HOW TO TELL IF AN ESSENTIAL OIL IS TOP QUALITY...
Most aromatherapy importers conduct only basic quality tests that do not prove the authenticity or purity of their oils. However, all of Irie Aromas' Aromatherapy oils are lab tested to ensure the highest quality for their customers. Irie Aromas guarantees that all their oils surpass the normal aromatherapy standards!
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN plays a key role in an oil’s quality. While it is possible to grow plants in several different countries, the country of origin plays a significant role in the oil grade. This principle applies to other crops such as coffee, fruit and wine. The reason why different countries produce different quality plant products is that the soil and climate conditions are more suitable to some plants than others in different parts of the world. Plants tend to flourish in their natural country of origin, and even the altitude at which a plant is grown can have a substantial impact on the properties of its oil.
USE OF PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES varies among countries. As well, currently there is no reliable certification for international organic quality. It is best to use oils made from plants grown on farms in a country where the plant flourishes because they will have a certain degree of natural resistance to the native pests and will not require pesticides to survive.
TIME OF HARVEST affects the percentage and proportions of various chemical constituents in the plant and therefore the quality of the oil will differ depending on when the plant is harvested. Distillation should occur immediately after harvest and if possible right in the field to ensure the highest quality oils.
AGE OF OIL can affect the quality. Most oils are not affected by the passage of time; however, citrus oils suffer from a decrease in quality over time and should always be as fresh as possible.
TYPE OF DISTILLATION also influences the oil’s quality. Good quality oils should be steam distilled, expressed (i.e. citrus oils) or CO2 extracted. A true “essential oil” by definition should be steam distilled. Where oils are chemically extracted, solvent residues will be present in the oil.
TEMPERATURE AT WHICH STEAM DISTILLATION IS CARRIED OUT plays an important role in determining the quality. If the steam distillation is done at too high of a temperature, some of the valuable chemical constituents will literally be “burned out” of the oil (thus the therapeutic qualities will be missing and your customers/clients will not feel their healing properties = no repeat sales). High heat distillation is done to yield more oil in a shorter time span. This process produces a lower quality oil that can be sold at a lower price. Beware of below market value aromatherapy products or when all essential oils are the same price (e.g. rose versus orange oil), which are clear indicators of commercial grade quality.
METHOD OF STORAGE MATTERS. All quality oils should be bottled in dark glass bottles and stored in a cool dry place with minimal contact with oxygen.