When you go to purchase an essential oil from anywhere, do you check to see if they have samples? Do they offer any free ones or can you at least purchase in really small amounts? Or do you purchase in full size bottles? If not, you really should and here is why.
More and more companies are becoming more concerned with the ethical farming, harvesting and methods of distillations for essential oils and as a user, you should be, too. With Atlas Cedarwood becoming endangered, Cinnamon Bark in Madagascar being over harvested last year, and so many other plants becoming more regulated, these things need all of our attention.
When we consider just how much plant material is used to even obtain essential oils, considering our purchase habits are important. Think about it for a moment. To put things in perspective and help you understand how much plant material it takes to make an essential oil, I will share some information from one of my distillers.
It takes my New Zealand distiller approximately 750 kilos or over 1650 pounds of flowering lavender heads to make 10 liters or 22+ pounds of essential oil. That is a LOT of plant material. From my understanding, he gets a slightly higher yield compared to the French lavender distillers so this would mean for lavender essential oils produced in France they require even MORE lavender to make 10 liters of essential oil! That is a LOT of plant material!
I mention samples and the plants above, because all too often, I know how easy it is to get excited about an oil and just go purchase a full size bottle.... before even smelling it. Then you get it, expecting it to be amazing because everyone else says it is amazing and whoops! You HATE the way it smells. The benefits of using it may be amazing, but you really, really don't like it.
Now, tell me this. If you have a full size bottle of something you really don't like the smell of, how often are you going to reach for it? The reality is, not very often... So then the bottle sits. The essential oil oxidizes and then it can no longer be used. An entire bottle completely wasted... The plant material needed to produce it wasted.
The point I am trying to make is that it is absolutely ok to buy or ask for samples of an essential oil you have never smelled before. Heck, if you can, get the same essential oil in samples from a few different companies. Decide which you like best and then decide how much you will really use it. Then you can choose the size you want from the company you want.
THIS small action could save a lot of plants and essential oils from becoming unused and oxidized if we all attempted to do this versus just "wanting all the oils."