DON’T: Don’t buy perfume oils thinking they are the same thing as essential oils. Perfume oils do not offer the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. Even if you only intend on using aromatherapy in your lifestyle for the sheer enjoyment of the aroma, essential oils that are breathed in can offer therapeutic benefits. These benefits do not occur with the use of perfume oils.
DON’T: Don’t buy essential oils with rubber glass dropper tops. Essential oils are very concentrated and will turn the rubber to a gum thus ruining the oil.
DO: Read as much as you can on Aromatherapy. It is very easy to get started with Aromatherapy, but there are safety issues that you need to be aware of. AromaWeb does offer safety tips and information to help you on your way, but you are wise to read even further on the important subject of essential oil safety. Visit the Book Shelf for book descriptions on over 12 popular aromatherapy books.
DO: Be selective of where you purchase your essential oils. The quality of essential oils varies widely from company to company. Additionally, some companies may falsely claim that their oils are undiluted or pure when they aren’t.
DO: Learn to compare apples to apples when shopping for oils. Anise, Lavender, Bay, Cedarwood, and Eucalyptus are examples of the common names of plants used to create essential oils. There, however, are different varieties of each of these plants. To differential these varieties, the botanical name (also referred to as the Latin name) is used to tell them apart. For instance, two different oils are referred to as “Bay essential oil,” yet they come from two different plants. The properties and aroma of each oil do differ as does the general cost between the two. It, therefore, is important to pay attention to the botanical name. In the case of Bay, the common botanical names for the two oils used in this example are Pimenta racemosa and Laurus nobilis.
DO: It is also helpful to note the country of origin for the oil. Most good essential oil sellers will readily supply the botanical names and country of origin for the oils that they sell. When comparing one company’s oils with another’s, also pay attention to if either company’s oils are organic, wild-crafted or ethically farmed.
DON’T: It is wise not to purchase oils from vendors at street fairs, craft shows, or other limited-time events. Some vendors know beginners have no recourse against them later. This is not to say that there are not highly reputable sellers at such events, but this is a caution for beginners who are not able to reliably judge quality.
DO: Purchasing oils from reputable mail-order companies may result in obtaining higher quality oils at less expense than purchasing oils from a generic local health food establishment. Again, there is a wide variance in the quality of oils from company to company and store to store. Although AromaWeb does not make an endorsement of any establishment, the Global Aromatherapy Business Directory lists a variety of companies that sell essential oils and aromatherapy products.
DO: Store your oils in dark glass (amber or cobalt blue) and in a cool, dark place. I have two wooden hinged boxes that I store some of my oils in. Unfinished wooden boxes may be purchased at craft stores. These boxes allow me to move my oils from different areas of the house easily. Wooden floppy disk holders can also serve this purpose well.
DO: Pay special attention to all safety information on all essential oils that you use. This is even more important if you have any medical condition or are pregnant.
DO: Last but not least, do enjoy introducing aromatherapy into your lifestyle!