Herbal Homekeeping: Aromatherapy – Part V of VI



                                  — especially the ingredients! 

Caution Regarding Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils: Use with Great Care!                                                   

Is it an essential oil?   OR   Is it a fragrance oil?  OR — what ??!

With the growing popularity of aromatherapy products, the increasing use of essential and/or fragrance oils and matters further complicated by the fact that there are no standard regulations universally defining what an ‘essential oil’ or ‘essence’ actually is, a whole range of products may be described under these loose terms — and may  -or-  may not  have anything to do with the real thing.

Essential oils are highly concentrated, aromatic extracts and distillates from different parts of plants, with no alcohol added, thus the scent is longer lasting and stronger. All are highly volatile, evaporating easily in the open air. Quality may vary depending upon the country where the plant was grown, climate, how the plant material was collected and stored, and process utilized to extract the oil.

As an educated consumer, you must be aware of imitations! Fragrance oils (synthetic aromatic chemicals) are widely distributed and used; many people are unaware that the choices they can make already exist with pure essential oils. Here are some ways to ‘sniff out’ those imitators:

Prices of pure essential oils vary, depending upon their accessibility and method of extraction — beware if all the bottles are the same price! Imitations (ie, fragrance oils) and dilution of pure essential oils is a common practice. Synthetic scents can be manufactured at set price and rate of manufacture.

Buy small quantities from reputable suppliers you know. Look for pure essential oils packaged in full, dark glass bottles. Read the label carefully; look for the designation “pure essential oil” or “fragrance oil” and cautions “For external use only”, etc.

Buy high quality essential oil only, especially for use in personal care products — for bath and body. We stress your special attention and caution with those diluted oils, which may cause an unfavorable reaction from application or use with the combination of chemicals!


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