Monday, September 21, 2015

Essential Oils | Bergamot Scent Test

Round two for scent tests I chose another oil that is one of my favorites and I have this oil from three different companies.  I wanted to avoid bias based on what I *thought* was my favorite this time, so I had my husband designate which oil was which and I didn't know until the end of the scent test.

I have to say- I was very, very, very surprised by the results.  To the point where I doubted he had remembered which oil was which, but it turns out he took pictures on his phone because he was worried he'd forget.

Will you be surprised, too?  Can you guess which oil is from which company?

For the Bergamot Scent Test I tested three companies (in alphabetical order): Edens Garden, Florihana, and Young Living.

Here are the results.

Terminology used...
First,  determined the strength of the aroma.  I used the following words when describing strength (in order from strongest to weakest):


Then I quickly scribbled down the first few keywords that popped into my head to describe the scent.  Sometimes I had to do a second sniff in order to place what it was I was smelling, but usually I would smell, write, then smell again to ensure I'd captured everything.

After writing down my feelings I ranked the oils based  on which I enjoyed most to least. The number listed after the scent description is my preference rank.

My experience with scents may differ from the next person.  That's the fun part of aromatherapy (or would that be the frustrating part?).  So my results may differ from yours.  These are my experiences only.

The Initial Sniff...
Bergamot #1: Strong, crisp, citrus, hint of spice, clean (1)
Bergamot #2: Moderate, clean, crisp, citrus (2)
Bergamot #3: Moderate, clean, citrus (3)

1 Hour Later...
Bergamot #1: Strong, crisp, clean, citrus (1)
Bergamot #2: Moderate, clean, crisp, citrus (2)
Bergamot #3: Moderate clean, citrus, sweet (3)

3 Hours Later...
Bergamot #1: Strong, crisp, fresh, spicy, not as citrusy (1)
Bergamot #2: Mellow, fresh, almost like apple-cinnamon candy? (3)
Bergamot #3: Mellow, fresh, sweet, little spicy (2)

12 Hours Later...
Bergamot #1: Moderate, crisp, spicy, hint of citrus (2)
Bergamot #2: Moderate (got stronger, now the sharpest), crisp, clean, citrus (1)
Bergamot #3: Subtle, sweet, scent very faint (3)

1 Day Later...
Bergamot #1: Weak, touch of sweetness left (2)
Bergamot #2: Mellow, very sweet, like candy (1)
Bergamot #3: Weak, touch of sweetness left (3)

I declare the "winner" to be Bergamot #1.  Even though it wasn't the strongest at the end of the test, it was #1 more times than any other oil.  It was very pleasant to smell even at the very end, and never went through any scent tranformations.  It was delicious and consistent.  Overall a very nice oil.

Second place I gave to Bergamot #2.  This one did some strange things in that the scent actually got stronger later on in the tests, but that's actually not that unusual with essential oils when they are exposed to oxygen.  It did lose its scent over time but overall stayed the strongest.  At about 3 hours it got really, really sweet, but then mellowed out again.  It was my favorite at the end.

Third place went to Begamot #3 (don't you love it when they fall in line like that?).  This one was just... meh.  Not bad by any means, but also not great.  It was a bit weak in the beginning and remained the weakest overall until the very end.  Its scent was pleasant and consistent, but it lacked the crispness the other two had in the beginning.   

Which Oil Was Which?...
Can you guess?

Bergamot #1: Florihana, Citrus aurantium bergamia, France, bergaten-free.
Bergamot #2: Edens Garden, Citrus bergamia, no country of origin on bottle (website says Italy).
Bergamot #3: Young Living, Citrus aurantium bergamia, no country of origin listed anywhere.

Surprised?  While I wasn't surprised that Florihana won overall as their oils are AMAZING, I was shocked that #2 was EG and #3 was YL.  The whole time I thought that Florihana was either #1 or #2 and Young Living was the other, and EG was #3.  So to learn that I gave Young Living the #3 position was surprising.  Young Living usually has very good, top quality oils.  Edens Garden tend to be lower end (still good, just cheaper oils). 

Also, Edens Garden has had some issues in the past that include not knowing the right names for their oils, lack of education by the owner, some issues with how the owner behaved when one of their oils turned out to be toxic, etc.  So I wouldn't recommend you buy Edens Garden oils.  But, if you already own them and cannot return them, the Bergamot at least is slightly better (and a fraction of the price) than the Young Living oil I had.

What's Next?...

Continuing with the scent tests I will be doing Lavender and Peppermint.  These two very popular oils are often the first oils someone who is new to EOs will start with.  I also happen to own several different brands and varieties, so should have a lot to compare to!  I'm just waiting on my order from Plant Therapy to arrive and I will get that done.  Stay tuned later this week for those!


slehan said...

Thank you so much for doing this scent test. I found it very interesting and now I want to do it with some oils I have. I'm not sure where I can get the scent strips but I'll look around.
Looking forward to your next tests (hope you do the blind testing again) Very clever of your husband to take pictures so he could prove which was which.

slehan at juno dot com

Eco-Friendly and Frugal said...

I purchased my scent strips from Eden Botanicals. But you can use cotton balls, paper towels, etc. Anything that will hold the scent!

And I know I promised another one this week but I was waiting for one more variety of Peppermint before I ran it. I now... A LOT of peppermint! Time to get started. :)