Get instant access to the
hundreds of skin-care
recipes, advice and news:
All weights and measures used on this site are metric.
To convert weights and measures click here
NB: You must enable pop ups in your browser settings
NOTE: For an introduction to Introduction to Using Essential Oils click here.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are volatile, aromatic substances, which have a long tradition of use in natural medicine, perfume, incense, skin and health care. Using the essential oils of plants for therapeutic purposes is known as aromatherapy and has been practised for thousands of years. Essential oils are produced in two ways:
- Water/steam distillation from seeds, roots, wood, leaves and flowers. This is the most common method.
- Pressing of the peel of citrus fruits. Citrus oils are the only ones produced in this way. These can also be produced through distillation.
Extraction through the use of solvents is a method also used for certain oils. We do not call these essential oils as they do not contain true aromatic substances such as absolutes and resinoids but contain substances which are not volatile.
So that you may know exactly what you are buying, we provide you with the following information about our Essential Oils.
Order Essential Oils
The trade in essential oils over the past 100 to 200 years has modified its product to suit its customers - the perfume, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, confectionery and food industries, tailoring it to what these require. Examples of this are: lavender oil which smells the same year after year; peppermint oil with the same menthol content year after year; and perfumes with similar ingredients. Low prices and standardised products have become more important than quality.
This means that many of the "essential oils" on the market today are manipulated oils, produced by mixing oils from different plant sources or by mixing oils with synthetically produced aromatic chemicals. These oils may be good for the purpose for which they were made - to provide a pleasant fragrance or aroma. However, if these oils are sold under the guise of being genuine essential oils derived from a particular plant and therefore with particular therapeutic properties, one should be aware that they will not have any of the desired effects of a genuine essential oil. In fact, if sold and used in this way, they may even do more damage than good. Aromantic do not sell manipulated oils!
|"I received oils yesterday, and I have to say I am more than impressed. I loved the literature and I am compelled to make some of your soaps etc. I will definitely be ordering again"
more testimonials >
Aromantic’s Purchasing & Sales Policy for Essential Oils
Aromantic’s policy on purchasing essential oils is the same as our policy on purchasing all of our raw materials, which is based on a holistic perspective, which considers the products we source and stock in relation to nature and to people. We believe that we can make a difference in the world by sourcing products and raw materials that nourish and sustain both the producers and our customers and to contribute to the demand for products that conserve our precious resources and are as environmentally friendly as possible.
Order Essential Oils
In order to be part of a positive cycle of change that respects nature and people and improves the ability of future generations to sustain themselves, we give priority to raw materials that have been fairly traded or ethically sourced. Most of our organic essential oils are sourced from:
- traditional communities
- modern community projects
- or organisations which seek to create a better and fairer world.
See Earth and Community Care for more information.
Our policy is to sell 100% genuine essential oils of good quality, extracted from raw plants and parts of plants. We are able to identify their chemical constituents, indicate whether or not they have been altered, manipulated, or contain only a part of the original oil (as can happen with e.g. ylang ylang and camphor oils). We are also able to indicate methods of growing and country of origin - all those details which you, the consumer, may require in order to feel secure in your choice of us as your supplier of essential oils.
We have chosen our suppliers very carefully and we work in close co-operation with different high quality essential oil producers. Whether producers or distributors, or both, our suppliers all share the following codes of best practice:
- Our suppliers are either the producers themselves and/or are distributors who buy direct from producers all over the world. Through building up this direct contact with smaller growers and producers, whose methods are documented carefully, either the distributors, or we at Aromantic, are able to guarantee where the oils come from, what growing methods have been used and how the oils have been produced.
- The main supplier of our organic essential oils has direct contact in many cases with the communities and projects that our organic essential oils are sourced from and personally visits these small communities and projects around the world and keep in close contact with them. This same supplier is one of the first companies with Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) non-timber products certification for essential oils. We accept fairly traded products from our supplier even if the producer has not been certified as being FairTrade. This is because our hard-working and dedicated supplier continually visits the projects and for us that is good enough. Small projects that are often rural as well are too burdened to cope with the paperwork required to obtain and maintain the FairTrade certification. Aromantic, as a small company understands this, we too are too small just now to be certified either. See examples of community projects in Earth and Community Care.
- Before purchasing oils, our distributors are provided with batch samples. These are tested for fragrance, appearance and consistency and the best one from amongst those which can be sourced to a defined plant or plant part is selected. When purchasing organic oils, all documentation is checked. If they are in any doubt about the oil's constituents, a sample is sent to the laboratory for analysis. Aromantic is supplied with extensive and detailed quality test and analysis data from our suppliers who are also the producers.
- When the oil either arrives at the distributor or is ready for sale at the producer, it is given a batch number, which will remain the same and be recorded throughout their tests and controls. At Aromantic, we continue this trace ability with our own system of linking suppliers' batch numbers to specific products that we stock.
- Our suppliers who are distributors also carry out their own quality control of all essential oils they buy in and do not solely rely on what the data the producers have given them.
How our suppliers carry out the Analysis of Essential Oils
There are several methods for ascertaining whether or not essential oils are genuine i.e. that they are truly volatile essential oils extracted from raw plants. Some of these methods make use of the physical senses. The fragrance of an essential oil will indicate its age, and comparisons are carried out with other samples of oils of the same type. Do they smell the same? Are they volatile to the same degree? Do they smell synthetic? Do they smell of alcohol? The ability to detect the subtle differences through smell is acquired only with experience and training over a long period of time.
Different essential oils have different colours and consistencies which can be seen and felt. An essential oil can be tested on a piece of paper to see whether or not it has been diluted with a vegetable oil: an essential oil is volatile (which a vegetable oil is not) and will not leave an oil stain (which a vegetable oil will). Anyone working with essential oils can learn how to do this. The simplest physical tests which are carried out are those which determine the degree of optical distortion the oil creates, its refraction index and density.
Tests are carried out which combine gas chromatography with mass spectrometry: one separates the molecules in the oil and determines how many there are, the other establishes what chemical constituents are present. The oil is then assessed, based on these tests and by studying data gathered from hundreds of other tests carried out on samples of the same type of oil. Are the constituents comparable and typical? Are the different samples similar? There will often be a similarity between two out of three samples. In this way one can determine whether or not the oil has been extracted from a raw plant and other essential oils, artificial fragrances or cheaper, isolated constituents of oils have been added.
Order Essential Oils
Information you are given about each Essential Oil
We provide you with the following information about our Essential Oils so that you know exactly what you are buying:
Popular Name - In a very few cases we use the most commonly used name even if this is not the correct one to use, technically speaking, e.g. we'll use Lemongrass rather than Malabar Grass.
Latin / INCI Name - The full Latin name is used in the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) classification system. You will find this name in square brackets to the right of the Cultivation and Safety Codes and to the left of the Essential Oil description.
Plant Part - The part of the plant that is used for distillation.
Country of Origin - Where the plant is found wild or has been grown. Oils are usually distilled in the country of origin but, particularly in the case of e.g. resins and seeds, the Oils may be distilled elsewhere.
The following letters or abbreviations indicate the growing method/conditions applicable to the plant(s) from which each oil is made, as follows:
- ORG = Organic. All Aromantic’s organic essential oils are certified by the UK-based organic certifying body, Organic Farmes & Grower’s (OF&G). For more information, click here.
- O = Conventionally grown
- T = Conventionally grown but without artificial fertilisers or chemicals
- W = Wild Crafted (essential oils are derived from plants that are not cultivated, but are gathered from their natural, wild habitat. Although they are not organic, they will not have been contaminated by synthetic chemicals (pesticides, fertilisers etc.) and will be growing in conditions favourable to the health of the plant.)
Organic Control Organisations
The following organisations regulate each of the organic essential oils in the relevant countries:
Organic Farmers & Growers, UK
Soil Association, UK
EcoCert, France, Worldwide
BCS Öko Garantie, Germany
Demeter (biodynamic control organisation)
Order Essential Oils
Safety & Storage Information
Essential oils contain the active ingredients of a plant in a highly concentrated form i.e. small amounts of essential oils are capable of huge effects. To obtain best results, it is important to use them correctly and sensibly. When using essential oils it is very important to adhere to the recommended dosage to achieve the desired effect. Overdosing can cause injuries! The wrong dosage (which is often the temptation to use too much) can result in skin damage, headache, nausea or similar. Some essential oils are not suitable for use during pregnancy or in conjunction with high blood pressure, while some should be used sparingly on the skin. (See directions for individual oils).
They MUST NOT come into direct contact with mucous membranes or, of course, with the eyes. Do not use essential oils undiluted directly on the skin and do not take internally unless advised by a professional.
We highly recommend that you learn about the uses and effects/possible side effects of essential oils before using them yourself.
Certain oils should be used with extra care. These are marked with the following numbers printed in brackets on the left side of the name of an essential oil in our product listings. When you see one of these numbers, we recommend that you take the time to study that oil's full range of properties and effects, particularly taking into account the following:
- Use with care; this oil may irritate the skin or mucous membrane.
- This oil is photo-sensitive; do not use before exposure to sunlight.
- When adding this oil to bath products, add only the equivalent of 1-2 drops per bath.
- This oil may not be suitable for use during pregnancy.
- This oil may not be suitable for people with epilepsy.
Please note that opinions vary on the effects of certain oils on people with various medical conditions as do individuals' responses to oils. Please seek advice from a health professional if you are unsure.
Order Essential Oils
Essential Oil Dropper Conversion Tables
Most essential oils are thin and require a smaller dropper where percentage dosing is as follows:
||= 2 drops / 100ml
||= 4 drops / 100ml
||= 6 drops / 100ml
||= 18 drops / 100ml
||= 12 drops / 100ml
||= 25 drops / 100ml
||= 32 drops / 100ml
||= 50 drops / 100ml
||= 62 drops / 100ml
||= 75 drops / 100ml
||= 100 drops / 100ml
Vetivert, Sandalwood and Benzoin are thicker essential oils and require a larger dropper, which releases larger drops. Percentage dosing for these essential oils will be:
||= 20 drops / 100ml
||= 40 drops / 100ml
||= 50 drops / 100ml
||= 60 drops / 100ml
||= 80 drops / 100ml
Essential oils should be kept in a dark, cool place, out of reach of children and away from medicines.
Order Essential Oils