By Debra Hardy 2010-08-18
Unless you want to know how to make an unscented soy candle, consider this article a crash course on how to select pure high quality scents. Is it an Aromatherapy Oil, an Essential Oil, Fragrance Oil, or Hydrosol?
With so many choices to make, knowing how to identify a pure aromatherapy oil from the fakes on the markets can be very confusing. Unfortunately hydrosols, fragrances oils, and essential oils are sold throughout all over the Internet, and in hobby and craft stores making it very difficult for the uninformed to make the best choice possible.
To help you understand, the therapeutic properties contained within pure essential oils are used in the practice of aromatherapy. Fragrance oils do not hold any therapeutic properties possessed by pure essential oils. Hydrosols have no therapeutic properties of their own, plus they are considered a ‘by-product’ of the pure essential oil distillation process. This is why it is being able to identify and tell the differences between these three different oils can be difficult.
Essential Oils – Do NOT Buy Altered or Adulterated Products
Every individual essential oil is rendered from a unique plant. With costs rising, profit margins decreasing, many individuals, and companies are trying to cut costs, and ‘copy’ natural essential oils. The fact is, nature’s essential oils are expensive to produce. Most important you need to understand, there are no healing properties, or therapeutic value to be found in adulterated or synthesized ‘copies’ of the original essential oils.
Pure Essential Oils Chemical Make-Up
Essential oil when produced consist of difficult to identify individual chemical components and are extremely complex substances and difficult to isolate. Plus factors surrounding the growth of the plant itself, and how it is impacted by nature itself, make it ‘difficult’ at best, if not impossible to replicate factors related to growth and natures influence. (Natural impacts are shown below, but the list is not an exclusive list.)
What country a plant is grown in.
Soil quality – what condition is the soil chosen to grow the plant in.
What time of day is the plant harvested and distilled.
Even the altitude of the soil will impact the growth of the plant. For example, a lavender plant grown at a low altitude will have a different chemical structure, that a lavender play grown above 2000 feet.
When purchasing essential oils, you must be aware essential oils are sometimes sold as a pure product when, in reality they are not. Second, this altering of the essential oils may not be identified on the product label. The most important thing you need to understand however, is a pure essential oil will not lose the therapeutic properties essential for the healing process, it will not be diluted, and it will not be chemically changed in any form.
Hydrosols Used in Aromatherapy
Flower water are also referred to as floral waters. Some properties of essential oils exist in hydrosols, because flower water is actually the waste water of a essential oils distillation produced. (Not oil)
Essential oil is thought of as a non water-soluble product, but some of the essential oil components actually dissolve in the water base, and can be blended with to make a plant hydrosol. As a result of this, adulterated hydrosols can be found in circulation, being sold almost the same as essential oils.
Jasmine is one example of a ‘fake hydrosol and producing both the hydrolat, and the actual essential oil. Consider this essential oil carefully before purchasing it, because the process to make Jasmine ‘essential oil” is a process known as solvent extraction, as a result you can not buy a Jasmine product named ‘pure’.
Remember, the fragrance oil is quite popular within the USA, but they are completely synthetic, and do not contain any therapeutic properties like those within essential oils. Fragrance oil is used in the perfume industry, because the smell itself is the most important quality.
If the smell of the soy candle is all that is desired, not the healing properties of the scented soy candle itself, fragrance oil can actually be a cheaper alternative, as long as you remember the healing, therapeutic values of essential oils are non-existent in fragrance oil. Many home-made bath and beauty products are made by hobbyists, and small business owners because they are less expensive to use when producing their products.
Identify The Difference Between Fake Oils vs. Pure Essential Oils
Hopefully, this will make it a little easier for you to identify how to tell the difference between fake essential oils, pure essential oils, and hydrosol, or flower water. By continuing to study the subtle differences between hydrosols, those who are selling fake essential oils, fragrance oils, and the real essential oils, you should be able to select a good supplier of pure essential oils, not substandard products.
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