Friend or Faux e Liquid – A Review

Just a couple of days past the one-year mark since our first and only review of Friend or Faux, we are revisiting the brand, yet reviewing some new flavors. Friend or Faux e Liquids may be a brand many of you may not be familiar with, but I’ve been a big believer in Friend or Faux since that first review, and it was me, not them, that went seeking out a follow up review. Here’s why….

Many months ago I thought I had vaped my way through every drop of Friend or Faux I had left over from the first Spinfuel eLiquid Team Review…then back in late April of this year (2015) while digging through an old desk drawer I happened across a bottle of Dr. Hood’s Toffee Delight. The bottle contained a few milliliters, enough for a Delta 2 tank full anyway, so I opened the bottle, smelled the liquid to make sure it didn’t smell rotten (it sat there for almost a year), and then filled the tank and started vaping away. Oh the memories!

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I loved this particular e liquid flavor because it was truly an authentic, deep, luscious toffee flavor. After that tankful had been vaped to the point of a dry hit I had to have more, so I went hunting for friendorfaux.com. That didn’t work out so well because it’s a clothing website, no e liquid found anywhere. I wound up Googling it, first just Friend or Faux, which turned up many results, none of them e liquid related, then friend or faux e liquid, which did result in a hit, friendorfauxeliquids.com. (Interestingly enough, after a year since our original review, Spinfuel came up at #3 in the results, after their website “about” page at #1, and their homepage at #2.) Unfortunately, their small website was not an ecommerce site. Friend or Faux e Liquid is a brand sold to retail and online vendors only. Bummer. But I was able to contact Benny, the owner, from my list of contacts, and I asked Dave to send an email asking about the possibility of a new review.

Friend or Faux Deserves Better

The e liquid marketplace is bulging at the seams with e liquid brands, both old and new, with new brands popping up almost daily. Friend of Faux produces wonderful selections of excellent e liquids, so why do so few vapers know about them?

Based on nothing more than personal experience of vaping for almost 4 years I believe that for every good e liquid brand there are 10 that are horrible. Creating good, flavorful eliquids is not nearly as easy as some people think. Just because you can follow a recipe it doesn’t mean you can cook, and the same applies to the art of creating e liquids. There are plenty of brands I love to vape, but there are many more I regret vaping, I suspect that is true for many vapers.

Because of slick marketing and lots of start up money, many horrible brands can unwillingly force better brands to the sidelines. In the end, true artisans of e liquid are sometimes crushed or tossed aside while ‘creation by committee’ brands win the day.

Look, I’m not against great marketing or slick packaging, not at all, and I’m not against the freedom to start up any legal business you might want to start up, I guess what I am saying is that the only way smaller brands, or brands with little funds for marketing need to be ‘word-of-mouth-promoted’ by those that really and truly like the brand. And because I can reach a lot of vapers I feel like, sometimes, it’s up to me to drag some of these smaller brands that produce exceptional e liquids into the limelight so others can find out about them.

I’m not saying that this being pushed to the sidelines is what’s happening with Friend or Faux, far from it actually. For all I know Friend or Faux e liquids are working at maximum capacity selling directly through websites like Kidney Puncher, Giant Vapes, or ButtOuteCigs,  Oh, and before I forget, here’s a list of vendors that carry Friend or Faux.

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Still, I like Friend or Faux e liquids, so I invited them in for another review and they accepted the invite. They have some new flavors too, so here’s a new review for you all (the walrus was Paul)

In this review I will be telling you about the following flavors:

Professor Denny’s Lemon Meringue

Strawberry & Cream Milkshake

Orange Glaze Sticky Roll

Peachy Keen Ginger Tea

Old Thyme Sarsaparilla

And a personal favorite; Dr. Hood’s Toffee Delight

Friend or Faux – The Process

Every batch of Friend or Faux E-Liquid is created to the highest specifications with the best quality ingredients available. That is certainly not something many other brands ignore, but it is important that you know they are a quality brand, a premium brand, not a company that produces e liquid from a basement or a spare bedroom, like some well known brands do.

They source USP grade PG and VG and high-purity nicotine from industry-trusted vendors for every batch they make. They tell us they spent countless hours over a mixing bench perfecting their flavor blends, producing complex, rich flavors that can satisfy the most demanding palates. I believe that because every flavor in this review tastes authentic, none of them have a chemical taste, or a soapy taste.

They balance their base ratios to produce the richest vapor and exquisite flavor… they are not slaves to some false standard PG/VG ratio. As you’ll see, there is a mix of ratios based on how the flavor/vapor works for that particular flavor. Having said that, I don’t mean to be disrespectful to some brands that do standardize their ratios, in some cases it can work, but the better brands that standardize their ratios stick to what works, flavor-wise, and they won’t ignore the fact that some flavorings just don’t work at the ratio they’ve chosen as their standard.

Friend of Faux’s focus has always been, first and foremost, on the e liquid itself, but that doesn’t mean other elements of the vape experience are neglected. Their bottles and labels reflect an old, 19th-century look and feel of the people that ventured out west with their strange concoctions (usually made with opium or laudanum as the base) that supposedly cured all ailments, or at least you didn’t care about the ailments after drinking a bottle of opium-lacked liquid. The labels are rich with information and the bottles as shrink-wrapped and safety-capped.

Precise, Efficient Production

Friend or Faux e liquids are produced in a clean, professional mixing lab with precision equipment and very high quality control standards. Every batch is tested for purity and accuracy, and based on the feedback we received last year from our first review, from readers that tried them out and told us what they thought about the e liquids, I have good reason to believe they still live up to these high standards.

Checking all the online vendors that carry the brand the price for their 30mL bottles are always $22.00. You can buy less expensive e liquid, and some damn good ones at that, but there are some flavors that are so unique to Friend or Faux that I am more than happy to shell out that $22 to experience the uniqueness of their flavors.

The Review

There is no order to the flavors in the review below, so I’m not starting out with my favorite and ending with my least favorite, I’m reaching into my e liquid grab bag and pulling out a bottle at random and writing about it. (A trick I picked up from Julia)

ORANGE-STICKY-ROLLOrange Glaze Sticky Roll – 60VG – 40PG

Gone are the days of unsophisticated, pedestrian pastries, friend.  Wrap your lungs around a deep, complex confectionary delight with pleasant hints of citrus and coconut.  It’s as our grandfathers said:  A sticky roll is a gentleman’s cinnamon roll.”

I was a bit disappointed with this one at first because the orange flavor, while authentic as the day is long, overpowers the sticky roll flavor, which I was looking forward to the most. However, I think that’s my fault because the name isn’t “Sticky Roll with Orange Glaze”, it is Orange Glaze Sticky Roll… I still enjoyed the enormous amount of flavor though, and the complex layering of a true, sweet orange, and the delicate sticky roll flavor notes on the exhale.

Orange Glaze Sticky Roll, though just 60% VG, is a big vapor producer. Since I vape 3mg nicotine now I was able to lung hit this one with my eGo ONE Mega tank atop my Joyetech eVic-VT with ease. Thick and flavorful vapor clouds surrounded my recliner as I enjoyed this vape off and on for days.

If you like a sweet and natural orange flavor I think you could love this one easily. I would add it to my rotation only if the sticky roll flavor was a little stronger. Still, I give it an easy score of 4.5 Stars

Dr. Hood’s Toffee Delight – 60VG – 40PGtoffee

“Do we have a toffee, you ask?  Lad, we trained our whole lives to face that very question.  The multi-faceted graham cracker-infused flavor we developed as an answer is considered, in rarified circles, to be the history’s finest toffee, breathable or otherwise.”

I love this rich toffee flavored e liquid. The guys at Friend or Faux threw in an extra bottle for me and I vaped both bottles till they were gone. I’m looking forward for more and I plan on putting it into my rotation.

Toffee can be described as a caramel flavor with sugar and cream with a little butter in the mix. It is a deep, sweet and thick flavor that wants to wash over your taste buds and seduce them. A very original flavor, toffee is the component in many delicious candies and even a syrup to flavor a cup of coffee. There is a kinship between toffee, caramel and butterscotch, and if you like any of these three I think you’ll love this e liquid. The vapor is thick and flavorful, and my wife says she can almost taste the toffee when I vape next to her. 5 Stars

Profession Benny’s Lemon Meringue – 70VG – 30PG

01-Denny-lemon“It’s not just genius that makes it happen, my lad”, said Professor Denny, stirring his tea amidst the beakers and burners with which he had forged his fame. “You focus too much on the engine. Experience has taught me to focus on the fuel.” With that, the professor lifted his fork and brought the tines down through a pie of exquisite richness. His genius had wrought a mixture of the sharpest citrus, richest creams and the kind of crust that lives on in legend. Tasting the wonder himself, the protégé finally understood: It was not only the effort a mind could put forth that mattered, but also the richness of its rest.”

The closest I’ve come to enjoying a citrus pie e liquid is Key Lime Pie flavor from Rocket Fuel Vapes, yet with this version of an old favorite, I enjoyed it quite a bit. This won’t make my rotation because I do not long for citrus flavors often enough, but if you do you will love how the sweet and tart lemon mixes so well with a creamy piecrust flavor. The 70% VG shows up here with massive clouds of vapor. One of the best lemon meringue e liquids I’ve had. 4.5 Stars

 Peachy Keen Ginger Tea – 60VG – 40PG

When there is a chill in the air, what could be better than a nip of something warm to take the edge from the cold?  In the name of GINGER-TEAimproving brisk mornings and cold Winter’s nights, Friend or Faux blend the freshest and juiciest of ripe peach flavors with the clean bite of ginger to create a tea that both can’t be forgotten and can – and must – be inhaled.”

I thought I wasn’t going to like this flavor because of the ‘ginger’ in the name. I love peach flavors though, but mixed with ginger left me feeling cold…until I tried it. Ginger is an unfamiliar flavor to me, very different, but also very good. The peach flavor here is sweet and rich, like a ripe peach from picked from a tree in the backyard. Together they form a flavor that you could easily imagine as being served up in cup as a hot sweet tea. I loved it, and for any vaper looking to try a new slant on peaches, this is one you have to try. 4.75 Stars

 Old Thyme Sarsaparilla 60VG – 40PG

 Back when men were men and women were women, we drank real soft drinks.  This balanced, deep flavor will scratch your thirst for old-school root beer so thoroughly you might find yourself shaving with a straight-razor tomorrow morning.”

SARASPRILLAI figured I would enjoy this one because whenever I travel somewhere and see that they sell sarsaparilla soda in a bottle I’ll stock up and hopefully have enough to bring home. But I never thought I would take to it as much as I did, as an e liquid.

Sarsaparilla is the grown up cousin of root beer, and this eliquid turned out to be an all-day-vape for me until there was nothing left. Vaped in a subohm tank this e liquid will flood your senses with real sarsaparilla flavor and tons of flavorful vapor. If you like root beer or sarsaparilla in any form you’ll love this e liquid. Not too strong, certainly not too weak, this is a perfect blend of a very old, but very welcome flavor from the past. 5 Stars

 

Strawberries & Cream Milkshake – 60VG – 40PG

Take my advice, friend, and grab the ear or your favorite ethereal soda-jerk.  Don’t let go until he rewards you by pouring a MILKSHAKEdelicious glass of this marvelously refreshing blend of the ripest, sweetest strawberries and the smoothest cream.  You will find his reddened ear and your perseverance will rewarded indeed.”

The perfect strawberry milkshake in e liquid form. The strawberry flavor and the creamy milkshake flavor are half and half, which sets it apart from other “creamy strawberries” I’ve tried that lean on one or the other to carry the day. What made this another all-day-vape for me was that I enjoyed it as much as I would a real strawberry shake. Ripe and sweet strawberry, real ‘cream’ flavor, and mixed to perfection. Unbelievably good. If you like strawberries or a strawberry shake, you won’t be able to stop vaping this one. 5 Stars

 Conclusion

All six of these marvelous e liquids are rich and flavorful and deserve to be tried by everyone. Authentic flavors, delivered in abundance, while still serving up plenty of vapor, Friend or Faux e liquid delivers. Each one is unique and blended to perfection, and just might deserve to be in your collection.

During the 5-day period that I was vaping these e liquids I just couldn’t understand why more vapers haven’t discovered Friend or Faux yet. These guys are the real deal, and you can taste the commitment to flavor in every one of these excellent blends.

I’m so glad I stumbled onto that old bottle of Dr. Hood’s Toffee Delight so that I could rediscover Friend or Faux. I highly recommend the entire line and I urge you to give them a try. You’ll thank me for it.

John Manzione