Adulteration- Aromatherapy Terms

What Is Adulteration?

Adulteration of an essential oil is the addition of another substance to an otherwise pure essential oil.

Essential oils are the pure oils extracted from parts of a plant. They are obtained by distillation, cold pressing, chemical extraction or the old method of enfleurage.

These methods can be time-consuming and labor intensive. In the case of some of the more expensive oils, there have been cases of bad actors using foreign substances which are added to the oils. This has the effect of diluting the oils, which renders their therapeutic properties less effective or removes them entirely. This is what is meant by the term adulteration.

Adulteration happens mostly to the more expensive oils. An example of one of these oils is Rose Otto (Rosa damascena), which is one of the most expensive oils to produce.

Since it takes approximately 60,000 rose petals to produce a single ounce of Rose Otto essential oil, you can see why it is so expensive. The Rose Otto essential oil we sell at the time of this writing begins at $153.00 for 1.85ml. The price for 1oz is $1530.00.

We and our wholesaler have a commitment to only sell 100% pure therapeutic grade oil. However, you can see how there might be a temptation to sell a lesser grade oil and improve profits for an unscrupulous individual.

Some unscrupulous individuals have been known to add geranium or palmarosa essential oils to the Rose Otto essential oil to increase profits.

Another oil that is sometimes adulterated with other oils is Jasmine. Jasmine is not technically an essential oil, but is termed an absolute. (I will cover what an absolute is in another article). The blooms are too fragile to use the steam extraction distillation method. Instead, a solvent is used to extract the oil from the Jasmine flowers, then the solvent is removed.

Since this process by its very nature will leave a small amount of the solvent in the oil, individuals have added additional solvent to create more of the oil and increase profits.

Oils which have been adulterated retain only a fraction of the healing properties of the pure oil, if they retain any at all. That is why it is important that you purchase essential oils from a reliable and trusted source.

We want to be that source. That is why we only sell 100% pure oils. The oils are tested with gas chromatography/Mass spectrometry (GC/MS) testing to ensure purity.

You can feel confident that the oils you purchase from us are 100% pure and they are not adulterated in any way.

Visit our shop for your essential oils. If you have questions please contact us using our contact form.