Now Foods Essential Oils - Any thoughts?

manicboy

Basenotes Dependent
Oct 12, 2005
I bought cinnamon oil the other day and use it for burning. It smells fantastic. So, I'm thinking about getting into fragrance DIY and was thinking about picking up a bunch of different oils from them. Their prices seem really good for all natural oils. Anybody have any further experiences with them?
 

artemesia

Basenotes Member
Mar 15, 2009
I would advise against not purchasing Now essential oils because there is a reason they are so well priced, they are either cheap essential oils or not essential oils at all. For example I was given a "lavender" Now foods EO as a gift and it is now where near as nice as a real french lavender EO, it smells a bit harsh and not nice at all, also they sell a Jasmine EO (which is physically impossible to make) and then in small print it say blend of 100% natural and SYNTHETIC oils. It is nothing like real jasmine absolute AT ALL, cheap and a mockery to real jasmine. Don't waste your money on cheap low quality materials.
 

Asha

Basenotes Dependent
Jan 15, 2008
I fully agree with artemesia--the few Now oils I experienced were really cheap-smelling, and they lack range in their line. If you are going for a health-store line, then Aura Cacia is better.
 
Last edited:

joxer96

Super Member
Nov 8, 2007
I'll echo what the others have said, you're better off going with a company that has a solid reputation when it comes to EOs. I highly recommend Eden Botanicals, all the EOs, absolutes and resins I've purchased from them have been of excellent quality.
 

Virabhadra

Super Member
Mar 29, 2010
I just wanted to comment that the NOW EOs are very honest with the way the bottles are labeled. I think the error here is human. What aertemesia is describing with the "synthetic" wording is either a "blended" oil or a "scented" oil.

The NOW Foods essential oils are actually quite good. They do sell 100% Pure & Natural EOs, and when they are labeled that way, they smell just right.

For example, I have a bottle of NOW Foods Jasmine Oil. On the front it says: "Jasmine", then below it, "Scented Oil". Another bottle says "Rose Absolute Oil Blend" and "100% Natural" above it (notice it does not say Pure, because it is Rose Absolute, which is not... well... pure). The rest of my NOW Foods EO bottles say "____ (type)", then the next line simply says "Oil" or "Extra Oil", and on top it says "100% Pure & Natural".

These are quality EOs. Besides, most perfumery companies use concretes and absolutes, not pure EOs, so if NOW's product line is mostly Pure, with the exception of well-labeled Jasmine oil and maybe 1 or 2 other scents out of their entire line of EOs that are not Pure EOs, why the complaints about them being devious with their marketing?

Speaking of selection, from just the NOW brand, I have: Yling Yling, Lavender, Jasmine, Rose Absolute, Rosewood, Cypress, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Myrrh, Frankincense, Orange, Patchouli, Geranium, Bergamot, Camphor, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lime, Tea Tree, Pennyroyal, and Clary Sage and that is MAYBE a little more than half of what they have.

I don't know... it just seems like they are getting slammed with some poorly laid-out arguments. I think if the bottles were read carefully, you will very clearly see where they indicate "steam distilled" or "cold-pressed", exactly what part of the item the extract is from (head, branches, peels, needles, etc), as well as distillation times on some of them, etc. They also clearly say if they were set in a prediluted base such as odorless Grapeseed oil, and this is only the case with the bottles that do NOT have the word "Pure" on the front of them.

I would bet a large amount of money that the bottle of Jasmine "EO" artemesia is saying they sell is either labeled "Scented" or "Absolute", and NOT labeled "100% Pure" on the front of the bottle. Also, artemesia, are you aware that there are several different types of lavender that oils are made out of? Are you sure both bottles you were comparing were made from the same plant using the same process? If one of them is "French" as you say, then it is probably Lavender Stoechas or Spike Lavender, which are both commonly grown in France. Actually, TRUE Lavender will only grow at very high altitudes and its native region is Mediterranean, not French. I'm only spilling this much out because you said "French Lavender". Did I misunderstand what you meant by that? Did you mean you bought the oil from France or it was made from flowers grown in France?

Asha, can you remember which one smelled cheap to you?

I don't work for NOW Foods (which I'm sure you can decipher with my posting history here, hehe), but I don't think a company's name should be thrown around as a non-reputable company with a poor selection. Actually, I think it's really bad practice to do this to such a large company such as NOW on a reputable and respected site such as Basenotes since it is very possible that the company could suffer instead of benefit from a simple misunderstanding with how the product is labeled. If I had my own company and it was beginning to be successful and I worked my ass off to get it there and a big site trashed my product over a misunderstanding or a misreading of a label, I'd be pissed!

I don't know... I'm self-employed and I know how tough it is to build a business from the ground up. Regardless, this post is way too long, but now I'm too tired to trim it down and I've already edited the crap out of it. I'm going to bed, hehehe.
 
Last edited:

Doc Elly

Basenotes Junkie
Dec 5, 2009
I never heard of them. I think the OP does need to be aware that scented oils are not the same as essential oils. However, if the items are described and labeled as "fragrance oil" or "scented oil", or "contains natural and synthetic ingredients", then the company is not being deceptive.
 

tourmaline

Super Member
Feb 5, 2007
It's a mixed bag. They are on the very cheap end of the Essential Oil spectrum and that is because a) the pure undiluted essential oils that they offer are very inexpensive oils themselves, like citrus oils, etc......or b) their oils are diluted in carrier oils. < This is true of many of their oils like jasmine absolute, etc. What they have going for them is that they are honest about what is in their bottles: if you read the small print, they do acknowledge if it is a pure oil, a blend, or contains syntheitic components. Nonetheless, when I've sniffed their testers, some smelled nice and some smelled raunchy maybe because they were old. The best quality oils I've found in-store are from Oshadhi or from Simplers.
 

Nymphaea

Basenotes Junkie
Mar 15, 2009
You are quite mistaken about NOW essential oils! They have been an established and well thought of commercial distributor of fine EO for far longer than most of the fly-by-night EO companies that you think you are finding on the internet. Just because they have been in all health food stores and are widely distributed throughout the USA, certainly stands as testimony to their reputation and purity.

Most EO distributors will additionally offer blended scent oils and always state this on the label (Aura Cacia included). This in no way demeans their other oils. I have used many of their oils for several decades and have always found them to be top-notch! Being trendy usually signals low grade, not high. I will go with a reputable company any day of the week, and NOW certainly is an exemplary firm! Check out their website for more info:

http://www.nowfoods.com/AboutUs/HistoryofNOW/index.htm

http://www.nowfoods.com/M014133.htm?cat=FAQ
 

Starsoflight

Super Member
Feb 25, 2010
I have had some experience with the Lavender oil from Now because my mom always kept it in the house. It is the only reference for Lavender that I had and I really liked it and so did she. She would throw it on her sheets or in the tub and you could smell it all around the house.
 

vanessahammond

New member
Nov 5, 2015
I don't want to say anything about the company, for I believe that there are good as well as bad essential oils. It's just a matter of picking the most reliable brand and sticking with it. In my case, it has always been Healing Solutions since day one. Great choices, great results.
 

jfrater

Basenotes Dependent
Jun 2, 2005
I just wanted to comment that the NOW EOs are very honest with the way the bottles are labeled. I think the error here is human. What aertemesia is describing with the "synthetic" wording is either a "blended" oil or a "scented" oil.

The NOW Foods essential oils are actually quite good. They do sell 100% Pure & Natural EOs, and when they are labeled that way, they smell just right.

For example, I have a bottle of NOW Foods Jasmine Oil. On the front it says: "Jasmine", then below it, "Scented Oil". Another bottle says "Rose Absolute Oil Blend" and "100% Natural" above it (notice it does not say Pure, because it is Rose Absolute, which is not... well... pure). The rest of my NOW Foods EO bottles say "____ (type)", then the next line simply says "Oil" or "Extra Oil", and on top it says "100% Pure & Natural".

These are quality EOs. Besides, most perfumery companies use concretes and absolutes, not pure EOs, so if NOW's product line is mostly Pure, with the exception of well-labeled Jasmine oil and maybe 1 or 2 other scents out of their entire line of EOs that are not Pure EOs, why the complaints about them being devious with their marketing?

Speaking of selection, from just the NOW brand, I have: Yling Yling, Lavender, Jasmine, Rose Absolute, Rosewood, Cypress, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Myrrh, Frankincense, Orange, Patchouli, Geranium, Bergamot, Camphor, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lime, Tea Tree, Pennyroyal, and Clary Sage and that is MAYBE a little more than half of what they have.

I don't know... it just seems like they are getting slammed with some poorly laid-out arguments. I think if the bottles were read carefully, you will very clearly see where they indicate "steam distilled" or "cold-pressed", exactly what part of the item the extract is from (head, branches, peels, needles, etc), as well as distillation times on some of them, etc. They also clearly say if they were set in a prediluted base such as odorless Grapeseed oil, and this is only the case with the bottles that do NOT have the word "Pure" on the front of them.

I would bet a large amount of money that the bottle of Jasmine "EO" artemesia is saying they sell is either labeled "Scented" or "Absolute", and NOT labeled "100% Pure" on the front of the bottle. Also, artemesia, are you aware that there are several different types of lavender that oils are made out of? Are you sure both bottles you were comparing were made from the same plant using the same process? If one of them is "French" as you say, then it is probably Lavender Stoechas or Spike Lavender, which are both commonly grown in France. Actually, TRUE Lavender will only grow at very high altitudes and its native region is Mediterranean, not French. I'm only spilling this much out because you said "French Lavender". Did I misunderstand what you meant by that? Did you mean you bought the oil from France or it was made from flowers grown in France?

Asha, can you remember which one smelled cheap to you?

I don't work for NOW Foods (which I'm sure you can decipher with my posting history here, hehe), but I don't think a company's name should be thrown around as a non-reputable company with a poor selection. Actually, I think it's really bad practice to do this to such a large company such as NOW on a reputable and respected site such as Basenotes since it is very possible that the company could suffer instead of benefit from a simple misunderstanding with how the product is labeled. If I had my own company and it was beginning to be successful and I worked my ass off to get it there and a big site trashed my product over a misunderstanding or a misreading of a label, I'd be pissed!

I don't know... I'm self-employed and I know how tough it is to build a business from the ground up. Regardless, this post is way too long, but now I'm too tired to trim it down and I've already edited the crap out of it. I'm going to bed, hehehe.

Okay so there are a few problems here - mainly with your lack of understanding of what an essential oil is and an absolute. Essential oils are steam or water extracted oils - they are the water soluble parts of the plant oil.

Absolutes are solvent extracted from pomade or from the plant directly - they are the solvent soluble parts of the plant oil. Both are pure in the sense that they both come from the plant. Absolutes are more commonly used in perfumery than essential oils - in fact in many cases absolutes are the only option. There is no jasmin essential oil - all jasmin "oils" in perfumery are absolutes - extracted via enfleurage (with fat) or solvents.

It seems to me that you are defending the products not because of their quality but simply because you have ended up owning a bunch of oils that are probably useless for perfumery purposes.

And I also need to comment on the lavender - true lavender doesn't just grow at high altitudes. Much good lavender does - but much good lavender is just good old regular lavender fields. The spike lavender you refer to it a particular type of lavender - it is not specifically French. Lavender Mailette - one of the finest lavenders for perfume is not spike lavender and it is not specifically grown at high altitudes. This is what Eden Botanicals has to say of it: "Lavandula angustifolia is the true lavender—as opposed to Spike Lavender, Lavandin, etc. It is produced throughout the world, although France is considered the premier growing region being the source of this and three other of our best-selling Lavender essential oils: High Elevation, Wild and France Organic)."

So yes, you did misunderstand - not what Artemesia was saying, but what the entire perfumery concept of lavender is. The majority of perfumery lavender is from France and it is not spike lavender. Spike lavender has its place in perfumery of course but to say that lavender labelled "French" can't be real lavender is utterly ridiculous.

And finally - 100% natural or 100% pure is meaningless - I can make a completely artificial rose "oil" with naturally extracted isolates from dozens of plants and technically I can call it 100% natural - even if it has not one drop of rose in it. As for 100% pure - that is nonensense in a perfumery sense - nothing is 100% pure - there are always particles of other material from the manufacturing process - in many cases these can add quite a distinctive difference to the odour. Basically saying 100% is made up marketing and saying 100% natural is not really relevant in terms of the quality of an essential oil or absolute as it must be completely natural to even BE an absolute or essential oil - there is no such thing as a synthetic rose de mai absolute - there may be a synthetic rose base or accord - but an absolute comes from a plant or animal.
 

jfrater

Basenotes Dependent
Jun 2, 2005
I never heard of them. I think the OP does need to be aware that scented oils are not the same as essential oils. However, if the items are described and labeled as "fragrance oil" or "scented oil", or "contains natural and synthetic ingredients", then the company is not being deceptive.

You are right they are not being deceptive - but they are being very stupid. The terminology "100% natural and synthetic ingredients" is meaningless marketing speak. That covers a combination of 1% natural, 99% synthetic AND equally a combination of 99% natural and 1% synthetic. It means nothing at all - EVERYTHING is 100% natural or synthetic. The fact that they put this on their packaging would make me very suspicious of what is inside.
 

jfrater

Basenotes Dependent
Jun 2, 2005
You are quite mistaken about NOW essential oils! They have been an established and well thought of commercial distributor of fine EO for far longer than most of the fly-by-night EO companies that you think you are finding on the internet. Just because they have been in all health food stores and are widely distributed throughout the USA, certainly stands as testimony to their reputation and purity.

McDonald's is in every mall in the US. Does that stand as testimony to their reputation and purity? No. What is shows is that this EO company has the lowest prices and the best distribution network which enables them to get the shelf space. It is all marketing and distribution. Show me one high quality perfume on the market today that contains essential oils purchased from a health food store...
 

Robspace1

Basenotes Member
Dec 22, 2014
I'll echo what the others have said, you're better off going with a company that has a solid reputation when it comes to EOs. I highly recommend Eden Botanicals, all the EOs, absolutes and resins I've purchased from them have been of excellent quality.

YES!! It's the one place where you will be sold 100% pure essential oil with nothing added. I have never purchased any bad oils from them, been buying from them for years now. Great store!
 

Robspace1

Basenotes Member
Dec 22, 2014
Now Foods sells junk! You may get one bottle that smells kind of right, and then the next one smells terrible, and nothing like it should. They are very inconsistent with their products, and probably mix artificial oils with real essential oils. Better to go where the oils are ALL real. Eden Botanicals, best oils there is, great prices, or Ananda Apothocary
 

AdrienneC71

New member
Sep 7, 2016
also they sell a Jasmine EO (which is physically impossible to make)

Actually, it is possible to make jasmine EO, but not easy. Young Living makes a Jasmine EO that sells for $100.66 retail. It is expensive because it takes so many flowers to make a bottle of essential oil.
 

edshepp

Super Member
Sep 27, 2004
Just my 2 cents---I've seen NOW essential oils, and I think they have their place. If you're just using them for burning, or maybe to create a room spray for yourself, for example, then if you like how they smell, they're fine for that purpose. If you're looking for good quality for fine perfumery, then there are clearly superior brands out there.

I don't particularly find their representation of their jasmine deceptive. When you see the price of it, it's pretty obvious that it's not jasmine absolute, and it says as much on the bottle. And the smell also tips you off that it's not 100% jasmine absolute. As for their lavender, I've smelled better, but I've also smelled worse. And their clove and nutmeg oils are acceptable.
 

David Ruskin

Basenotes Dependent
May 28, 2009
Actually, it is possible to make jasmine EO, but not easy. Young Living makes a Jasmine EO that sells for $100.66 retail. It is expensive because it takes so many flowers to make a bottle of essential oil.

$100.66 for what amount? The usual price for Jasmine absolute is well over £1000.00 /Kg During my time as a Perfumer I never came across Jasmine oil, only the Absolute, but I am prepared to accept that such as oil exists, just that it is phenomenally rare.
 

Alysoun

Basenotes Junkie
Feb 4, 2011
Actually, it is possible to make jasmine EO, but not easy. Young Living makes a Jasmine EO that sells for $100.66 retail. It is expensive because it takes so many flowers to make a bottle of essential oil.
Young Living's "jasmine essential oil" is, on their own account, an absolute.
 

jfrater

Basenotes Dependent
Jun 2, 2005
$100.66 for what amount? The usual price for Jasmine absolute is well over £1000.00 /Kg During my time as a Perfumer I never came across Jasmine oil, only the Absolute, but I am prepared to accept that such as oil exists, just that it is phenomenally rare.

Young Living is a pyramid selling scheme - like Herbalife. I know some people who sell their stuff - it is pretty standard cheap pharmacy counter stuff being branded as miraculous and special. They are having a few problems with the FDA I believe.
 

AdrienneC71

New member
Sep 7, 2016
$100.66 for what amount? The usual price for Jasmine absolute is well over £1000.00 /Kg During my time as a Perfumer I never came across Jasmine oil, only the Absolute, but I am prepared to accept that such as oil exists, just that it is phenomenally rare.
I am a distributor for Young Living and we sell 100% pure Jasmine Essential oil in 5 ml bottles. The reason some EOs cost more is because they are so rare. Our rose EO sells for $244.08 for 5 ml.
 

AdrienneC71

New member
Sep 7, 2016
Young Living is a pyramid selling scheme - like Herbalife. I know some people who sell their stuff - it is pretty standard cheap pharmacy counter stuff being branded as miraculous and special. They are having a few problems with the FDA I believe.

Actually, all of our oils are 100% pure and not cheap. The only problems we are having with FDA are because you can't patent an essential oil. Therefore, they can't make money off of it. We have actually gotten FDA approval on 2 of our products recently.
 

AdrienneC71

New member
Sep 7, 2016
I'm just going by their website and they don't say it's diluted. The bottle size is 5ml and the retail price is $162.55 AUD, or $124.60 USD. I don't think that's cheap.
Where are you getting your prices? According to our us site, it's only $100.66. It's expensive because it's hard to make.
 

Alysoun

Basenotes Junkie
Feb 4, 2011
Where are you getting your prices? According to our us site, it's only $100.66. It's expensive because it's hard to make.
What came up for me was the Australian website and I converted to USD at the current rate. I'm not sure why the Australian prices are higher. Also neither the US nor the Australian website appears to say whether the prices include VAT/GST or not. From an Australian point of view, if the oils are supplied within Australia, 10% GST would be payable, and no VAT; and legally the advertised price should include GST. If they are supplied direct from overseas neither GST nor VAT would be payable.

For comparison, Eden Botanicals prices are $75 - $79 USD for 7.5ml (= 1/4 ounce) of jasmine absolute, and again I can't see and don't remember whether that includes VAT. But either way, the Eden prices are lower.
 

AdrienneC71

New member
Sep 7, 2016
What came up for me was the Australian website and I converted to USD at the current rate. I'm not sure why the Australian prices are higher. Also neither the US nor the Australian website appears to say whether the prices include VAT/GST or not. From an Australian point of view, if the oils are supplied within Australia, 10% GST would be payable, and no VAT; and legally the advertised price should include GST. If they are supplied direct from overseas neither GST nor VAT would be payable.

For comparison, Eden Botanicals prices are $75 - $79 USD for 7.5ml (= 1/4 ounce) of jasmine absolute, and again I can't see and don't remember whether that includes VAT. But either way, the Eden prices are lower.
Well, I don't know about VAT/GST. Young Living has farms in USA and other countries. However, I believe all products are sold from the USA. As for Eden, they are probably cheaper because they are diluted or have synthetic ingredients.
 

AdrienneC71

New member
Sep 7, 2016
Why is it any harder than other absolutes? The yield is low for very high amounts of inputs. That would be the proper reason. Of course, it could also be that they are scamming you which is why the price would be mega high.
If you want to know more about essential oils, I encourage you to read "The Essential Oil Truth" by Jen O'Sullivan. It gives a very unbiased view. If you would like to know more about Young Living and why their oils are more expensive than other brands, I encourage you to go to http://seedtoseal.com/en
 

pkiler

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
Spot on information for YL and DoT devotees:

http://kaylafioravanti.com/warnings-doterra-young-living-wont-tell-you/


Really, Only Jasmine absolute is made, not the essential oil, since it doesn't work well. You *can* make Jasmine oil by enfleurage, then distill the oil from the fat. Still I don't think that's called an essential oil. YL is using the word rather loosely, and fairly incorrectly. They use terms to suit their needs, and that don't have any real meaning, like for instance, "Therapeutic Grade". Gary Young simply made up that phrase, as a marketing ploy, it means absolutely nothing. You will never ever see a supplier, WHOM THEY BUY FROM, mark a grade of EO as therapeutic grade. There is no such grade. And no, YL purity doesn't negate all the harmful effects of lesser grades...

My best recommendation, is RUN away from that cult of propaganda and incorrect theology of essential oils and their use.

The very best Jasmine Absolute that I can find sells for $382 per ounce, that would be 30 ml/ounce, makes that $12.73/ml., so 5ml = $63.66
lesser grades of jasmine cost much less. $270, $240, and $166/ounce. That lesser grade of Jasmine absolute prices at 5ml = $27.66

You can tell I hope, that I have zero respect for Young Living. It's just a scam, that's giving bad information and hyper inflated price products out to the world through their missionaries.
 
Last edited:

pkiler

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
Well, I don't know about VAT/GST. Young Living has farms in USA and other countries. However, I believe all products are sold from the USA. As for Eden, they are probably cheaper because they are diluted or have synthetic ingredients.

You simply don't know what you are talking about.
 

pkiler

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 5, 2007
To Quote myself:

Paul Kiler says
August 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm

So Here it goes with no apologies.

Gary Young isn’t God.
Gary Young has money as his motive.
Gary Young is plain wrong, on many things.
Gary Young is wrong to advocate and tell people to take EO’s internally in anything other than trace amounts.
Gary Young is wrong to advocate using undiluted Essential oils on your skin, ESPECIALLY over a protracted amount of time

Young Living and DoTerra are Cults.
Young Living and DoTerra and all MLM schemes make money from OTHER people’s hard work, not from their own.

Robert Tisserand is the BOMB.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “THERAPEUTIC GRADE”.

Essential oils sold by these two companies ARE NOT refined so much/so many times as to render them unharmful any longer.
ALL PEOPLE Defending Young Living and DoTerra need to get a life and get their minds right. They are WRONG.

How do I know this?
How Do I Know ALL THIS?
Because I am a Perfumer, and I know Chemistry.

Do you Young Living and DoTerra people have degrees in Chemistry?

WHEN you do have a degree in Chemistry, then you will know the real TRUTH, and not accept being spoon fed nonsense by these hucksters.

Have a nice day.
 

AdrienneC71

New member
Sep 7, 2016
Why does price determine the quality? How can you determine whether something was diluted or cut with "synthetic ingredients" (whatever you really mean by that) if you don't have access to proper GC analysis? Is your nose the best in the world? Something like this: http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2014/ucm416023.htm would be enough to scare me away from this brand, company, and their philosophy. But, do as you may. If you like what you are buying, and you are using it in a safe way, continue to purchase it and be happy -- regardless of what you have payed for it. However, those here may ask that you do not spread misinformation or slander the reputations of other companies without sufficient proof.
I never slandered the other companies. I simply stated that there may be a reason they are less expensive. As for misinformation, that is your opinion of the information I have presented. I never claimed to be an expert. I simply said what I have learned. If you don't believe me then we will just have to agree to disagree.
 

Latest News

Top