There is much talk about analysis and therapeutic and other grades that a little reality check seems in order.
1) So when essential oil quality is discussed, the first question one might ask is, what is the purpose of the discussion. Generally someone is trying to make the point that the oils from a certain source are of good or excellent quality.
2) The claim is generally supported by pointing to the GC-MS analysis that has been performed with the oil in question.
3) Immediately the question arises, how does the analysis of an essential oil sample prove or ascertain the “quality” of an essential oil? Presumably by showing the absence of adulteration.
4) Only brief research in this field makes it clear that there are different kinds of adulteration. There are those, which are called ‘gross’ adulterations, where truly foreign materials are added to an essential oil to stretch it. These adulterations are readily discovered by GC-MS analysis.
5) But there are also those adulterations termed adjustments or standardization and there is also the mixing of essential oils from different origins, ostensibly to maintain essential oil quality when nature does not deliver a product conforming to the specifications set forth by some industrial user or similar entity.
6) A simple GC-MS will generally not detect the more elaborate engineering applied to essential oils.
7) The question arises whether or not the rather limited capacity of GC-MS analysis to detect gross adulterations is really a measure for essential oil quality. It is more realistic to conclude that the GC-MS ascertaines that the adjustments made by the industrial supplier are negligable enough so the oils can still be called ‘therapeutic.’
At OSA we believe that the most desirable essential oil is one that is truly a representation of the plants interaction with its environment and consecutively of the dedication of the distiller. This is why we purchase practically all our oils directly from the producer.