Essential oils: essentially natural – by Allana Downie

Let’s Get Real!!

“We have the best essential oils in the world!”  I have seen these claims on websites “Our oils are the best!”  “The highest quality of any oils on the planet!”  The rhetoric is amazing.. the sales pitch, masterful!  But, what is the truth?

Essential oils are products derived from plants.  Any farmer – even anyone who has ever grown a garden – knows how the quality and quantity of the harvest don’t come with a guarantee.  Storms, pests, droughts, fires – so many things can destroy the crops or stunt the growth of the plants. 

A plant has a life cycle, much like a person.  Like people, plants’ chemical makeup changes as they grow, and, for every essential oil, there is an optimum time to harvest the plant.  If we were trying to distill testosterone, for example, we would seek as our donor a young man in his late teens or early 20’s.  Then his testosterone is at its peak.  If we wanted estrogen we wouldn’t get much from a post-menopausal woman.   It is the same with plants.  Each one has an optimum time in its life when the desired chemicals are at their peak. That is when it will make the best essential oil.  There are many other factors at play as the plants are grown, fertilized or not, harvested, transported, distilled etc, but at the end of the day, we can see that there are huge variables that create the quality of essential oils, and no two crops or their resulting oils are ever the same.

This can be a wonderful adventure for us as we open a new distillation.  Often you will hear excited voices saying, “Wow!  Smell this oil!  It is amazing”  The batch has come from the same grower and distiller that we have perhaps been using for years, but for this crop the sun and rain and all the other factors have conspired to make a wonderful oil.  We can’t count on the next batch smelling exactly the same.

Nature is not predictable.  As fires ravage the grapefruit crop that we were counting on, as a virus decimates the lavender we have loved and used for years, as a government decides that eucalyptus globulous can no longer be shipped by air from Australia – we have to find new suppliers, develop new partnerships, learn to adapt.

Always, though, we seek the best quality we can find.  We study GC results from various distillers, try to go beyond the website to see the facts.  We know that we will see variations, but will always do our best to find the best product we can.

Nature means variation.  For those who want the same scent, the same chemical makeup from batch to batch, they are better to buy “Nature Identical” oils that are created in a lab.  They don’t have the character of true essential oils, but they are predictable in their make up.    

You won’t find those here at Casaroma.  Here you will find vibrant spruce distilled in Quebec, delicate Eidelweiss hand-harvested in the foothills of the Rockies, and so many more.

We love and respect our oils and we trust they will bring you healing and pleasure.