Every one is asking me if this brand is better than that brand. Is doTerra better than Young Living which is the most common question. PLEASE DON'T EMAIL ME AND ASK ME THIS QUESTION. TEST THEM FOR YOURSELF. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW IF FRANKENCENSE IS BETTER FROM DOTERRA, I CAN MAIL A SAMPLE OUT TO YOU TODAY. So, if anyone asks this question as their only question to me, I will not respond.
Most important article on this site
HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRANDS
Considering that just say frankincense is grown in the same region, the corporations that own that "real estate" sell to all the essential oil companies. It all comes from the same place. Some plants are gown at high altitudes and get more sun only take 70 days to mature while the plants at lower altitudes can take 90 days to mature. Also, since oils last a long time, last years crop might be better since there may have been a drought or fewer frost- free days. There also may be high winds that can destroy the crop that year. Heavy winds can blow away the delicate blossoms before they get pollinated.
Note: some companies that don't have the land fields to grow certain plants do not have the right growing conditions might use soil acidifiers and other fertilizers to copy the real thing. They are putting these acidifiers in soil that is too high of a pH to grow, like 8.3 pH and artificially turning it into acidic soil.
Many people want these high elevation oils or oils grown in the wild without us adding acidifiers or stuff to increase crop production. It is not fair when they don't tell us this stuff. Plants grown where they have to work much harder to pull water and nutrients from soil that is not "wild. When the plant has to work harder to survive, it usually produces a stronger oil with more constituents. If you look at Peppermint oil, you will notice some have more camphor and other brands don't. They will each smell different too. Some oils are more concentrated and others aren't even though they both are unadulterated. Growing and extraction differences, especially the temperature they were distilled and the pressure used. Some companies denature their oils if the extraction methods are too harsh.
There are many instances where it is not botanically possible to grow the crop that year and companies freak out when they have 1000's of acres of land and they know they will not profit off their land this year. When there is not enough rain they can manually water the fields. When fields are leached they can add fertilizers which they don't bother mentioning. I always use "wild" oils as a control and that is the best way to know when a company is a little "off" one year.
Some oils from different companies smell better than others but I am mostly concerned about therapeutic properties. When the fields are adulterated or adulterated during the extraction process, it can make the oils smell better but at the expensive of constituent loss.
This is when oils that are first opened and exposed to oxygen and the resins and constituents break down in the bottle of oil. It is easy to tell if an oil has suffered peroxidation. When I put it on my skin and compare it to a fresh bottle of oil, the fresh oil doesn't have that burning feel or stinging feel. The peroxidized oil might cause the skin to red much quicker too depending on how much the oil was oxidized. Many people think that prickling feel is from a high level of constituents and are misled. THE OIL IS NOT SAFE TO USE ONCE IT HAS BEENE PEROXIDIZED. DO NOT PUT ON YOUR SKIN AFTER THIS HAS HAPPENED OR EVEN DILUTED IN A CARRIER OIL.
Note: after an oil has been peroxidized and many oils people buy brand new are commonly peroxidized. I notice that many of the really cheap brands always have this in common. People always email me about brands that are like 75% of the price of the expensive brands out there. So, seeing if the oil has been peroxidized is a good way to see if you are buying something cheap because it is bunk.
Also note that peroxidized oils can smell great so even though the constituents are now bunk, the smell can still be just as pleasing. For those using diffusers and just want a good smell, then this shouldn't be a problem.
Warning: I always refrigerate my oils. It can double or triple their shelf life as far as constituents are concerned. To go even a step further, some people even top their oils off with a layer of nitrogen gas. Nitrogen is heavier than normal air and the air floats on the nitrogen and only the nitrogen gas floats on top of the oil. This is for people that "really" want to preserve their oils from oxidation.
The oils that have higher constituents are harder to oxidize. 2nd distillation brand oils might smell better and more "potent". After learning about peroxidation of oils from several aromatherapists, the 2nd distillation brand oils oxidize faster. The oils that onl go through a 1st distillation will have more constituents and will oxidize slower.
Note: the 2nd distillation is not a second time distillation of the plant. A rectified oil is when the oil itself is distilled again. This is different than using a low heat/low pressure extraction the first time and taking the plants and then doing a high heat and high pressure to get the last little bit out. Many companies do this and mix the 1st and 2nd distillations. The most expensive oils are distilled only once. Also, when I know the oil was distilled only ONCE, THAT IS NOT always good enough for me. I want to know if it was distilled 15 hours were the separating the first grade that comes ONLY in the first hour of extraction or was it the last bit of oil that comes out in the last few hours (2nd and 3rd grade). It is rare to find a large company that will just sell the 1st hour extraction which bring so little oil. Only private estate distilleries, like private people that have their own fields often do this and separate this and sell off the rest. I use reserve grade frankincense and I notice a night and day difference. I have samples whenever I get it for people to experience.
REAL REASON WHY THERE ARE CHEAP OILS
There are some really cheap oils out there and it is hard to know if they are low in constituents because they smell good. Cheap oil usually have a lower constituent count when they are grown in countries where it is not the best elevation. If you take a high elevation lavender and compare it to low elevation grown lavender you can tell the difference. Also, if there is going to be a drought they might harvest the plants sooner where it doesn't get to pick up the most important sun during the final stages of blooming. And, most important is the companies parameters for distilling their oils.
Also note: When buying oils, I always make sure I am comparing species to species. Some species have a lower constituent count. Eucalyptus from one of the top companies uses a blend of species while the other company uses single species of that eucalyptus oil. Check for yourself and its all there but most people don't know to check this. Just because an oil not adulterated, this doesn't mean its constituent composition didn't get to "ripen" fully in the sun or it has a high constituent count.
I strongly recommend sampling 5 to 6 samples from different companies. When getting samples like this, people can narrow it down to the oil they really like. Most people who do this usually like several oils from different companies. I will say that 99% of the people use one brand and only buy from that company.
When testing oils, I always let the oils sit out for at least 45 minutes. A testing strip is the best way to compare the oils, not smelling right out of the bottle.
I urge people to sample each single oil they want to use. I am tired of the bashing. Every time I ask a distributor how their brand compares to the "other"brand they tell me how theirs is pure therapeutic and how the other one uses every bad practice in the world. If every distributor says this about every other oil then that should mean every oil is bad. Or every brand is the best brand. I am just tired of the bullshit.
Get samples. Do your own review. And pick the brand/oil you like the best, not because someone told you its the best. ARGGHHHHHHHHH!!!
Avoid Dealers selling Oxidized Essential Oils
I have tested oils that do not come DIRECTLY from the manufacturer and are from a dealers stock. 99% of the time these oils are not refrigerated. Most oils don't need to be frigerated that have a nitrogen gas layer but the oils that don't, by not frigerating them till they are opened does not apply.
Constituents oxidize and are not as bio active on most of the oils that are sold, make sure if they are not the latest date, they have nitrogen added. Keeping oils cold helps extend the constituents from oxidation. A therapeutic oil is only as good as the constituents it has left.
Warning: Oxidation - is a major problem and most people don't even know it when its oxidized. The smell is great and people think the oil is not bunk. That is where they try to trick you. With time, all constituents in oils will oxidize. Once it even starts a little bit, you can't stop the process and it escalates from there. It is not like an apple where you can just cut the oxidized part off. It usually takes several months once the oil starts the initial oxidation. Also, oils that are mailed to people and go from hot to cold can mess it up too. I would always get my oils shipped on dry ice or ice packs in the summer.
If you see my lemon oil tests that I did, you will see how even some of the best smelling oils pops the balloon slowly. The lemon oils that have the most limonene pop the balloon the fastest. I have a review site just for lemon oils here lemon-essential-oil.homestead.com
The really cheap lemon oils smell really good too. But they have so little limonene that one drop of lemon oil will never ever pop a balloon. You can watch it here.
By doing the balloon test you can see if the oil really has a lot of constituents of limonene based on how one single drop performs. You can also do it on a styrofoam cup.
Also note that when the oil oxidizes, different chemicals are formed in the bottle and if the oil gets peroxidized, it can be very irritating.
An essential oil can decrease in constituents from 30 to 70% in about 12 months when stored a little over room temperature. Some people use diffusers without adding water and the oils can oxidize more than the atomizer types that you have to add water. If getting a diffuser, make sure you know to get a low kHz or a high kHz speed. The 2.7 kHz micronizes the oil more but is lighter and the oils don't ravel so far. The really cheap ones work at this rate. The higher wattage the better. The Donut model by Serene house has the highest fluence of the atomizer diffusers I tested
Also, another way to test to see if your oil is bunk is to do the fridge test. How fast does the essential oil solidify. Some lavender oils get more viscous as they get colder. I take my laser thermometer and I test the oils viscosity each at the same temperature. You can also tell if the oil is cut with something else. Some companies cut their rose oil and if rose oil solidifies, it is not 100% pure. Real genuine rose oil will NOT go solidify in the fridge.
Note: a trick to "clean up" oils that have oxidized and gone cloudy is to let the bottle of oil sit a few hours so that all the sedament settles to the bottom. I use a pipette to move the oil and leave the sediment in that bottle. If you ever get a bottle of oil and are using a nebulizer diffusers, this sediment is what ruins them.
Note: You shouldn't have to shake a bottle of essential oil as the constituents do not settle to the bottom unless they are oxidized.
Remember, the smell of an oil will always outlast constituents before they break down and decompose into other compounds. A good way to tell if the constituents are like they were when the oil was fresh is to see if the oil crystalizes differently when frigerated when compared to the fresh oil.
Make sure the first thing you ask when buying oils are questions to see if their oils are oxidized. If they don't know the temperature the oils were at or how many temperature changes or if the company adds nitrogen gas, then the oils most likely are oxidized. Only a few companies I know sell oils that are 100% un-oxidized. There is one company that specializes just in frankincense and their frankincense is more potent than any other I have tried. But their lavender is not as good as the lavender I use. Also, to prevent oxidation and constituents changing, some companies triple or even quadruple distill their oils. There smells smell a little more "sweet" but their constituents are boiled out and they don't oxidize as much. There is nothing wrong with this if a more fragrant essential oil is what someone is looking for. Most people like a peppermint "candy" smell rather than a herby smell although the herby one usually has the highest constituent count. If storing an oil with high constituents they can change compounds faster over time. The best question I ask myself is if I want a more therapeutic oil or a more fragrant oil.
For those wanting the freshest oils, I get notified whenever there is a freshly distilled oil coming out. I never know what it is gonna be. If anyone wants to be on the list to get an oil just after distillation, ask to be put on the list.