The term essential oils is reserved for natural oils produced by distillation, maceration and extraction, or cold pressing. Essential oils are a different class of oils from fragrance oils and perfume oils which could be made with petrochemicals, or contain essential oils diluted with vegetable oils. High quality oils are more abundant now, and less expensive, but customers ask, “Where can I buy essential oils and how will I know if they’re high quality?” Here are tips on picking the best essential oils for your needs:
- Dab test: Dab a small amount of the oil on a paper towel. If it leaves behind an oil spot, you’re looking at either a fragrance oil or an essential oil diluted with vegetable oil.
- Look for the Latin name as well as the common name. For instance, orange oil is extracted from both sweet and bitter oranges, but the uses are different. Likewise Chamomile comes in Roman and German types. Look for the Latin to know what you’re getting.
- Look for 100 percent pure essential oils, not fragrance oils, aromatherapy oils, or perfume oils.
- Essential oils are never sold in plastic bottles. The volatile nature of the oil can leach petrochemicals from the plastic into the oil, and degrade the plastic.
- Essential oil bottles should not be clear, but are blue, amber, or sometimes even green in color. Heat and exposure to light can damage essential oils.
Remember, high price does not indicate quality. Just because a 2oz. bottle of essential oil of Frankincense costs twice as much as another only indicates the cost is more, not that the product is better. Stick with reputable sources with good references and reviews, and you’ll find that the ingredients you get are top-notch.
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