Unfortunately, as with so many things in life these days, you don’t always get what you pay for. The trade in counterfeit goods is growing at an alarming rate and in 2012 in Europe alone almost 40 million products were detained by EU customs with an estimated value of c. €1bn – and these were only the ones that were caught. Fakers will turn their hand to almost anything, from designer clothes, to currency and yes, even to essential oils. So just how do you spot a fake essential oil and make sure that your little bottle a scented magic is the real deal?
Check the name
True essential oils should have the botanical name of the plant that they are derived from either listed on their label or in the item description. For example our wonderful Jersey Lavender Essential Oil is distilled from lavandula angustifolia, also, often known as “English Lavender”. Our other lavender oil is distilled from ‘Grosso’ lavender and is labelled as lavandula x intermedia “Grosso”. If only the common name is listed e.g. lavender oil, then you may be paying for a lower quality blended or even synthetic substance from unknown origin. Also make sure that your oil is labelled as an ‘essential’ oil. If a product is described as simply ‘lavender oil’ or anything else that is vague then you could be paying for nothing more than an artificially fragranced oil.
Pay for quality
Even though at only £6.75 for 10ml you could hardly call our Jersey Lavender Essential Oil extravagant, some people may be tempted to save a few pennies and buy a cheaper alternative. However be wary of lower priced oils, as they may not be quite the bargain that you imagine. Essential oils are purely distilled or extracted, with nothing added and nothing taken away. Usually there is a only a limited amount of the ‘essence’ to be found in each plant so it often takes huge amounts of the plant to make only a small amount of essential oil, hence the higher price.
Inspect the container
To maintain essential oils in their very best condition, they must be kept in dark glass containers. The dark colour prevents the oil from degrading due to ultraviolet radiation. It is also important to use glass and not plastic as the oil’s natural components can react with and break down plastic. The best essential oils also tend to come with an orifice reducer which both reduces how many drops come out at once and also limits the oils exposure to air. Air exposure can cause the oil to oxidise and deteriorate.