FAQ about Essential Oils
Frequently Asked Questions about Essential Oils
How do I know if the oil I purchase is pure?
Guaranteed Quality. In 1983, OSA began as a company exclusively dedicated to aromatherapy, and the beauty and superiority of truly unadulterated authentic essential oils. Then as now we believe paying a little more for a smaller quantity of an authentic oil is a much better deal than buying more of a cleverly diluted product. We have only on objective: To offer genuine and authentic essential oils.
We maintain that knowing the producer is the best safeguard against adulteration. While we also analyze our essential oils by GC/MS, we do know that analysis alone has not kept adulterated oils out of aromatherapy. To the contrary, analysis hype is often used to sell cleverly adulterated oils. However, a specific essential oil from a specific producer and a given batch, can be matched against the fingerprint of the original. It's authenticity can be established without a doubt.
How do I store my oils for a long time and keep them fresh?
The best way to keep an oil fresh, for a prolonged period of time, is to store the oil in a glass or an aluminum container. Keeping an oil in a warm location with possible direct sunlight is not recommended.
What is the difference between 'G&A', 'Certified Organic' & other types of oils?
G&A - Genuine (Absolutely unchanged through any type of manipulation) & Authentic (Only the oil from a specific type of plant)
Certified Organic - Certified organic by organizations such as Ecocert or AB
Demeter - Grown and processed according to the DEMETER organization's standards for organic farming
Wild - Gathered in the wild
Simples - Grown and processed according to the "Syndicat Inter Massifs Pour la Production Et L'Eonomie Des Simples". Arguably the most rigorous guarantee of biodynamic quality.
Vintage - An oil from a certain batch / year / specific location
Absolutes - Absolutes are highly concentrated aromatic oils extracted from plants using a solvent method. The multi-step process includes first extracting the aromatic oil from the plant material with a chemical solvent such as hexane. After the solvent is removed what is left behind is a waxy substance called a concrete. The aromatic oils are then extracted from the concrete with ethyl alcohol, and after the ethyl alcohol is removed, the remaining substance is an absolute – an oil with an aroma close to the plant from which it came. An absolute is the most concentrated form of fragrance and highly regarded in natural perfumery.
Absolutes differ from essential oils in that they contain not only essential oil, but also a higher density of coloring, waxes and other constituents from the plant. In addition, they usually contain a small percentage of alcohol remaining from the second phase of the extraction process (typically up to 2 or 5 percent).
CO2 Extract - CO2 extracts display some of the characteristics of both essential oils and absolutes. Like essential oils, they contain many beneficial properties. But unlike absolutes, they are not solvent extracted. Instead of hexane, they are extracted using CO2 (carbon dioxide) gas under pressure at ambient temperatures. Under normal atmospheric conditions CO2 is a gas, but in the presence of high pressure it is compressed until it has the density of a liquid and becomes supercritical carbon dioxide – neither a gas nor a liquid. It is while in this supercritical phase that CO2 acts as a “solvent” to extract aromatic oil from plants. The beauty of CO2 extraction is that once the oil is extracted from the plant material, the CO2 is simply returned to its gaseous state by lowering its pressure, allowing the gas to quickly and completely dissipate.