Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Essential Oils | Peppermint Scent Test

I feel like I am really on a learning curve with things right now.  Just when I think I have something "down", I throw myself for another loop.

Take the scent tests, for example.

I knew I wanted to do a Peppermint scent test because it's a very commonly used oil that has a ton of benefits and I have many varieties of it.  I thought it would make for a great scent test.

I was wrong.

It wasn't the Peppermint... it was the AMOUNT of Peppermint.  I have six different varieties.  Six is far too many to do a scent test with.  As you can see by the pictured notebook entry for this scent test, I was confused... a lot!  I was constantly second guessing my decision.  I also reversed the order I sniffed the sticks in and took a lot longer because I found my ability to smell the oils were gone by the time I got to the sixth stick.  So I'd wait five minutes and keep going after three, but then I'd forgotten what the first three smelled like.  So there was a lot of sniffing and re-sniffing and second guessing.

It was too much.

Lesson learns- four is the max I will ever do with a scent test going forward!  Otherwise I fear I can't give reliable results.  For now, though, what's done is done and I have my results for my Peppermint Scent Test!

Once again this was a blind test.  My husband assigned the oils their numbers and did the drops.  I didn't see the sticks until this process was done so I had no idea which oil was on which stick until the very end.  This time I'm not overly surprised by the results as I'm not too particular with Peppermint.  What I did learn, however, is that I have a preference about WHERE Peppermint is grown.

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

Mild (has replaced Mellow)

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.

Now, the oils...
Peppermint #1: Eden Botanicals, Mentha piperita, India, Organic
Peppermint #2: Young Living, Mentha piperita, No Country of Origin Listed (I suspect it is USA)
Peppermint #3: Plant Therapy, Mentha piperita, USA
Peppermint #4: Eden Botanicals, Mentha piperita, USA
Peppermint #5: Simply Aroma, No Botanical Name Given, No Country of Origin
Peppermint #6: Eden Botanicals, Mentha piperita, France

Initial Results...
Peppermint #1: Strong, minty, clean, crisp, sharp  (1)
Peppermint #2: Moderate, minty clean, crisp  (3)
Peppermint #3: Moderate, minty, sweet, crisp (5)
Peppermint #4: Moderate, herbal, grassy, minty, smooth (2)
Peppermint #5: Mild, minty, sweet, smooth (6)
Peppermint #6: Strong, minty, clean, crisp (4)

1 Hour Later...
Peppermint #1: Strong, minty, clean, crisp (3)
Peppermint #2: Moderate, minty, earthy (4)
Peppermint #3: Moderate, minty, sweet, clean (6)
Peppermint #4: Moderate, herbal, minty, smooth, earthy (2)
Peppermint #5: Moderate, minty, clean, crisp (5)
Peppermint #6: Strong, minty, clean, crisp (1)

5 Hours Later...
Peppermint #1: Moderate, minty, little sweet, clean (3)
Peppermint #2: Moderate, minty, sweet (5)
Peppermint #3: Strong(er), minty, earthy, crisp (1)
Peppermint #4: Mild, minty, sweet (4)
Peppermint #5: Mild, minty, sweet, crisp, dirty (6)
Peppermint #6: Moderate, minty, earthy, crisp (2)

24 Hours Later...
Peppermint #1: Mild, little bit of mint, not much left (5)
Peppermint #2: Mild, minty, musty, old (6)
Peppermint #3: Mild, minty, musty (4)
Peppermint #4: Mild, minty, dirty, like wet dishes (3)
Peppermint #5: Mild, minty, sweet, crisp (2)
Peppermint #6: Mild, minty, earthy, crisp (1)

2 Days Later...
Peppermint #1: Weak, minty (1)
Peppermint #2: Weak, musty (3)
Peppermint #3: Weak, musty (2)
Peppermint #4: Scent gone (6)
Peppermint #5: Almost gone (5)
Peppermint #6: Weak, musty (4)

I think the best way to conclude this is that I suck at smelling peppermint.  I feel like each one changed each time I smelled it.  I did smell in reverse order every other time, and I frequently had to check to make sure I was smelling the right stick.  Smells went from earthy to sweet and then back to earthy to me.  From pleasant to not pleasant.  And often times I gave an oil a 3 rating because something had to be ranked 3, but I didn't really like it...  It was just a confusing scent test.

But, ultimately, there must be a "winner". 

Peppermint #1 and Peppermint #6 are tied for my favorites.  So Eden Botanical's India and France beat out USA.  I'm a little sad about that because Peppermint is an oil that is readily available in home-grown (for me) variety.  I really wanted to like the USA ones the best, but I didn't.

Both of these oils were regularly ranked high except at 24 Hours where Peppermint #1 was the weakest.  However, at two days, it was the only one that still smelled minty, so it redeemed itself.  So I ranked it high.

Second place would probably go to Peppermint #3, which is from Plant Therapy.  I did not like this oil upon initial sniff.  it was sweet, and I don't like sweet peppermints.  But by hour 5 it was the strongest and had a very pleasant earthy minty smell to it.  If this oil could always smell like it did at Hour 5 I would LOVE it!

Next Peppermint #4 (Eden Botanicals, USA).  I actually LOVED Eden Botanicals, USA the most in the beginning.  It had the earthy and herbal smell I love out of my Peppermint, but it went downhill rather fast.  I really thought it was going to win until that weird dirty dished smell broke through at 24 hours.  It was just kind of gross.  It only got a 3 ranking at that point because none of the bottom three were very pleasant.  At the 2 day mark it was completely gone.  It was the only one that was completely gone by the end.

Peppermint #2 from Young Living I'd rank next.  I want to make note that this is an older oil compared to the rest!  I purchased my YL Peppermint in April 2014.  #5 Simply Aroma was purchased in the summer of 2014 and the rest were all purchased this summer.  However, YL claims that their oils don't expire or go bad, so, in their theory, it should have held up over time.  I'm not quite sure it did.  I remember this oil being more earthy and lovely when I first got it.  Had this been a new bottle, it may have ranked higher. 

Peppermint #5 from Simply Aroma comes in last.  It did do well at the 24 hour mark, but that's mostly because everything else started smelling a little icky (YL and EB from USA especially).  It was just a "blah" oil.  Never that strong, never that lovely... it was peppermint for sure, just not my favorite ever.  It also bothers me that the company didn't put any information about the oil on the packaging.  The website did list Mentha piperita as the Botanical name, but no country of origin.  The age of this oil may also contribute to its low ranking.


slehan said...

I think all companies that do essential oils MUST put botanical name and country of origin. If they don't, I suspect them of hiding something.
I have to get some of those test strips and try some tests myself.

Richard C. Lambert said...

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