There are alot of essential oil brands out there, but not all are created equal. There are numerous ways to make the oil production process less costly for the seller, but all of these will degrate the quality. Unfortunately at a quick glance or smell, it can be hard to discern which quality essential oil you are purchasing.
Less reputable essential oil sellers may mix their oils with other cheaper ingredients to 'fill the bottle', with the base scent overpowering all else so it's hard to tell. Others may not even use any of the original ingredient at all and opt for purely synthetic scents.
Luckily there are ways that you can shine a light on to the true qualities of your oils without breaking out your scientific oil testing kits. We'll go through 6 easy ways to tell if your essential oils are good quality or fake.
The Essential Oil Price
Essentil oils are a costly thing to make! Each 10ml bottle often takes many kilograms of leaf/plant to extract enough oil to fill that bottle up. For this reason, it is not viable to be selling essential oils for a few dollars if they are the real thing as they would have taken more than a few dollars to create.
Some oils are usually on the cheaper side, such as sweet orange, lavender, and rosemary. More expensive oils will include rose, lemon balm and chrysanthemum.
Feel your Oils!
This one can be slightly tricky, but try getting familiar with the feel of different oils. Place vegetable oil, olive or seed between two fingers and rub them together. On the other hand, do the same with your essential oil. You should notice the differences between the two.
Good essential oil should have some slip, be non greasy and have some slip.
If the supplier is using fillers, they may feel more similar to the vegetable oil or seed oils. Please note that there are some exceptions to this, such as chamomile, patchouli, vetiver and sandlewood so it's by no means an exact science but still something of note to try if in doubt.
How is your oil bottled?
Essential Oil should always be stored in glass, as they will react to plastic. Ideally this will be a brown or amber glass that helps to filter our sunlight and keep things cool inside. Heat will also affect the quality of oils over time, so if your seller is keeping them in a shop window in direct sunlight - proceed with caution.
The Essentil Oil Paper Test
This one is my favourite, and can be used to separate components within your oils that may exist such as vegetable, seed or nut oil.
Try to place 1 drop of oil on some paper and then let it dry. If you can see an oily ring start to form, this is a telltale sign that your oir is fake. Again, there are a few exceptions to this such as chamomile, vetiver, sandalwood, and patchouli.
Be picky about the wording you read on your bottles, as they can be a sign that they are not 100% pure essential oils. The word '100%' should be there, along with essential. Simply stating 'Peppermint Oil' is still legally true even if it is not an essential oil.
How Does it Pour?
Your essential oil should come with the proper dropper to allow for correct dosage. Any oil that comes in an open lid bottle without easy ways to control the drops is a little unusual and should probably be used with caution. This can also help to decrease exposure to the air and thus prolonging your oils shelf life.