It may be a surprise to believe that 1 ml of Turkish rose oil cost as much as a 100 ml of orange oil. There are many variables that are responsible for price discrepancies. Cultivation methods, harvesting, as well as different methods for deriving the essential oils require different amounts of time, effort and costs.

For Example : Throughout time many essential oils like the Indian Nard or Jatamansi have only been available to very few people. It was considered so powerful and precious that it was used in the older times for the annoinment of kings and priests. Those oils were equal in value to gold because they were so expensive to distill and difficult to transport.

Even today 10,000 kgs.of Lemon Balm plants are needed to distill 1 liter of pure Lemon Balm oil. By comparison only 30 kg of Eucalyptus leaves are needed to make 1 liter of Eucalyptus oil. One of the most expensive oils, Rose oil, requires 2-4,000 kgs. of Rose petals to make 1kg of Rose oil.

Farmers know each plant has a specific amount of essential oil as an "energy reservoir" that it uses to metabolize and adapt to certain weather conditions. For example the lack of sun reduces the amount of essential oils that will be distilled from the plant. Harvest may vary each year according to the weather, conditions of the soil, and the distillation process used.

Every plant which contains essential oils will not necessarily be distillable through  steam distillation because the profit would be too little. Jasmin is one example: Its oil can only be extracted through a complicated procedure involving solvents. The end product is called "absolute".

The origin of the oil can provide important information about its quality. But numerous oils also have wrong names which often leads to confusion on the side of the customer.

For example:

* There is no relationship between the Atlas-Cedar from Morocco and the Texas-Cedar. The Texas-Cedar is definiteley not a cedar but a Juniper.

* The American "Cedar leaf oil " stems in reality from a Thuya (thuya occidentalis) and again has nothing to do with a Cedar.

* Spanish sage oil (salvia lavandulifolia) is not the same as "salvia officinalis", the true Sage, and quite distinct in its chemotype and fragrance as well.

* Marjoram oil from Spain, also called “wild Marjoram” is actually a special kind of Thyme oil (thymus mastichina) and is not the same as the true Marjoram" (majorana hortensis), which is mainly distilled in France or Egypt.

* Spanish Lavender oils are usually the wild growing Spike Lavender containing cineol and are not the same as the true Lavender oil (lavendula officinalis) which
contains more esters. The botanical name tells the truth.

Many essential oils like Rosemary, Basil, Lavender, Thyme, Sage, Eucalyptus etc. have subspecies which offen exhibit very different fragrances and effects; this phenomenon is called “biochemical polymorphism”

For example :

* Eucalyptus dives or Peppermint Eucalyptus has very little in common with ‘true” Eucalyptus (i.e. eucalyptus globulus), which itself resembles more such oils as Niaouli or Cajeput.

*Niaouli (linalol) is more reminiscent of Rosewood or Ho oil   than ”true” Niaouli (cineol type)

* Even a beginner is able to distinguish the fragrance of the Thyme geraniol from Thyme alpha-terpineol or Thyme thuyanol etc.


Standardized essential oils for the industrial use cannot withstand the scrutiny of a trained aromatologist. Usually they will not appear in price lists under a specific botanical name. The reason for this is that those oils are produced either from different species of lesser value, from mixed crops or from mixing with synthetic components. To obtain a specific reproducable note of fragrance or an identical active ingredient: this remains the major target of the industrial approach.
The more exact the description of the essential oil, the less risky it is for the buyer to purchase an unwanted product.
A company who can inform its customers about its oils shows that it is better connected to the plant source and therefore the chances of adulteration are minimized.