Essential oils and aromatherapy supplies are abundantly available, but there are certain things to look out for that can give a clear indication of the quality. The best essential oils and aromatherapy supplies depend on the quality of the oil, which should be 100-percent pure and unadulterated, containing no chemicals. Essential oils also should be relatively fresh. It is best for you to seek out a knowledgeable vendor who provides plenty of information about the product, tests the oils prior to selling them and will let you samples before you purchase anything. Aromatherapy supplies such as candles, sprays and bath salts also should be 100-percent natural.
The types of aromatherapy most commonly used make it especially important to use high-quality oils. Cosmetic aromatherapy and massage aromatherapy require the oils to be in direct contact with the skin. Olfactory aromatherapy uses an aromatherapy diffuser or spray to provide the oil in a form that can be inhaled. Poor-quality oils that might be old, adulterated with chemicals or other oils or simply distilled from bad crops will provide little therapeutic relief and might cause harmful side effects.
Essential oils and aromatherapy oils are much different from fragrance oils or perfume oils. Many manufacturers of fragrance oils will call them aromatherapy oils, so it is important that you know what is in the product before purchasing it. Bottles that are labeled "pure essential oil" also should be purchased with caution. Essential oils that are pure are not automatically of the best quality and might be distilled from poor-quality plants. Try to avoid vendors who primarily sell to food, beverage or perfume industries, because these oils might be manufactured with an aim different from that of therapeutic benefit.
High-quality oils should be sealed in dark-colored glass bottles. Plastic or clear containers are not uncommon for vendors who sell larger sizes, in order to reduce shipping costs and breakage, but this is usually a short-term solution. The quality of essential oils can deteriorate much more quickly as they slowly cause the plastic bottles to dissolve and are subjected to sunlight. Oils that are purchased in larger quantities should be immediately transferred to dark glass containers and sealed so that they cannot be contaminated by other oils. Try to avoid rubber droppers that can contaminate oils as they dissolve.
Vendors who sell all of their oils for the same price also should also be viewed with caution. It does not necessarily mean that the oils are of poor quality, but it can be an indication. Some oils are more expensive to produce than others, and the prices should reflect this. When purchasing essential oils and aromatherapy supplies from stores, check the bottles and boxes for dust as an indication of how long they have been stored. Essential oils lose their therapeutic qualities and aroma over time and should not be left on a shelf for years.