Per the comments, in my last post about our essential oil blend recipes, this post focuses on some sources for oils: Quality matters, and some essential oils are sub-par, but I’m not an oil snob–I go for “good” but I don’t always spring for la crème de la crème. I recommend reading How to Buy Essential oils via AromaWeb to avoid falling prey to misleading and meaningless claims, and discern quality indicators from hype.
Below are my three favorite brands of good “blue collar” essential oils. They are the brands I use most:
- NOW Foods brand, available via Amazon and at my local Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage, is a fine economy choice for many essential oils. Two cautions with the NOW Foods brand. 1) I won’t buy their Tea Tree oil–it has an “off” petrolium scent. 2) Check the ingredients closely. Most of NOW foods essential oils are 100% pure concentrations of the single essential oil listed on the label, in a few cases the key essential is diluted, either by a carrier oil, or by similar scented, but less expensive oils–thus a few are blends. A quick glance at the ingredients will tell you if it’s 100% single essential oil. Most of them are, and most of my essential oils are NOW Foods.
- Aura Cacia is another reasonably priced brand that we use. I don’t have as many in this brand as in the NOW, but all I’ve tried from them have been fine. These are available at Amazon and Vitacost.
- Edens Garden is also a solid, economical source, especially for the less common essential oils. They also have a fabulous beginner kit!
- *Heritage Essential Oils is a source my friends have been raving about! It sounds like “white collar” quality at “blue collar” prices. I haven’t yet ordered there, but my friends speak so highly of them it will be my next stop.
For more “white-collar” essential oils, with highest quality (and higher price):
- I recommend Mountain Rose Herbs. It’s the best non multi-level-marketed source I’ve tried.
- If you aren’t shy of MLMs, doTerra is absolutely fabulous. I’ve been amazed at their quality–it’s absolutely top notch. (I’m not a consultant, and the link is not an affiliate link.)
- Finally, I have friends who are very passionate about Young Living essential oils. Honestly, I’ve not tried them, but I’ve heard only good things–aside from price, of course, and the whole Multi-Level-Marketing thing.
For amazing, professional, pre-blended potions:
While I prefer to make my own blends, I’m not a skilled perfumer or an aromatherapist. The recipes on this blog are free, and I hope worth more than you paid for them! In my experience though, the professionally blended mixes have more sophistication than my own well-researched, but novice recipes. On the rare occasion that I’ve ordered a pre-blended potion, I’ve been very pleased with doTerra and Daybreak Lavender Farm. (I’m not a consultant for either company.) Young Living is another option for pre-blended.
*11/13/2013 UPDATE: Since the original posting I’ve had opportunity to place orders with Heritage Essential Oils, and have been delighted with the quality and service. Heritage quality is far superior to the “blue collar” brands I listed above, and the proprietor, Linda, has goes above and beyond in communication. While I still use the other resources listed above for a few oils that Heritage doesn’t carry, it’s become my “go to” site for most our essential oil needs. On a few oils where I believe the extraction technique is such that an inexpensive brand is sufficient, I’ll save a few dollars with the NOW Foods brand which is generally 1/3 to 1/10th the price of the higher quality oils. On the oils where quality matters, if neither Heritage nor Mountain Rose carry a product, I’ve also been pleased with Rocky Mountain Oils. (Although Heritage Essential Oils has a more personal touch which I appreciate.)
In my experience Heritage has exceeded the quality of the Multi-Level-Marketing brands, without the whole MLM mess. I love supporting family businesses like Heritage! (Again, I’m not an affiliate and receive no benefits from this endorsement, it’s simply my own personal experience.)
We find nebulizing diffusers to be the most effective, and we have two from Diffuser World, and I highly recommend their products. If a diffuser is outside the budget for now though, a bit of essential oil on a cotton ball under the heat/air-conditioning vent is better than nothing, or you can place a few drops of essential oil in a pan of water on the stove and keep the burner on very low. Heat can destroy some of the oil’s properties, but you’ll retain many benefits. If you have a wax-burner thingie (with either a lightbulb or votive candle below, and a little “bowl” above), you can fill the bowl portion with water and add a drop of oil. Again, I don’t think it’s as beneficial as a nebulizing diffuser, but it’s an option. (We sometimes employ the wax burner option simply for ambiance.)