Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Search for the Right Canadian Essential Oil Company

I have recently gone down the rabbit hole of the amazing world of essential oils (EO). It was overwhelming, educational and drove me a little crazy, but it has lead to rekindling this old passion of mine. On top of their therapeutic effect and pleasant scents, perhaps I romanticize the idea of a mystic carrying little bottles of powerful plant essences and mixing alchemical magical healing potions with them.

* FYI, I am not affiliated with any EO companies. I am just writing about my own experience and research. I hope this gives the readers some insights as to what to look for if they were interested in finding a good aromatherapy company.

This all started when I went over my collections of EO and figured that I needed to do a general restock. Most of it was from the set I have gotten from my massage/ spa therapy school from about five years ago. The brand of the set is Essential Aura, along with other labels I have acquired from SajeAromaforceDo TerraNowGaia GardenNew DirectionsSongs of India and one from Australia with a worn out label (from 7 years ago during my trip in Australia).

I started doing some online research for a good EO company and it was rather overwhelming. I decided to get help from the trusty social media and threw out a question on my personal facebook page for some suggestions. I was surprised by the vast interests and responses, which added onto the abundance of knowledge and opinions from my own internet research.

There are the companies that were suggested to me from friends which might be useful for others who are interested as well:

As you can see, the list of companies can be ENDLESS so I had to create some criteria in order to keep my sanity. Just a note, I live in BC Canada. Most of the research articles I have found are US based. Eventhough all EOs are sourced from around the world, I figured that I didn't want to pay US dollars or any weird unpredictable border taxes and would much rather be able to smell the oils in person, which lead me to look exclusively into Canadian companies.

It would be mostly for personal use and a little for my private practice, so I am not looking to buy bulk or become a retailer at this point. I am also not interested in a MLM business, even though it has been suggested many times as it can be a supplementary income to my healing services. I am not too keen on paying and selling overpriced products, and wary of some of their questionable claims and EO usages. Maybe I am not open minded enough but for now I am not eager to join the bandwagon of this type of business model.

To check out one of the above local suggestions, I went into Gaia Garden in my Kits neighbourhood but was not too stoked with their oils. Perhaps it was the smell test, the minimal option of lavender available, the lack of information on sourcing, and/or even the conservative packaging design. Although I have been a happy customer with their teas and herbs, I believe I could find a company that is more devoted to EO.

I also didn't have a good experience with Now's 20% frankincense. It left a weird residue in my nebulizer which never happened with other EOs. Perhaps it was the grapeseed oil they use instead of the commonly used jojoba oil. I believe Jojoba oil is the proper choice since it is more high end and has the longest shelf life out of all carrier oils.  I have never tried their other oils but Now is the past for me (pun intended).

I looked online and checked out a Canadian/ Quebec company called Divine Essence. First of all, I liked what I saw in their company ethics, mission, story and general vibe. I went through their products catalogue and was impressed with their choices in 10 different kinds of lavenders, which tells me that they go deep in their work. I vaguely remembered seeing it at Pure Pharmacy in the past so I popped in and there they were!

It took me awhile and I ended up taking these babies home: bergamot, camphor, cedarwood, citronella, frankincense, jasmin 5%, lavender supreme (blend of different lavenders), orange, rose otto 5% and sage. Smelling lots of oils again brought me to a state of love. No, it's not just from the nice smell- the potent essence of natural plants is therapeutic and powerful!

The new members of my EO family

More reasons why I picked Divine Essence:
  • 30 ml bottle of organic lavender supreme for a decent price of $16.99
  • Canadian
  • first Canadian company to get ECOCERT
  • fair trade
  • provides good information on EO
  • artisan distillation quality

What I have learned about EO:

  • There is no overall regulations in the world of EO so look beyond the terms- therapuetic grade, nature, pure, etc.
  • Some MLM companies recommend risky usages.
    - Using undilutated EOs on skin directly (except for some oils such as lavender) and internally are risky business. Please consult with a qualified practitioner on such practices. I personally wouldn't go there if I don't have to.
  • good companies have latin names and origins on EO labels
  • artisan vs industrial grade
    - artisan grade uses certified organic or wildcrafted plants and distills at a longer distillation process at the lowest pressure and temperature. People who take their craft to heart like your grandma's cooking.

    - industrial grade uses conventional plants with chemical products and cut corners at the distillation process with shortest distillation time, high pressure and high temperature. Something like fast food and mass production.

Now that my interest in EO has been re-sparked, this might lead me to a new path if I choose to. I have been seeing some new possibilities in this field for me which are all possible. I will see how life happens and what I want to create- dream you life to live your dreams.

Any other cool information, experience and discussion about EOs and EO companies are welcome below.

1 comment:

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