Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Essential Oils | Cost Comparison Chart

In expanding out from Young Living oils I found myself inundated wit dozens and dozens of essential oil companies, all with their own pros and cons.  I found myself focusing in on a few oils that I tend to buy a lot of (lavender, peppermint, patchouli, etc.) and looking up those oils whenever I came across and new company.  Eventually I decided to create a spreadsheet to track the cost per ml from my most-purchased oils.  I expanded this list to include some popular or new companies that I wanted to compare and a few oils I don't personally buy a lot of but know they are used a lot by those in the EO world.

A few notes about the chart:

-The common name and the Latin/botanical name are both included.  There are many varieties of certain oils so I wanted to compare the same variety whenever possible to make the comparison fair.  Some varieties are more expensive than others, so comparing Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) to Frankincense (Boswellia serrata) wouldn't be comparing the same oils and greatly affect the cost of the oils.  There are a few exceptions where I had to go with a different variety of the oil because the one I had chosen to do the comparison on was not available.  For the most part this happened when only one variety of a certain oil is available.

-The extraction process is also listed.  Although I could have just said I went with the steam distilled and the cold pressed options, I may want to someday expand the list to include absolutes and Co2s, so I wanted to be clear what extraction methods I was comparing.

-Where a plant is grown can affect the essential oil.  Lavender grown in one country may have different attributes to lavender grown in another country.  So I have specified the country of origin I was comparing, if I felt this comparison was important.  Some may not notice the difference between country of origin, but to many it does matter.  Some exceptions on the list are marked.  In these cases the oils available didn't match up to what I was comparing so I went with the closest option.  Oftentimes they are from companies that only offer one type of that oil (i.e. one Lavender and one Peppermint).

-If there were a range of oils (i.e. Ylang Ylang Complete or Ylang Ylang Extra), where the botanical name and origin matched,  I always went with the most affordable option.  You may want to go with a different option for an oil you use a lot of, so the prices may be a bit higher than what you see here.

-Prices do not include shipping.  For companies like Plant Therapy (free shipping, Wyndmere, and Aura Cacia (available in some local stores) the price difference may be justified by the cost to obtain the oils.

-Finally, prices are per ml (milliliter), not for a full bottle of that oil.  I went with 15 ml bottles, when possible, for the comparison.  Some companies do not offer oils in 15 ml bottles, in those cases I went with 10 ml bottles (Plant Therapy and Wyndmere, for example).  Usually if you buy larger sizes (30 mls) you will pay less per ml.  If you buy smaller sized (5 mls) you will pay more.  So companies that don't offer 15 ml bottles may be slightly higher because they are sold in smaller quantities.

WANT TO SEE YOUR FAVORITE COMPANY ON THIS LIST?  WANT YOUR COMPANY LISTED?  Leave me a comment and I will take a look and add them if I decide they belong on this list.

Prices as of 9/6/2015.  Prices may change at any time.  
(Click on the image to see full size)
A Note About the Companies I Chose: These are companies I have either personally purchased from or was really curious about.  I am choosing to not include rock bottom priced companies, like Edens Garden and Bulk Apothecary, that have some known issues with their oils.  I also skipped over some higher-end/expensive companies as well as bulk suppliers that require a high minimum.  The companies on these list are "everyday user" companies, more middle ground.

A Note About Eden Botanicals: Eden Botanicals is not designed as a retail store.  They are more of a bulk purchase store.  Because of this even their smallest sized bottles do not have orifice reducers (those little plastic things over the top of the bottle so you can do one drop at a time).  You can buy them in their store and add them to the bottles.  This adds to the cost per oil, but I did not include that in the cost.  I prefer to use pipettes with my EB oils.

A Note About Barefut: Barefut is a relatively new company, included on this list because there's been a lot of buzz about it on a couple of the Facebook groups I belong to.  I noticed that a lot of their oils seemed very over priced when I was researching them, and seeing them compared to other companies I know now that they are.  However, they operate under a "sales" business model.  Meaning they frequently run 50-75% off sales to encourage sales.  I find it interesting that, in many cases, their oils are 50%+ more expensive to begin with, making their sale pries right in line with other companies.  So, not really sales.  It's a marketing ploy.  So I only included their regular pricing, not their sales prices, as they change often, and so you can see for yourself how they do these sales.

A Second Note About Barefut: While it might seem like I'm ragging on them, I've actually enjoyed my shopping experiences with Barefut thus far.  For a long time they offered free (for the cost of shipping) oils so you could try them out.  I enjoy all of those oils and have purchased a few other things from them.  So I'm not tearing them down, rather pointing out how their sales method works.  When oils are on sale, they tend to be a good deal.  When they aren't... not so much.

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