Lavender is the number one selling essential oil in the United States. There is a good chance almost everyone you encounter has smelled it in one form or another. Because of this, there are several companies who add synthetics Linalool or Linalyl acetate to Crude Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia; why? MONEY, the synthetics are cheaper. Think 27 sq ft of farmland, 3 ft X 9 ft and you only get 1 – 15ml bottle of oil, this is only 1/2 oz.
You need to ensure your Lavender is REAL, Latin name Lavandula angustifolia, and there are no synthetics added to it. How do you do this? Trust is very important, but your oil goes through so many hands before it gets to you it is not enough. You have the grower, the harvester, the distiller, the bulk distributor, to a distributor, to the wholesaler (who bottles it in your cute little bottles), there can be a retailer here, all before it lands in your hand. Look how many people have the chance to add something to your oil. What can you do? There are reputable companies who work with the grower and distiller and cut out some of these middlemen, most of these companies also use Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to ensure the oil is real. What is GC-MS? It is an analytical process done with computers to determine every chemical component in the oil and can tell you if the oil is truly what you are paying for. Companies have to pay $80-$100 per batch of each oil to have it tested by an independent company. The GC-MS will list all of the constitutes in the oil alongside the constitutes that are suppose to be in it and the percentages of each. The GC-MS company will issue a certificate stating the oil is authentic, if it is.
The best companies will give customers access to the GC-MS report for each batch of oil on their website, others will provide it only when asked. There are others who will not provide you with one and will give you lots of reasons why. If you are dealing with a company who will not provide a GC-MS for each batch of oil buy from someone else.
Wait the oil I have says it is “Therapeutic Grade,” do that not mean it is the “BEST?” According to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (https://naha.org/) in their “The Quality of Essential Oils” report @ https://naha.org/assets/uploads/The_Quality_of_Essential_Oils_Journal.pdf :
“CERTIFIED PURE THERAPEUTIC GRADE: This is a relatively new trademark by a multi-level marketing company. It gives the appearance of being approved by some kind of higher authority and it has been said that the company states it is a FDA approved to use this label. According to Elston (2009), ‘This registered word mark has not been provided to them by the FDA as they claim and is meaningless in proving that an outside certifying body has declared…This seal or word mark is nothing more than a commercial trademark that they have registered and paid a fee for.’ ”
Sadly this is just another marketing ploy to put the wool over consumer’s eyes.
If you would like to know more about the quality of essential oils and how to determine what you are buying, please read the NAHA’s “The Quality of Essential Oils” report at https://naha.org/assets/uploads/The_Quality_of_Essential_Oils_Journal.pdf it is a nice pdf file and does not get into too much jargon for the average user.
I am sure there are smaller companies who are providing great oils, but do not provide GC/MS Report. I know a GC/MS will not tell you everything you need to know about the energy or the smell of the oil, but until you have it in your hand nothing will, so I feel starting with the a GC/MS report for you oil you will at least know it is real.
God Bless, Namasté, and Oily on down the Street….