If you are new to the world of aromatherapy you may be wondering why the prices of different aromatherapy products vary so much. The reason for this is that not every oil used on aromatherapy is an essential oil, and as such the composition, properties and prices will vary.


Perfume Oils

You may have seen what looks like aromatherapy oils, labelled as fragrance oils, perfume oils or potpourri oils, and sold at significantly lower prices than authentic essential oils.

The main difference between perfume oils and essential oils is that essential oils are the distilled, extremely concentrated essence of a plant, while perfume oils range from chemically created artificial fragrances to heavily diluted essential oils using cheap carriers.

Lavender for essential oilCredit: skeffling lavender farm

While fragrance oils can smell great, that’s where the therapeutic benefits end compared with aromatherapy oils, and fragrance oils shouldn’t be labelled as an aromatherapy products because they are not.

Aromatherapy is the use of natural essential oils with the natural properties of the plant they are extracted from, and something that has been created synthetically cannot compare nor have the same properties.

However, they have a place as an inexpensive way of making your home smell great, for candlemaking or used on oil diffusers. If you are going to buy essential oils, make sure to read the labels and avoid anything that looks too cheap compared with other providers, as it is most likely just perfume oil.


Carrier Oils

Almond oil is a great carrier oilCredit: The print shop 3.0 ProfessionalCarrier oils, such as pure almond oil, are used as a way of diluting the concentrated essential oils for use on skincare or massage. Their purpose is to carry the essential oils into the skin, hence the name.

Unlike perfume oils, they are not made chemically, but they are cheaper because they are extracted from seeds instead of distilled from the leaves, roots or flowers like essential oils. This makes them significantly easier to produce and lowers the price.

On the other hand, you need to use much larger amounts of carrier oil than of essential oils, so they are purchased in larger quantities. Usually blends include 5 to 10 drops of essential oils for 15 to 20ml of carrier oil.

Some carrier oils are sometimes mistakenly labelled as essential oils, such as cucumber essential oil, but you can identify them as carrier oils because they are sold in much larger bottles, and the price is very low compared with the real thing.

There are many different carrier oils, and they have different properties and are suitable for different skin types. It is important to keep this in mind if you are going to sell aromatherapy products, as the carrier oil will influence the effects of the essential oils included on the blend.


Essential OilsRoses for essential oilsCredit: The print shop 3.0 Professional

Essential oils are the concentrated extracts of plants, and as such they are at the core of aromatherapy treatments. Usually only a few drops are used each time, so they are sold on small, opaque or dark bottles, and they are not cheap.

This is because of the way essential oils are made: Did you know that you’d need about 2 tons of rose petals to get a pound of essential oil, by cold pressure? 2 tons of rose petals mean no manufacturer can sell the finished product for $1 at a corner shop. If they do, they are selling perfume oils and trying to pass them as aromatherapy products.

Essential oils are extremely concentrated, so you are not expected to use more than a few drops on your recipes, and they should never be applied directly to skin undiluted as they can cause adverse reactions.

If you are crafting aromatherapy products for resale, it’s extremely important to familiarize yourself and your clients with the health and safety measures regarding essential oils, as they can cause allergic reactions when used on a bath or skin cream.