10 Tips for Purchasing Good Quality Essential Oils

by Dr Mike Thair

Cofounder & Chief Formulator
Indochine Natural Sdn Bhd

Unfortunately, not an easy task these days, as more and more unscrupulous
traders cash in on this lucrative market. What I have compiled here is a
checklist you can use to sort out the scammers from sellers of high quality
pure essential oils.

1. Steer clear of sellers that use the words “perfume,” “perfume oil, “or
“nature identical oil.” These words indicate that the products are not
pure essential oils, and are probably just simply synthetic fragrances,
or as best are blends of synthetics and essential oils.

2. Be wary of suppliers saying that their essential oils are “therapeutic” or
“aromatherapy” grade. In the essential oil industry, there are no such
grades, and these terms are only used to attract sales of products that
may not be 100% pure. Use of these terms suggests a lack of
knowledge of the essential oil industry.

3. If a vendor uses the term “pure essential oil,” ask to see copies of the
Certificate of Analysis (CoA) for that oil. In fact, you should ask any
vendor for a CoA if you want to be sure of quality and the technical
expertise of the vendor. The CoA should indicate a Lot Number, and
include information on the botanical name, origin, extraction method,
physical data (appearance, colour, odour, specific gravity, refractive
index, optical rotation), and chromatographic profile (including the
analytical conditions and equipment used). The CoA should be dated
and have the name of the analyst.

4. Essential oils should be sold in amber glass containers. Be wary of
vendors selling oils in plastic or clear glass bottles.

5. Avoid purchasing essential oil in bottles with rubber dropper bulbs.
These are liable to dissolve over time and indicate that the seller is not
all that knowledgeable about essential oils.

6. Check out the educational background and technical experience of the
vendor. Some are good at the sales pitch but have a very limited
technical knowledge or experience with essential oils.

7. You should avoid buying essential oils from places such as health food
stores. Many of the brands sold in these types of places are lower in
quality, may have been on the shelf for a long time, and the staff
generally are not very knowledgeable about essential oils, apart from
the sales pitch.

8. Avoid buying from sellers that do not willingly provide essential oil
botanical names, country of origin, extraction method, and Certificate of

9. Genuine traders of essential oils do not make extravagant claims, be
wary of vendors that make these types of claims.

10. Pricing of essential oils can be an indicator of quality and the honesty
of the vendor. Someone selling a range of essential oils all at the same
price should be avoided. For example, good quality Patchouli is
generally more expensive than say Eucalyptus or Tea Tree oil. The
citrus oils can be cheaper.

Dr Mike Thair
Cofounder & Chief Formulator
Indochine Natural Sdn Bhd

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