Aromology

How to choose essential oils?

Essential oils are aromatic compounds extracted from a plant, capturing the plants scent and flavour. They have been used for centuries for skincare, haircare and perfume. However they need to be high quality pure oils to be beneficial. What should you be looking for in a high quality oil?

extraction

Essential oils should be stored in small dark (usually amber) tightly sealed glass bottles with an eye dropper cap or orifice reducer (the oil drops out one drop at a time) . The bottles have be dark to prevent the aromatic compounds in the oil from being damaged by sunlight and heat. Also essential oils should never be kept in plastic containers as they can react together. > Smell the oil if possible. This can be a difficult task and can take years to develop a strong sense of smell for essential oils.

Purity

The oil should say 100% essential oil. There should be only one single ingredient. No additives or preservatives. It should not say 'perfumed' or 'fragrance' essential oil. If it says 'blended with another oil' this is not pure essential oil.
It should state the common and the botanical Latin name of the plant used to make the oil. It should also state how it was cultivated, e.g. organic, wild, etc; plant parts used for extraction; the method of extraction; country of origin.

Do some research and find out if an essential flower is extracted from the leaves, flowers or if it can even be extracted. There are many flowers from which you cannot even extract essential oils. There are many species of a flower. Is the essentil oil you are buying extracted from the right species?

Price:

Essential oils tend to be expensive because the process of growing a plant in ideal conditions to its extraction and preservation needs careful monitoring and expense. Some oils will be more expensive as tonnes of flowers like rose will be needed to just extract a small quantity of oil or the plant maybe under conservation in which case a limited oil is only permitted. In some cases a certain crop yield can be poor which will raise the essential oil prices for that year.

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