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Is it just me?


I received a small catalog from Universal Companies and found several EO brands that I had not heard of before. Several of the massage perodicals/journals contain ads for unheard-of EO companies. Biotone, many known companies that produce massage oils and cremes have now gone into the EO business. All claim to sell quality products...not adulterated...not "cut." But yet, when I have tried them or smelled them, they smelled funny or had no effect. Prices are all over the chart, from high to low. So using the old addage that "quality means you pay more," well...that doesn't help.


I have been impressed with YLEOs so far. I even have some Nature's Sunshine (NS) EOs to use for treatments (Tx). When I smell them, I don't detect an alcohol or "off" smell. NS EOs have an "earthy" smell to them. Not sure why so different from YL.


I would like to learn about quality EOs from the companies that you have worked with and trust. I also would like to know about EOs that you stopped using and why. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my post. Have a great day!

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Replies to This Discussion

yes, i too am confused w/all the info on oils ... and have tried many different brands ... so far i still believe young living has the most authentic oils ... my nose knows this is true.
Hi, Kimberly
You're right, it's very confusing - and how do you know the oils you are buying really are of a high quality. The best way I know of is to ask some very important questions of the company that produces the oils. The following is an article about what Young Living does to maintain the highest quality from "Seed to Seal" in their essential oils:

Seed to Seal is Young Living’s way of authenticating our essential oils and protecting nature’s living energy in every bottle. The first step of this process—Seed—means we research plant species that offer the optimal therapeutic benefits, identify species with experts and document their source, and monitor the ongoing cultivation process to ensure the chosen plant species is used.
Lavender is an excellent example of Seed authentication. Young Living has identified more than thirty-five different varieties of lavender, and so far, only one, Lavandula angustifolia, has shown the best therapeutic outcomes. Lavandula angustifolia is grown on Young Living’s farms in Utah, Idaho, and France.
After the harvest on each farm, the lavender seed stock is collected and stored until the following year. Gary Young always uses the seed stock from the previous harvest instead of cloned or hybrid seed. Cloned and hybrid seeding techniques are used by lavender growers who aren’t focused on therapeutic outcomes. Although these other seeding techniques may grow taller, faster plants and produce larger yields, Young Living’s industry-leading experience and research has shown that only a balanced seed stock can deliver the expected therapeutic results.
Lavender is only one example of Young Living’s expertise in seed authentication. Think about the dozens of Young Living essential oils, the variety of species, and all the places around the world where these species are grown—copaiba in the Amazon rainforest, helichrysum in the Mediterranean, vetiver in Madagascar. There are more than seventy single oil species Young Living offers as products! Gary and other Young Living experts have visited each partner grower to verify in person the species being used. Even after our experts leave a partner grower, incoming batches are tested to validate the chosen species.
When Young Living researchers discover a largely unknown plant species, we look to the knowledge and expertise of botany experts. Young Living collaborates with academic and professional botanists around the globe to document the species at the plant source. Recently, Gary Young teamed with professionals in the Middle East to document the origin and benefits of multiple frankincense species. Only by going to the source can Young Living confidently share the therapeutic benefits of the plant compounds with all our members.

As you might guess, I am a fan of Young Living oils, and I've tried lots of different brands before settling on Young Living. I have seen miracles happen with these oils, and I trust them implicitly for their purity and potency.

Ask them if their seeds are cloned; do they use fertilizers and pesticides on the crops; do they distill with high pressure and high temperature into copper or aluminum vats - or do they distill at low temp. and low pressure into stainless steel (as does Young Living) - and another very important question for me is - are they replanting trees, etc. when they harvest from forests (like Balsam Fir).

If you are investigating another company's oils, ask them about what they do to ensure that the chemical constituents that give them the ability to produce therapeutic results are maintained throughout the growing and distillation of the oils - and if they can't answer the questions, they probably are not doing those things; because if they were, they would be telling the world.
Hi Jackie,
Thanks for your answer. I do like how YL puts out scientific information, not just on the chemistry or physics of each oil, but also growth and harvest. Thanks for posting the article. It's helped me to figure out what questions to ask. I never had never considered that herbs for EOs could also be "frankensteined" (cloned, hybrid, etc.) for purposes of bigger harvests. Though after watching documentaries like Food, Inc., Sicko and Super Size Me, I shouldn't be so surprised.

Now I have an idea of the "right" questions to ask while I research. I keep hearing about how Doterra oils are better than YLs. Do you know anything about Doterra? What makes their EOs so different?
I use DoTerra 100% pure Certified Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils (CPTG) - The blends are sublime, I love in particular the En Guard blend with Wild Orange, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary,'s a protective blend that supports the Immune System. I also love the AromaTouch blend for massage.

DoTerra Essential Oils are guaranteed to be 100% pure and natural and free of synthetic compounds or contaminates. They are subjected to rigorous mass spectrometry and gas chromatography testing to ensure extract composition and activity


You can set up your membership online on this link above, my name and ID number should show up as enroller. Once your membership is set up, you will then receive wholesale prices on the oils and products that you purchase from doTERRA. There is no enrollment fee, and no monthly minimum purchase required. Included in your membership is a self-replicating website you can send your customers to, or you can retail the products directly on your website.

I highly recommend DoTerra CPTG Essential Oils.

I'm familiar with DoTerra. They are a new company started by David Hill. He used to work for Young Living, and he learned everything he knows about essential oils from Gary Young. You know what they say - imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. I believe they try to measure up to the YL standards, but I don't know if they do. I know for a fact that they don't have farms all over the world like YL so they can grow as much of their own product as possible.


Kimberly Rogers said:
Hi Jackie,
Thanks for your answer. I do like how YL puts out scientific information, not just on the chemistry or physics of each oil, but also growth and harvest. Thanks for posting the article. It's helped me to figure out what questions to ask. I never had never considered that herbs for EOs could also be "frankensteined" (cloned, hybrid, etc.) for purposes of bigger harvests. Though after watching documentaries like Food, Inc., Sicko and Super Size Me, I shouldn't be so surprised.

Now I have an idea of the "right" questions to ask while I research. I keep hearing about how Doterra oils are better than YLs. Do you know anything about Doterra? What makes their EOs so different?
Hi Kimberly I have been using essential oils for about 10 years now. I started out with YL and due to price and a few other things I won't get into I decided to look at other options. I found a local business that sold essentials and I went in to check them out. I found out that the owner actually taught Aromatherapy classes at one of the Massage Schools here too. So a long discussion later I left with a handful of oils. I compared with scent and application and found hers to be just as high a quality as YL. I was new to the industry and I really was worried about quality. Through the years I have found other wonderful resources. My absolute favorite to date is a company called New Directions Aromatics. They have a ton of essentials, carriers and other raw ingredients. Full descriptions of the plants, therapeutic properties of the oils and cautions also MSDS sheets upon request. The feedback from all of their customers is very helpful too. Their prices are outstanding and the quality of their oils is the best I've come across. They get their oils from all around the world. They support fair trade, no animal testing, green practices etc., etc. If you are wanting blends because you are new to blending yourself then maybe purchasing them from a different company would be good, but I would not waste my money for single note oils on one of those MLM companies, trust me I did and it's not worth it. Eventually through certification and study you will be able to do your own blends and then a whole new world will open up to you. It is so amazing being able to custom formulate for a client and for yourself. The best way for you to find out really is by experiencing lots of different oils. I do agree that you get what you pay for in some things, but you must know it is common sense logic that any mlm company's prices will be inflated so that their distributors make money, yes they may carry a high quality product but they are by no means the only ones and this goes for all of them. Also if you talk to aromatherapists ouside of the US not very many are familiar with the MLM companies that are posted all over this website. So I guess what I'm saying is try your best to muddle through the hype, essential oils are amazing and they do amazing things as long as they are high quality, unadulterated oils regardless of the company name it bears. A good resource for me as I was starting out were the company listings in the aromatherapy books I was purchasing and studying. So good luck with all of this, find what you feel is true to you and go with it, I did and I have been very happy with the results (my pocketbook has been too. . wink, wink). If you have any other questions feel free to send me a message. --Tayna
Thanks for all the great information! It is good to know that there are others out there who have questions like I do. I hate having to pick something off the shelf and then wonder..."is it safe to use on myself? On my client?" I usually use my nose when shopping for EOs. Then there are times there are no testers to sniff. Great...

Thanks so much for your posts. I now have other resources to research. Have a great week! :)
I just found another resource for information on Aromatherapy. It is Robert Tisserands website. He has some great articles and his blog posts are very informative. I found some great info. The URL is easy . . .
the doterra site requires a $10 signup fee for wholesale purchase membership. Or, a min $50 purchase if applying to be a consultant.
No, it's not just you. Unfortunately, the aromatherapy business is full of people and companies that adulterate or mislabel their products. No one is ever going to admit that they sell adulterated EOs, and many people who sell EOs have so little training that they are not even aware that they are representing poor quality product. Bluntly put, the aromatherapy industry is a highly unethical one.

I started out using cheap, commonly available EOs from the local Whole Foods, and could never understand why I didn't get results from my aromatherapy blends... until I was introduced to high quality oils. I've use 11 or 12 different brands during my career, including most of the ones mentioned in this thread, and found that most of them weren't up to snuff. Out of frustration, I began importing my own EOs from artisanal grower/distillers.

Although there are claims that owning your own farms, providing GCMS analysis, and buying an expensive EO are all guarantees of quality, none of this is necessarily true. Neither is "scientific data" quoted as "proof" of an essential oil's efficacy or quality... data is frequently spun by a company and twisted to fit their purposes, which you will frequently figure out if you actually read the original studies cited.

What is true is that if you expose yourself to many different EOs and seek out ethical teachers (a rarity in the business), you'll eventually educate yourself enough to be able to recognize a fine quality EO. I would suggest going to as many essential oil educational conferences as possible to sample products at all the exhibitors' booths. Discreetly ask conference attendees about the reputations of the various people who are touting their products or classes. Attend conferences which are sponsored by professional organizations (not essential oil companies!) who do not have a vested interest in the products being exhibited. You'll quickly figure out who's being truthful and who's not.

You mention that the EOs from two different companies do not small the same. Again, this is a matter of exposing yourself to a wider range of suppliers. The variance in aroma could be a matter of quality or adulteration, or it might simply indicate that the companies source from different parts of the world. For instance, geranium EO from Comoros smells quite different from Egyptian geranium, which in turn smells quite different from South African geranium oil. Again, if you are serious about aromatherapy, please invest in a few professional conferences and classes to educate and empower yourself.

Katharine Koeppen, RA
Good points Katherine. I would just like to add to the discussion the paper on cropwatch concerning therapeutic quality: If you would like to go read this and then lets discuss qualities. Many people get confused by marketing hype especially from the multi level companies that have to make their better than any other to sell more, and appeal to those less educated. This paper exposes marketing hype and gives the true picture of the essential oil business. Enjoy



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