As you may have surmised, the EO world can be quite snarky.
To tell the truth, in my opinion. there is not a whole lot of difference between the premium essential oil companies that include DoTerra, Young Living, Rocky Mountain, Spark Naturals, Florihana, and others. These are all reputable companies that sell quality products that are 100% pure. Does this surprise you?
Here are my thoughts.
High-Quality Essential Oil Companies are Similar
The difference between most reputable EO companies, in my opinion, is their marketing strategies, price, and transparency in testing. The key word here is reputable. I am not talking about companies that promote fake oil along with a bunch of fake reviews on Amazon.
So here is the scoop.
I personally do not like MLMs and pricing schemas that require a monthly purchase or distributor agreement to get the best price. For that reason, I have steered away from DoTerra and Young Living. That, plus the fact they are extremely expensive for what you get.
No One Essential Oil Company Is Perfect
For years I used essential oils from Spark Naturals because I have gotten to know the people behind the product and trust them. Their prices are fair and the only oil in their line that I hated (really hated) was Jeddy’s Blend. That being said, I realized the time had come for me to expand my EO collection to include quality oils from other companies. Alas, this was easier said than done since I needed to assess the performance of various EOs in my tried and true salve and roller ball formulas. In addition, I wanted to find a budget-friendly company that offered 100% free shipping all of the time.
So far, I have had excellent results with essential oils from Plant Therapy. This was a logical choice since Plant Therapy has always been my preferred source for carrier oils such as Fractionated Coconut oil and Jojoba oil. Plant Therapy carries a huge variety of EOs and are available to purchase directly both on the Plant Therapy website and on Amazon. The best thing, though, is that I have noticed no difference in efficacy when they are used in my DIY products. As a bonus, their web site posts test results individually by oil along with the corresponding batch number. This assures me that the oils are not fake.
I should say a word about NOW Foods, Edens Garden and others. There is nothing wrong with these super budget-friendly oils except the fact that they are mass produced and thus likely to be less picky in their source material (the plant, herb, and flowers used to make the oils). Still, to save money, I often use these bargain brands in my cleaning supplies and soaps since the product is going on my cleaning rag or down the drain and not being applied to my skin. I use a bit more of the budget oils than I would from a premium brand (say 20 drops in my cleaner instead of 10 or 12).
Does any of this make sense? I sure hope so because I try very hard not to say that any one essential oil company is the BEST but rather a brand I choose to use myself because I trust the company, their ethics, and the purity of their products. Plus, I get good results where it counts so why change?
Summing It All Up
Whew, I didn’t mean to go on and on. By all means, let me know if you still have questions. At the end of the day, stay in your comfort zone and I am sure you will be fine.
Yours for a Joyful Life,
Just the basics. These are the EO essentials that I recommend. For additional items, view my Resources page.
NOW Foods Essential Oils: To me, these are not as potent as the oils from other companies but they smell great and work just fine in cleaning products. They come in large bottles so you can afford to use larger amounts. Try their Tea Tree oil or Natures Shield Protective Blend in your cleaning products.
Essential Oil and Roller Ball Opener: Where have these been my entire EO life? This recent purchase makes using essential oils so much easier. Instead of prying off the orifice style droppers with my nails, I now use this nifty tool to get the job done. Ditto the tops of roller ball bottles. Well worth the $5 or $6 cost.
Glass Liquid Droppers: It was only recently that I discovered the value of droppers that have measurements on the side. What this means is that instead of dropping oils into my blend one drop at a time, I can now, for example, use the markings on a dropper to measure 1 ml of each oil I am using in a 50/50 blend. I just did this yesterday with lavender and cedarwood, a calming diffused blend that I frequently use when I need to relax. You will love these glass droppers and of course, they can be used over and over again.
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: This book, by Valerie Warwood, is my essential oil bible. I purchased the first version in the late eighties and have never looked back. Highly recommended for your home remedy and first aid library.
Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser by AromaSoft: As with many of the products I promote, this diffuser is not going to be the cheapest on the block, although $20 is not bad especially when I used to pay $60 or more for a diffuser. This BPA-free diffuser puts out a strong mist that can fill a room. All that in spite of its size. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Like this? Be sure to visit Strategic Living on Facebook and Pinterest! To learn more about Gaye, visit her ABOUT page.
Stay Informed! Sign up and be the first to learn about something new at Gaye Levy's Strategic Living Blog
Want to give CBD Oil a try? Get a 20% discount using code "gayelevy" at checkout. Free shipping and a 60 day return policy.
I have used oils from several different companies. My only major problem was when I purchased some oil from Emergency Essentials – it was already diluted with olive oil. Not a big issue but not what I expected.
My other issue has been not so much with the companies themselves but with their reps. Some are quite forceful and insist that the oils they sell are the ONLY good oils and constantly put down other companies and their products. To me this is a big red flag and I immediately steer away from them. I had to ask one rep several times to quit sending me emails, newsletters, and samples before she actually stopped.
Currently I work with Barefut Essential Oils as an affiliate-not a MLM rep. I like the oils but as they don’t carry a huge variety I also purchase from other companies as well including Spark Naturals.
Gaye Levy says
What you are saying is so true. I felt it was important to let readers know that in spite of what some aggressive reps might say, there is no one EO company that ranks totally superior to any other. Even though most (but not all) of my own oils are from a single company, there are many fine companies to choose from.
Of course diluted oils sold in a misleading manner are a definite thumbs down as well as some super cheap brands that are not the real thing, in spite of what the label says. As I like to say, good oils smell nice plus, and if the price is too good to be true, they are likely a fake.
Some of the smaller, boutique EO companies have some very nice oils. You definitely won’t find these quality oils in your local supermarket!
Best to you, Mary, for a wonderful holiday. I can’t believe 2018 is almost over.
I had some major health issues where I wasn’t getting satisfactory answers from the medical community. So I went deep into the research and found some credentialed Herbalists and Aromatherapists, and discovered a world of practitioner grade products and expertise that is way beyond normal retail products and services. No doubt it is at the upper end when it comes to price, but if I’m going to put it on or in my body, then I’m willing to pay for top quality. Likewise, I expect to receive top quality results – and I do! I have no commercial ties to these people other than I’m a customer paying full retail price, but the “highest and best” I’ve found in the world of essential oils is the Wisdom of the Earth company in Sedona AZ. They have classes, books, certification programs, etc., but most of all they have a full line of EOs. Upwards of 250 products. They have a catalog where you can search for an EO based upon a specific ailment or issue. If I had to nominate a product or company as “totally superior” in the USA, it would be this team: http://wisdomoftheearth.com/
Gaye Levy says
Thanks for sharing your experience. It is always good to learn from others that have a positive experience with an essential oil company!
Susan Smith says
I agree with you Gaye about the MLM oil companies…they are so expensive. I haven’t tried Spark yet, but plan to. I appreciate your recipes for salves, etc. I print them out & have a notebook dedicated to EO, nutrition & holistic medicine. Thanks again for all the info.
Linda S says
Gaye, you have spoken the truth! I have been an aromatherapist for many years, long before it became the “in” thing. An essential oil must be labeled as “pure essential oil”. If not, it is a blend. My problem with a blend is not knowing the carrier oil; I prefer to blend my own. At my herb shop I carried Starwest Oils which never disappointed. They were very affordable & I never had a complaint. Just because you pay more money does not mean you get superior product. I prefer grapeseed oil as a carrier oil; it doesn’t become rancid as sometime happens with almond or olive oils. Learn to make your own blends & save money.
Franne Housley says
Hi Gaye! Because of you and your writings, I have begun ordering from Sparks Naturals. I joined both of their monthly oil clubs, Regular and Premium, and have started a wonderful collection of oils that I use daily for diffusing and cleaning. Thanks so much for getting me started in this wonderful ‘smelly’ world. Although I have done my own research into all the different companies, I rely on your vast knowledge and expertise to guide me through. You have been a big inspiration for me to learn more about the oils and use them in different ways. Thanks! Franne
I only use EOs to make my house smell nice. So what is important to me is that the EO produces a strong smell with just a few drops. So that is why I avoid NOW and other budget brands.
I have noticed that Florihana EOs are a lot stronger smelling. I only need a couple of drops of Florihana in the diffuser. Also, I have noticed that Florihana and other brands don’t smell the same. Bergamot, for example. If I use 2 drops of Florihana, I get a strong flowery smell. But I can use 20+ drops of NOW and get a faint lime peel smell.
Florihana has disappointed me with their pine/fir/spruce EOs. You’d think they’d smell great, and they don’t! I actually discarded the bottles after one use. And their lavender smells weird. I am using it up by just adding one drop at a time to other EOs in the diffuser.
nancy tinney says
yes, you make perfect sense! and your candor and clarity are priceless.
Carol Ann says
I personally have used Earth Sonnets for years. It is privately owned by Jenni Johnson. The oils are pure and excellent. These oils are from Butterfly Express, and she rebrands them to her own Earth Sonnets brand. I always feel like I have found my own private “gold mine!” She is also a wealth of information. Many times I have emailed her with a question, and she replies to me personally within 24 hours. The prices are very affordable and much less than the MLMs out there which I think are ridiculously high priced. She also runs monthly specials at an even greater discount on five selected oils each month. I highly recommend Earth Sonnets!
Gaye Levy says
Hi Carol Ann – Thanks for sharing. I have heard good things about Butterfly Express so knowing about Jenni, Earth Sonnets, and your first-hand experience is great. I am always on the lookout for quality sources of essential oils, especially since the company I usually use does not carry certain oils.
Don’t know how I missed this article! Thank you so much for your insight and experience. I can only imagine the amount of trial and error you endured. We’ve been very happy with Spark and, like you, avoid DoTerra and Young Living.
Got to this article through the pain and arthritis salve article. I am definitely going to make up some of that! It seems I get more aches and pains more easily since retiring.
In the section of this article about some of the “tools”, I have a question. My wife makes melt an pour soaps and uses disposable droppers, both for colors and EOs. The glass droppers you mention seem a potential resource for her. My questions though is, how do you clean them? Or do you have droppers dedicated to each oil? I’ve tried soaking the ones we got at Walmart in an old jelly jar filled with dish soap, but the effectiveness is less than satisfactory.
Thanks again for your continued standard of excellence!
Gaye Levy says
Because the droppers are glass, they are much easier to clean. I set aside all of my dirty items (droppers, jars, bottles) and every month or so soak them in a bowl of soapy water. If any residue remains, I clean them out with a Qtip and soak them again.
But, just being honest here, with a lot of the droppers, I place them in a jar and a couple of weeks later use them again. I don’t know for sure but it appears that any remaining residue evaporates. Surely the tiny remaining amount will do no harm, right? Or maybe I am just lazy.
For my favorite blends, I prepare large bottles of the oils pre-blended in advance. This is where the calibrations come in handy. So, for example, for the Miracle Salve Blend I use 1 or 2 mls of each oil (rosemary, peppermint, and lavender) and store it pre-mixed. I do this with all of my diffuser blends, the cold and flu bomb, my blood pressure formula, and the aforementioned miracle salve blend. Slowly but surely I am calculating the quantities in ml for each. This is so much easier than counting drops.
You probably read that I am expanding beyond Spark Naturals. These days they seem to be expanding more into CBD oil and kid-focused items rather than some more advanced formulations for adults. The CBD oil bothers me a lot since it is not well studied. It scares me on many fronts. But I suppose that is a story for another day.
Mary Keyser says
I am concerned about the CBD oil as well. It seems to be touted as a “cure all” for nearly anything just like some of the prescription drugs advertised on tv.
Just seems too good to be true
Gaye Levy says
Good to hear that I am not the only one. There are very few peer reviewed studies of any consequence on humans. The studies the Spark Naturals cites as “proof” are on rodents, in vitro (Petrie dishes) or small groups of 12. Nowhere, except deep in the academic environment are indications that CBD oil raises ocular pressure not lower it like THC. This posers a risk to people such as myself that have glaucoma.
I also read a piece last week about a blogger who has consumed CBD edibles on a daily basis for a number of years and has had serious brain anomolies and issues develop. This scares the crap out of me.
The Bayer company originally touted Heroin as a non-addictive cure-all. We all know how that turned out.
Since the first of the year, I have been reading everything I can on patent medicines and how they evolved, many to the detriment of human health. I am not saying CBD oil falls into that category but as of this moment, I just don’t see the research. Too many non-medical professionals are pitching it online. Yes there is money to be made via affiliate commissions but as far as I am concerned, I will leave that to someone else.
Can you tell this is a subject I am passionate about??
Mary Keyser says
Don’t blame you at all for being concerned. We keep seeing ads on tv for some prescription drugs and all their uses. Then a few years later see as from lawyers telling us about claims we can make against the company for problems the wonder drug caused.
Seems that a lot of companies are more interested in$$$ than in actually helping people