Essential oils are all the same – aren’t they?

Essential oils are all the same – aren’t they?

Well as you may have realised from the title, no they aren’t.

As assessors, we see many essential oils every week. Part of the reason that we opened Bath and Body Base was because of the massive variation in products, documentation and quality we see.  It frustrated us that our clients were buying what they believed were ‘pure’ products when in reality they were anything but.

With this in mind we wanted to put together a note on our essential oils, and how these differ to some of those you might see elsewhere. 


Firstly our essential oils will ALWAYS come with full documents.  As we work with these ingredients and cosmetic safety requirements every day we also update the IFRA limits  to include the usually lower EU restricted limits, if these apply.  Our allergen documents also include the new 80 plus details so those of you who are ahead of the curve on the new requirements – we’ve got you! 

So back to the ‘natural’ question.  You’ll notice that our EOs aren’t the cheapest out there.  What you can be sure of though, is that our essential oils are some of the very best quality available. 

While sourcing suppliers and ingredients I came across lots of variation in pricing too and thought – what’s the difference? 

So with some digging, and in the case of some suppliers lots of back and forth with their technical teams, comparing analysis with those I know are correct, for essential oils it turns out that not all ‘natural’ essential oils are in fact natural. 

How’s this you might wonder? Well some suppliers offer price friendly essential oils which aren’t the real deal at all.  These are ‘natural grade’ which means that they are blended from natural ingredients to create the essential oil fragrance you might be familiar with but they are by no means true, pure essential oils. 

You might also see them called commercial blends.  One of the most common essential oils that we see of this type is geranium. As it’s an expensive oil, commercial blends are very often substituted for the pure product.  We’ve seen documents where this isn’t clear and you’d need to look well into the documentation (where it’s given) to find out that this is the case.  Another thing you might see is the product name given as ‘xyz essential oil’ but no INCI.  Or, the name of the essential oil noted as xyz essential oil with a blend of other natural ingredients.  

The thing is clients, quite rightly expect that an essential oil should be just that, the oil that comes from the fruit, leaf, peel or flower, not something blended from natural fragrance ingredients.  If they wanted that surely you’d all buy a fragrance oil instead?

 As is so often the case with these things, if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is!

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