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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Aromatherapy?

A: Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of pure essential oils to improve balance and harmony and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.

Q: What are essential oils?

A: Essential oils are extracted from different plants, mainly through a process called steam distillation. In this process, a plant is placed in a device over heated water. As steam forms, it passes through the plant and the “essential compounds” vaporize and condense back into a liquid. Essential refers to the core or beneficial properties of the plant. It can also refer to the fact that these oils can be used in so many different ways, from facial creams to massage oils to cleaning products. They have properties that can help with fatigue, stress, nausea and acne, just to name a few. Most essential oils are clear, but some oils, such as patchouli, orange and lemongrass, are amber or yellow in color.

Q: What's the difference between essential oils and perfume/fragrance oils?

A: Essential oils are extracted from natural plants, roots, barks, etc. by several different methods. Perfume oils are made using a combination of essential oils and synthetic oils. Essential oils can be used in aromatherapy and massage treatments or for medicinal purposes. Meanwhile, perfume/fragrance oils are used purely for their scent. Essential oils are also a great option for individuals who are sensitive to scented body products and perfumes since they donʼt contain any chemicals.

Q: Why are there different fill levels?

A: Bottles are filled by volume. Some bottle sizes may be filled to the top, but do contain the volume of oil.

Q: How are essential oils extracted?

A: Since the scientific composition of each plant differs, several methods for extracting oils have been developed. Below is a list of the different processes.

  • Steam Distillation: This is the most common method. In this process, a plant is placed in a contraption over heated water. As steam forms, it passes through the plant and the “essential compounds” vaporize and condense back into a liquid.
  • Hydrosols: These are the by-product of the distillation process. They contain the water-soluble constituents of the plant and retain a small amount of essential oil. 
  • Expression/Cold Pressed: A method of extraction specific to citrus essential oils. The process involves a prodding, pricking, sticking action to release the oil. 
  • Solvent: Used for plants that are too fragile to be distilled. Solvent extraction is the use of solvents, such as petroleum ether, methanol or ethanol, to extract the scented material from the plant. The solvent will also pull out the chlorophyll and other plant tissue, resulting in a highly colored or thick extract or product. This is then mixed with alcohol, which serves to extract the aromatic principle of the material. The final product is known as an absolute. 
  • CO2: Oils are extracted by pressurizing carbon dioxide until it becomes a liquid. The liquid carbon dioxide acts as a solvent on the natural plant matter and the essential oil content dissolves into the liquid CO2. After the CO2 is brought back to natural pressurization, it evaporates back into gas and only the resulting oil remains.

Q: How do you extract your essential oils?

A: All of our oils are either steam distilled or cold pressed/expressed. Some oils, like Sweet Orange or Lime, can only be extracted from the peel instead of the leaves or flowers, which is why they are cold pressed. Vanilla oil is a little different in that there is no way to steam distill or express the oil, so itʼs made more like an infusion using natural coconut oil, but itʼs still a pure oil.

Q: What is the difference between therapeutic and commercial/synthetic grade?

A: At present there are no designated standards in America for grades of essential oils. In Europe, however, standards are established that outline the natural chemical profile and principal constituents of a high-quality essential oil. These standards help us differentiate between a therapeutic grade essential oil and one of inferior quality.

  • Food Grade: Generally cut with a food-based carrier oil. 
  • Therapeutic Grade: Pure and undiluted essential oils suitable for all applications. Naturally grown, harvested or processed organically. 
  • Cosmetic Grade: Suitable for most applications. Medicinal use is not recommended as they are partially steam distilled and partially formulated in the lab. 
  • Commercial and Synthetic Grade: Not recommended for skin or aromatherapy applications. Considered safe for cleaning products, candles, incense, potpourri, etc. 

Q: Are your oils certified?

A: Contrary to popular belief, there is no agency which provides “certification.” Some essential oil companies may use terminology like “certified pure therapeutic grade,” but itʼs purely a marketing strategy. 

Q: Are your oils tested?

A: All of our oils are GC/MS tested by our trusted vendors and Farms in which we buy our oils from. GC/MS tests results are shown on a complicated graph and hard to comprehend unless you are a chemist. From these graphs our vendors (who have chemists onsite), create a Certificate of Analysis. We have a Certificate of Analysis available for all oils that we sell and each batch that we purchase.

Q: Are your essential oils pesticide free?

A: Most plants that produce essential oils have the natural ability to defend themselves against pests and donʼt need pesticides, however, this is not always the case. Sometimes growers will experience fungal issues and use chemicals to prevent the loss of crops. If the plant has been sprayed, the chemicals will not distill since their molecules are too large; theyʼll be left behind with the unused plant material.

Q: How can essential oils be used?

A: There are many different ways essential oils can be used; theyʼre listed below:

  • Diffusers/Vaporizers: Intended for use in air purification and creation of therapeutic atmospheres within the home, office or spa environment.
  • Aromatic Baths: These can be detoxifying, relaxing, invigorating, emotionally uplifting and sensual. The use of oils in a bath is particularly beneficial for Sore tired muscles and dry skin. The Respiratory system will benefit from inhalation of the aroma. 
  • Body and Hair Care Products: Certain essential oils can be added to fragrance-free lotions, creams, shampoos or conditioners to increase their benefits. This is a great way to help with dry skin or a flaky scalp.
  • Compresses: These can be either hot or cold, depending on the condition. Compresses can help with mild pain, swelling and inflammation. Most conditions characterized by “aches” can be helped by the use of hot compresses, while slight sprains, fevers, inflammations and head tension can be eased with cold compresses.
  • Massage: Aids circulation, detoxification and relaxation. It can be used in either a professional or personal capacity. 
  • Inhalation: “Direct” refers to inhaling an oil directly from a bottle. “Direct palm” refers to sniffing or inhaling an oil directly from the palms of your hands. “Handkerchief/Cotton Ball” refers to placing 2-4 drops of an oil on the tissue or cloth and holding it in the palms of your hand and inhaling.

Q: Why are the bottles not competely filled or they have different fill levels?

A:The glass bottles that we use have a 11ml capacity. We only fill our bottles to 10ml which is what you are purchasing. This would put the correct fill line just at or a little above the top of the label on the bottles. (This can be confusing to some of our customers because they are expecting a bottle to be filled up to the very top.) Because each essential oil has a different viscosity you may see slight variations in the fill lines from oil to oil but they should all at least be at the label line. If you ever have any bottles that are filled below the label line please send us a photo and we would be happy to replace it.

Q: What carrier oils are commonly used?

A: Below is a list of the carrier oils we carry and their specific benefits. Some are better geared to certain skin types and conditions.

  • Almond: One of the most useful, practical and widely used oils. Soothes, softens and re- hydrates the skin in face and body care lotions and potions. 
  • Apricot Kernel: Excellent skin moisturizer for both sensitive and prematurely aged skin. 
  • Avocado: Highly beneficial for itchy, dry skin. 
  • Castor: Minimize signs of aging, scars and blemishes. Wonderful hair thickener and conditioner. Great for helping with cold weather chapping.
  • Grapeseed: Quickly absorbed into the skin. Doesnʼt leave a greasy film. It has hypo-allergenic properties making it perfect for allergy prone or sensitive skin. 
  • Jojoba: Close to the natural sebum of the skin, so it makes a perfect moisturizer for all skin types. Itʼs very helpful to use on sunburns and chapped skin. 
  • Sunflower: Easily absorbed into the skin and perfect for treating dry, aged and weathered skin.

Q: What products do you carry?

A: We carry a wide variety of essential oil products. They include: Essential oils, Essential oils blends, Massage Spritz, Roll-ons, Lip Balms, Beard oil, Beard wax, Shave soap, After shave, Aromatherapy Soap, Bath Salts, Soy Candles, Melties and cleaning products. We also have accessories to assist you in using our oils and other products. 

Q: Where do your oils come from and why do they cost less?

A: All of our oils are purchased from trusted farms and distributors with whom we have close, long-term relationships. Working with distributors gives us the opportunity to purchase oils in larger volume to ensure we offer customers the best price possible!

Q: Can you ingest your oils?

A: Our essential oils are 100% pure grade. Theyʼre not cut, diluted or adulterated in any way, making them highly concentrated botanical substances. Pure essential oils are 1000 times more potent than their leafy counterparts. While weʼre not advocating ANY essential oil ingestion protocol here, we would like to clear up the confusion regarding essential oil ingestion.

Most essential oils commonly used in aromatherapy are safe to ingest in very small amounts (approximately 1-8 drops/day), depending on the oil and the userʼs medical condition. If you feel this may improve your health, we strongly urge you to do so only under the guidance of a licensed aromatherapist who will help you determine the right program for you.

Q: What is the shelf life of essential oils?

A: With few exceptions, steam distilled essential oils have a shelf life of at least 2 years, and even longer when stored properly. Tea Tree, Pine and Fir oils typically have a shelf life of around 12 to 18 months due to certain components in their chemical composition.

Cold pressed citrus oils have the shortest shelf life of all essential oils due to a high proportion of components called terpenes, which are more prone to oxidization, meaning that extra care should be taken to store them away from sources of heat. You can expect citrus oils to remain in good condition for 9 to 12 months, but longer if stored properly. If you normally buy them in 10 ml sizes, immediately decant them into two 5 ml bottles, to protect one bottle from oxidizing for longer.

Due to their chemical makeup, essential oils donʼt turn rancid like vegetable oils, they simply degrade gradually and their therapeutic properties become diminished. As the oil becomes ineffective, youʼll be able to notice a change in scent.

Q: What are some things to do when using, storing or purchasing oils?

A: Here is a list of some things to do to enhance your essential oil experience:

  • Purchase and store your oils in dark glass (amber or cobalt blue) and in a cool, dark place.
  • Pay special attention to any safety information for the essential oils you use. This is even more important if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or may be pregnant.
  • Research as much as you can on aromatherapy. Itʼs very easy to get started in aromatherapy, but there are safety issues you need to be fully aware of.
  • Use the patch test if youʼre unsure how your skin will react to an essential oil. Directions: Add 1-2 drops of diluted oil to your wrist or inside of elbow; cover with a Band-Aid and leave for 24 hours. If any reaction occurs, immediately remove the bandage and carefully wash the area with mild soap and water.
  • Learn to compare apples to apples when shopping the price on oils. Since many plants have different varieties, use the botanical name or “Latin name” to differentiate.

Q: What are some things to avoid when using, storing or purchasing oils?

A: Here are some things to avoid to make sure your experience with essential oils is as pleasant as possible:

  • Buying essential oils with rubber and glass eyedropper tops. Essential oils are very concentrated and will turn the rubber to gum, thereby ruining the oil.
  • Mixing, blending or storing your essential oils in plastic containers. Unless youʼre heavily diluting your oils into a spray or mist bottle, the oils will erode the plastic container.

Q: Can I use your essential oils to make lip balm?

A: Most oils can safely be used in lip balms. Though in the process of licking your lips, you may ingest some essential oil, the amount is very minute. Itʼs also important to note that many essential oils are on the FDAʼs GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) list and are also commonly used in food. Oils that are commonly used for lip balms include: Anise, Cinnamon leaf, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint and Vanilla. To spice up your lip balm, you can try Ginger, Geranium or Palmarosa.

Citrus oils should be used with caution, since they may have high levels of photosensitizing coumarins. The highest are regular Bergamot, Grapefruit and Lemon. You can use ʻBergaptene Freeʼ Bergamot instead, which we sell. Sweet Orange has very low levels of Bergaptene and is safe to use topically when used in percentages less than 2%.

Q: Does your soap contain lye?

A: Soap, both handmade and store-bought, is initially made using lye (sodium hydroxide) or a similar caustic agent. The process of soap making is a chemical reaction. When made properly, as with our product, no lye remains in the finished product; itʼs simply the catalyst needed for turning oils into soap.

Q: Will your soap help my eczema?

A: Soaps arenʼt allowed to be promoted as having curative or medicinal properties unless they get tested and certified as such. So, we canʼt answer with a definitive “yes” or “no,” but weʼve had several customers state that the soap has helped their skin problems. This may be attributed to the natural ingredients in our soaps, since most commercial soaps contain preservatives, colorants or fragrances. Our suggestion for those with eczema is to try one of our more mild bars, Castile or Lavender, and see how it works.

Q: How long does a bar of soap last?

A: A bar of soap lasts four to six weeks if used according to directions. Allow soap to dry between uses by using a vented/ribbed soap dish or shower caddy.

Q: Why choose real essential oil aromatherapy candles?

A: Many companies promote their candles as being made with real essential oils when theyʼre not. Example: “Try our new cucumber melon candle! Made with REAL essential oils.” The thing is, thereʼs no such thing as cucumber melon essential oil, because essential oils cannot be extracted from either cucumbers or melons since both consist primarily of water.

Many large companies use the term essential oil when theyʼre actually referring to fragrance oils, which have no aromatherapy value and are a chemical cocktail created in a lab to smell a certain way.

Rest assured, our soy candles are only scented with real essential oils, that is, oils that are extracted from plants, flowers, bark, spices, etc. When you burn one of our candles, the essential oils are diffused into the air, creating a genuine aromatherapy experience.

Q: What is the difference between Bulgarian Lavender and French Lavender?

A: Bulgarian Lavender is from Bulgaria and is steam distilled from the flower tops only. This gives it a sweet, floral scent. This is the highest quality Lavender and is best used for Aromatherapy. French Lavender is from France (or other origins) and is produced from the entire plant (flower & stem). French Lavender is what I think of as "standard" lavender; itʼs crisp and the more astringent of the two. This oil is most commonly used in manufacturing other products like soaps and candles.

Q: What is the difference between Helichrysum italicum and Helichrysium bracteiferum?

A: Like many other plants (such as Lavender), Helichrysum comes in many different varieties. Each variety and the benefits they offer vary greatly, making them useful in different circumstances. We currently offer two varieties of Helicrysum: italicum and bracteiferum.

Helichrysum italicum is a much rarer plant since it is harder to grow and yields a smaller crop. This is why its oil costs more. This variety is known for its restorative properties, and provides excellent support to the skin, liver, and nervous system. Helichrysum italicum also provides a great defense against harmful free radicals and scored an amazing 17,430 on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) scale, which measures how many antioxidants something has in it (for reference, blueberries have a score of 4,669). 

Helichrysum bracteiferum is known for helping with infections, reducing head tension, supporting the immune system and reducing inflammation. Helichrysum bracteiferum contains humulene, which is what allows this oil to strengthen the immune system. This oil also contains properties that make it great for hellping with the effects of allergies.