Essential oils entered my life at age eleven, when I first tried my hand at making an all-natural DIY lip balm. The recipe called for tangerine essential oil and I was instantly enchanted. Twenty years later, I am a certified botanical perfumer and am immersed in the world of essential oils more than I ever imagined possible all those years ago. Quality is of the utmost importance when sourcing your EOs yet unfortunately not all companies hiding behind a pretty label are selling what they say they are. Thankfully, I’ve discovered some honest and reliable sources — Eden Botanicals being my favorite.
This month Eden Botanicals sent me a few extra samples and I thought I’d share them here with you, as well as a few tips for shopping for essential oils. But first, allow me to gush about why I love Eden Botanicals so much:
- They offer over 260 oils, CO2 extracts, and absolutes
- They specialize in bulk pricing, and they allow both large businesses and individuals to take advantage of that.
- They offer sample sizes that are typically $2-4 so you can discover what you like before paying for a larger size. Plus you usually get a few free samples with your order.
- They also offer essence blends, carrier oils, hydrosols, and accessories.
- They come highly recommended by the instructors at The School for Aromatic Studies.
What is an essential oil you ask? Essential oils have more than 100 chemical components stored in tiny compartments as internal or external secretory structures. Plants produce essential oils as protein and as a form of communication. Amazing, right!? They are not actually oily, by the way. They are volatile (they evaporate).
What to look for when buying essential oils (and other aromatic essences such as absolutes, Co2 extracts, etc):
- This may seem obvious but, avoid synthetics! They are not dynamic and do not contain any life force.
- Avoid isolates. These combine plants and synthetic fractions (which uses a division process).
- Beware of false advertising. Do your research. For example, if you see a bottle with a label that says “violet essential oil” it is unfortunately not true. There is no such thing as violet essential oil. The blossoms cannot be scent harvested. Though you can capture their elusive scent through the lengthy process of enfleurage.
- “Fragrance oils” are not essential oils.
- Always check out a company’s about page. How long have they been in business, do they have a guarantee that their product is 100% pure and natural?
- Source? If you’re searching for lavender essential oil, you should be able to know where it comes from. Is it from France, Bulgaria? I have to say, I looked up lavender essential oil on two of those “big” EO sites and not only were they twice the price compared to Eden Botanicals, they were not open about where it came from.
Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Essential Oils.
Eden Botanicals also offers some organic hydrosols (you know how I love those!) and sent me a few to try out. These are distilled in the USA. Their organic Cucumber Hydrosol has a unique, fresh herbal/vegetal scent with a slightly bitter green undertone. When I smell it I see dark green in my mind instead of the light green typically associated with cucumber. Their supplier distilled this cucumber specifically for the resulting hydrosol so it is perfect for skincare. Their organic Tulsi (Holy Basil) Hydrosol has a soft, slightly green, fresh, sweet anise/licorice-like aroma. It is supposed to be great if you’re stressed out!
This is a 1/16 oz of Premium Australian Sandalwood – one of my favorite essential oils that I use as a base note in a few of my formulations. Now that my nose has been exposed to real essential oils over the past few years, it is like a veil has been lifted. If I go to the store (even a natural food store) and pick up a roller-ball that says it contains natural sandalwood or patchouli for example, I can tell right away if it is real or not. More often than not I place it back on the shelf, sadly shaking my head. So many people are fooled.
If you are into making your own skincare at home, you might also be interested in quality carrier oils (jojoba, argan, sunflower etc.). Organic Raspberry Seed CO2 is supposed to be great for skincare and I intend to experiment with it in creating my own face oil. It has a very high Vitamin E and pro-vitamin A content, and high concentrations of essential fatty acids.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I’ll be writing more about essential oils and botanical perfume very soon. Let’s chat in the comments below about EOs! xo – Naomi