The problem you can encounter when buying something like essential oils, is that the quality of the product being sold can vary dramatically, and you can even find that some of the oils being sold are neither fresh or even real.
If you want to find out more about how to ensure that you are buying high quality essential oils, here is a guide and some tips on what you need to look out for.
Cost is relevant: It is easy to be driven by pricing when you are shopping for items like essential oils, but it often pays to consider how good quality essential oils are made.
If you take a bottle of rose oil for example, that has been created using the best possible ingredients. It takes approximately 250 pounds of rose blossoms to produce just one ounce of rose oil.
Beat that fact in mind, and if you see a bottle of rose oil being sold at a very low price, it should make you question the quality of ingredients that have gone in to make that product and just how pure it is.
There are other types of oils that are cheaper to produce than rose oil, but the same principles apply, in that the cost is often relevant to the quality, as every oil requires a large amount of plant matter in order to produce a small amount of oil.
If a shortcut has been taken in order to bring the price down, it will definitely affect the quality.
How pure is the oil: Some rogue sites might try to mislead you whatever, but the majority of outlets where you can buy essential oils, will provide certain clues as to the quality of their essential oils.
If you see a product labeled as fragrance oil or maybe perfume oil, these two phrases provide a big clue to the quality of the product being sold, and the description is telling you that what you are being offered is not a pure, single essential oil.
If someone is telling you that their product is something like nature identical oil, this is another big hint that what you are being offered is unlikely to be a pure unadulterated essential oil.
These products are likely to be a combination of something like fragrance oils and essential oils, so the tip is to always read the description and list of ingredients, so you can gauge just how pure the oil is.
Choice of packaging: You may find that some sellers are offering their essential oils supplied in plastic bottles or possibly, clear glass containers.
You will often find that a company committed to selling quality essential oils, will supply their product in dark colored glass. This is not just a case of better presentation, but it also helps to keep the oils in the best condition.
If you do end up buying some essential oils that are supplied in a plastic container, because of the need for safer transportation and lower shipping costs, you should be aware that the oils can deteriorate at a faster rate than if they are in a colored glass vessel, so it is important to transfer the oils to a dark colored glass container as soon as possible.
If you are happy with the quality of the essential oil being sold, despite the fact that it is being offered in a plastic bottle, you should ask the seller how long it has been stored in the plastic before being sold.
Other clues: An indication that all may not be quite right with regard to the quality of the essential oils you are interested in buying, would be when they are asking the same price for each type of oil.
As advised earlier, it takes varying amounts of the raw product to put together the essential oils, so if the vendor is asking the same price regardless of whether it is rose oil or geranium oil, that should be a warning flag that the quality might not be that good.
You should expect to pay different prices for different types of essential oils.
If you are buying the oils locally and see them on the shelf. Do check to see how dusty the bottles are, as this could indicate that they have been sitting around for a while and may well have lost some of their original strength and properties as a result.
When it comes to buying essential oils, quality does matter, so try to follow some of these tips, which should help you get what you are looking for.
Dominic Knowles is an herbalist. He loves to share his experiences in working with natural oils and herbs. You can find his posts on a number of health and wellness websites.