Purchasing essential oils is now a challenging game of popularity and bravado. Terms like “therapeutic grade”, safety information, and wether or not they actually have important information (like shelf life) mentioned on their website says more about the honesty of the company than most people realize. Aromatherapy is not actually regulated. You will read on their website about how certain big companies grow their own herbs with a “seed to seal” guarantee (when they mostly contract out to farms). Or how their product is “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®” – not a real thing. Distilling practices will be touted, when really it’s all secretive. So much of it is disinformation for the sole purpose of marketing. Buyer beware!
I am not an aromatherapist. Since I started making body care products, and even more since simple. pure. love. I’ve researched essential oils and the companies that sell them – and trust me, it’s an overwhelming puzzle to solve. The essential oils used in our products are from Aura Cacia, which is one of the better companies. This list is just a judgement call. Please use your best judgement when buying essential oils.
Aura Cacia is a member of the independent brand Frontier Co-op, along with Simply Organic and Co-op Market. Frontier Co-op is a member owned company owned by their wholesale companies. Aura Cacia offers organic and non-organic essential oils. Their website also offers a wealth of information about essential oils and diy body products. Their essential oils are quality tested and highly concentrated 100 percent pure. simple. pure. love. uses Aura Cacia essential oils in our products, and organic certified when available.
The following list is from Lea Harris’s site Using Essential Oils Safely. I included it because her site is thorough and supported by studies I found online, and other holistic practitioners’ claims.
Top rated brands from the Lea Harris’s site Using Essential Oils Safely:
Florihana (via Tropical Traditions) – they offer a ton of EO-specific information, including GCMS reports. Another report lists uses, and precautions. Lemon includes phorotoxicity, but neglects to include what the safe dilution is (2%). It also says not to use “in children under 6 years” – but I believe that is their stance on all EOs, not particular to Lemon. Same goes for them saying “do not use in pregnant women.” Find them on Tropical Traditions
Wingsets – owned by an aromatherapist who has been in the business for a long time. I love her non-EO products with a passion, and her blends rock. VERY THOROUGH descriptions, clear ingredients, and safety usage guidelines. Only thing I wish to see happen is GCMS reports. But I know Ann does her homework in choosing great suppliers. Find them on their website.
Aromatics International – One of the first to offer GCMS reports, linked to batch #s on the bottles. Very thorough chemical family breakdown (for what its worth). Recipes, therapeutic properties, and safety advice offered. I’ve always been impressed with the safety info for their singles, and just now am looking at their blends. I am disappointed. One example is their Cold and Flu Prevention Blend contains Ravintsara with high 1,8-cineole content and 1% dilution recommendation and no safety warnings are included. No dilution is revealed. No age minimums given. Another drawback is the price, but they have some EOs that you can’t find anywhere else. Find them on their website.
EdensGarden – NEWUPDATE: After hiring me to do a website review, I could see many changes were made since my previous 3-star downgrade. I do have to say they do have the nicest website, packaging, and labels of anyone on this list, as well as all the bells and whistles a customer would want in a website and purchasing experience. As for safety information, they have added back much of the original information they hired me to do in 2015 (after removing it in 2016). They still have a generic “consult your health care provider” statement, and I would like to see specific safety info there instead of a generic one. They did remove an essential oil that I had issue with due to safety. Their OK for Kids line is truly safe for kids, but I have concerns about the efficacy of the recipes. They recommend 1% dilution when buying their undiluted blends, but then sell the roll-on’s as 5% dilution. They are trying very hard, always improving. They still have changes to make, but are well-deserving of a 4 star rating. Find them on their website and on amazon.
Aura Cacia – Myrrh tested just as good as DT and YL Myrrh, for way less the cost. They do offer some educational information, but it needs to be re-vamped and updated. They don’t reveal how much their pre-diluted EOs are diluted, although they do say “in the 3-5% range.” This is probably fine for many uses, but not for using on children and you want a 1% (or lower) dilution. They have a great start, have been around a long time, but need some tweaking – namely adding GCMS reports to their website. You can find them on their website, on amazon, and on vitacost.
Eden Botanicals – Offers good safety information and usage recommendations, and lots of good information in their website. Their Certificate of Analysis doesn’t include a complete GC/MS, but does include several of the main constituents. They also offer samples. You can find them on their website.
Lemongrass Spa – A direct sales company I have been involved in before they introduced essential oils to their customers, I have consulted for them and given presentations to the consultants to teach them about safety. Many have graduated from my UEOS Basics course and are EO Safety Advocates. Not the most affordable essential oils and blends due to the nature of the business, but they do have the eye for safety. You can find them here.
Popular, but it’s up to you to vet (this is NOT a recommendation – both have been called out for their marketing techniques and dishonesty):
Aromatherapists have issue with Young Living for a few reasons. Below – in their words, is their commitment to purity. Once you do the research, you find out this is mostly marketing fluff.
Young Living has grown to become the world leader in essential oils and wellness solutions. Headquartered in Lehi, Utah, with offices in Australia, Europe, Canada, Japan, and Singapore, as well as farms around the world, Young Living stays true to the Youngs’ original vision. With our steadfast commitment to essential oil purity, we’ve inspired millions of people everywhere to experience nature’s gifts of wellness…
The marketing fluff of doTERRA is their registered “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®” phrase. This is something professional aromatherapists have issue with. It’s a made up term, not really meaning anything. But here’s what they have to say:
When you choose doTERRA, you are choosing essential oils gently and carefully distilled from plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment by experienced growers from around the world for ideal extract composition and efficacy.
Each doTERRA essential oil is also carefully and thoroughly tested using the strict CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality protocol.