnomer in a way, said Oliver Sweatman, who created the line with his partner, Emily Doyle. He uses it on a cotton wipe to refresh his face on the go or at night, which is why he calls it the “lazy man’s face wash.” Mind you, he doesn’t look lazy, but radiant — in a fresh-from-the-fields rugged way. (Catherine Saint Louis)

Stay tuned to the Blackbird blog to find out when the new products will arrive in the Blackbird Apothecary.