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How To Shop For Quality Essential Oils

how to shop for quality essential oils

Humans have been using essential oils for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used them in burning incense, while the Chinese used them in medicines. Now, essential oils are used mainly in aromatherapy.

Regardless of how you’ll use essential oil, you may believe that having high-quality oils is a must. If you need help knowing how to look for them, continue reading.

Inspect the label

Just like with shopping for food, you must inspect the labels of the essential oils you’ll buy, even if you’re buying them from reputable retailers. Some of the pieces of information you should be on the lookout for are the country of origin, botanical name, expiration date, and distillation date.

As much as possible, you would want your essential oil to come from a plant that’s grown in its native land. For example, you may wish to have your angelica root grown in the United Kingdom and your lavender grown in France as the plants grown in their native country are much more potent.

Aside from that, some countries have different ways of distilling and extracting essential oils, resulting in some products having distinct characteristics you may be looking for. An essential oil from one country may have a better smell than another from a different place just because of the extra steps the distillers make.

Also, do note that essential oils can expire. Once the oil gets in contact with air – oxygen to be precise – oxidation starts, and the chemical composition of the oil changes. A similar process occurs when the oil gets exposed to heat and light. Proper storage can slow down these detrimental processes. However, left for a long time, these oils will expire, losing their potency and characteristics.

how to shop for essential oils

Lastly, don’t forget about botanical names. Know that some plants and varieties will share common names. Lemon essential oil, for example, can be made from actual lemons (Citrus limon) or lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus). (1)

While both may share a distinct fragrance because both have limonene, each has different therapeutic effects and uses. So, to get the right oil for the right job, always check the botanical name of the plant where the oil was extracted. We recommend purchasing from a reputable Australian supplier like AWO who not only provide botanical names but also have a wide selection of 100% pure essential oils for a variety of uses and benefits.

Look at the price tag

While you may think it’s pretty obvious to look at the price tag while shopping for quality essential oils, many people don’t do it nowadays. They often fall into one of these two groups: people who believe that expensive is better and people who think all essential oils are made equal regardless of price.

These beliefs aren’t entirely wrong, but you can do better when shopping. After all, you’d want to use good quality essential oil on your next hotel stay or me-time aromatherapy session. For starters, avoid cheap essential oils. Always remember that the process of distilling a bottle of essential oil can be expensive. For example, 0.45 kg of rose oil requires 4,535 kg of petals – just imagine how many roses would be needed for that. (2)

However, it doesn’t mean that you should go for the most expensive bottles you can find. The high price doesn’t guarantee quality. Also, if a vendor’s bottles of different essential oils are priced equally, be sceptical of their quality. The cost of one bottle of essential oil can vary significantly from another. After all, it’s cheaper to produce a bottle of ginger oil than a bottle of champaca oil because of steam distillation and cold methods. (3)

Take purity with a grain of salt

Checking the purity of the oil you’re shopping for can be a challenge. After all, a 100% pure product doesn’t mean that it’s better than others or the one you’ll want. Suppose that you have a bag full of rotting carrots. Extracting the oil from those and not adding anything will make it 100% pure. However, does it mean that it’s something you’ll use or it’s of high quality?

Remember that some essential oils undergo some processes that may adulterate them to produce a high-quality product people like. If purity is vital to you, you’ll have a better chance of getting a bottle of oil you’ll want directly from sellers who get their products directly from specialised distillers.

How to buy essential oils

Also, you can know if the oil you’re getting is pure if the products you’re checking passed mass spectrometry and gas chromatography tests. Some vendors post the results of these tests on their websites. Some don’t, but they’re willing to provide reports on these tests upon request.


These are just the basics you need to know when shopping for quality essential oils. Keep an eye out for those labels, price tags and quality test results. Good luck with your shopping adventure!


  1. “Lemon vs Lemongrass”, Source:

  2. “Rose Essential Oil Benefits Skin, Depression and Hormones”, Source:

  3. “Champaca Essential Oil, The Price You Pay For The World’s Most Expensive Oil”, Source:


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