(One of the most infuriating things about having the blog down was that I’d just finished this huge post and couldn’t publish it. Here it is, at last.)
Google Analytics tells me what search terms bring people to my website. Far and away, the biggest term that leads people here is “essential oil scam.” Apparently, that blog entry I wrote on MLM scams involving essential oils is popular. Hint: the two companies I was talking about still exist, and are still roping people in with outlandish claims and even more outlandish prices.
But where to get essential oils if you don’t get them through the MLM market? As I’ve mentioned before, essential oils aren’t graded or tested, so if you lack your very own gas spectrometer, it can be hard to figure out what brands are of generally good quality.
First, the widely available oil companies. These are the companies that sell at the major natural food chain stores, at vitamin and natural health stores, new age shops, apothecaries, and the like. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just the companies I see a lot here in Chicago, whose oils I’ve used and found perfectly adequate for my (magical) needs. I do not participate in any affiliate marketing programs, nor have any of these companies ever sent me products for review or as a promotion.
Locally Available – most of these will contain an orifice reducer, which you’ll need to pop out if you’re using an eyedropper or pipette for oil measurement.
- Aura Cacia – easy to find at Walgreens and Target, at least in the Midwest. Itsy bitsy 15ml bottles, but if you’re just starting out, very handy. Kind of pricey for 15ml, but you’re paying for the convenience of buying an essential oil at Target. As far as I can tell, perfectly acceptable oils.
- Everyone Essential Oils – the basic oils (lavender, peppermint, etc.) in a .45oz bottle. 100% essential oils. Again, you’re going to pay for convenience, but not all that much. They sell blends of oils, but stick to the single-oil type for better control over your mixtures.
- Nature’s Alchemy – I’ve only seen this one at the Vitamin Shoppe, but I’ve bought a few and found them to be decent quality. Not my first choice, but widely available.
- Nature’s Truth – New to Walgreens, also available at Target. I don’t have much experience with this one. As far as I can tell, 100% pure essentials, not synthetic. Can’t speak to the quality, but easy to find. They sell blends like “Energy” and “Calming,” as well as roll-on bottles with a mix of sunflower seed oil and essential oil. Avoid those.
- NOW Essential Oils – 1oz bottles, available pretty much everywhere, mostly in health food stores. Good quality, medium price point, easy to find. HOWEVER, their Jasmine oil is cut with fragrance oil. They say so in the ingredients, but not the brand to use for Jasmine.
Online Vendors – smaller bottles will have orifice reducers, which you’ll want to remove.
- Camden-Grey – if you need more than 1oz and you prefer a very slick, professional experience, these are your people. Good product, but an extra step if you’re ordering more than 6oz or so. Camden-Grey ships in plastic bottles, because it’s cheaper. You’ll need to decant the oils after you get them, into glass containers. About 30% of my oils are from here, and all my carrier oils.
- Edens Garden – easy to navigate page, reasonable prices, I’ve always found their oils to be good quality. They sell up to 100ml (just under 3.5oz) in some oils, 250ml (just under 8.5oz) in others.
- Essential7 – they do use the “pure therapeutic grade” marketing twaddle, but they’re not an MLM and they deliver products of good quality at an excellent price, and they’re very pleasant to work with. Probably about 50% of my oils are from this company.
- Mountain Rose Herbs – small company, relationships with their distillers, great quality. If I’m looking for a particularly delicate scent, this is where I go. Price reflects the care they take with the oils. If you’re buying in smaller amounts, a good choice. They also sell herbs.
- Plant Therapy – available on Amazon, often with Prime Shipping. Very nice selection, solid quality assurance, and they’ve worked with essential oil guru Dr. Robert Tisserand to create a line of oils that are safe for use with kids (not that you’re slathering your offspring – or anyone else’s – with magical oils, but for diffusing and topical use of you buy into that). Good quality, decent value for the money, this is a good choice if you’re starting out and you have Amazon Prime and no local health food stores.
Of Note For Magicians
There will be oils that you’ll need that won’t be widely available, and best purchased from a magical oilmaker. When I need Galangal, for example, I can’t get that from bigger companies. I buy those oils from Harold Roth at Alchemy Works. He has a book coming out called “The Witching Herbs,” which I’ve already pre-ordered on Amazon. These oils are not cheap, but they’re worth it. He also sells herbs, seeds, resins and incense. Even the website is worth a thorough perusal, there’s lots of good information about oils and oil use there.
Suggestions? Comments? I’m happy to add to the list. Anyone touting the benefits of Young Living or DoTerra will be laughed right into the spam filter.