Essential Oil Outlook 2016

Dear Friends – New Years Greetings – Essential Oil Outlook 2016

It has been a while since I have posted a ‘Roots’ or an ‘Explorations in Aromatherapy’ blog. Having been busy with our last conference drowned out these efforts. However, the conference is always an incentive to introduce new concepts and, of course, new oils. While we have been focusing on exploring oils from Asia we have also added new oils from the old world, or, in other words, oils which are closely related to the concepts of French style aromatherapy.

As the New Year gets on its way one might ponder what will it bring in terms of essential oils? Well, if 2015 is any indication, it may be that essential oils and aromatherapy might continue to reach new dimensions in popularity. This also means the issue of sustainability will move closer to center stage. It is no secret that the quantities required by the large MLM companies to satisfy their growing number of followers are larger than what conventional suppliers are equipped to provide.

Shortages of essential oils as we have seen them in 2015 may repeat themselves, even if they may not be as obvious as the absence of Cape Chamomile was. As Cape Chamomile has a rather unique composition it was not possible, at least not in the short term, to substitute it, by a blend of other oils. In the case of more common oils, such as Lavender, shortages manifest differently. As all the true ‘Fine Lavender’ of 2015 is basically spoken for, the trade shifts to clones from regions with larger production such as Bulgaria, Moldavia, Ukraine and China. While these Lavender oils are of fine quality in their own right, having to deal with different clones from different regions has its own challenges for the marketeer. The parameters for the quality grades (this issue of creating official sounding designations for quality grades has been discussed in other places and shall therefore not be revisited here) that the MLM define for themselves  must be drawn up in such a way  as to include the oils from different origins.

That this is so is evidenced by the fact that some providers refrain from giving an origin for their oils. Trust is instead placed in hyped up analytical regimens whose main purpose is in the marketing, ostensibly ascertaining that a given oil is of the promised grade. The long and the short is that by moving these ever larger quantities of essential oils, aromatherapy will most likely become more and more corporate. And while I am certain that the large companies will do everything in their power to offer the best possible oil, all of this will probably result in increased homogenization of the oils on offer. A huge supplier has no use for a 3 kg batch of an unusual chemotype of Thyme when their projected need of Thyme oil for the year is more like a 1000 or 2000 kg!

From our perspective at OSA, where we deal in much smaller quantities, it is fairly obvious that truly authentic essential oils will become scarcer. It is also not difficult to foresee that there will be an increasing number of discerning individuals who do understand the true value of authentic oils. It would not be surprising, if over time there might evolve something like a collectors market. Given that most essential oils maintain their quality and potency for many years it would make sense to stock up on those oils for which a drop in prices seems rather unlikely. This is a scenario certainly true for Helichrysum EO. As for other oils I would like to refrain from prognoses, simply not to add fuel to an already hot market. But again, in a world where everything is increasingly subject to homogenization and mass production, true oils will always stand out as the rare treasures they are.

As a response to those market conditions and to pass on potential savings to our customers we will, in loose sequence, pass on opportunities as they arise. We will offer specific oils at specific times at particularly attractive prices for their 100 ml or 1000 ml quantities. As of this please check out our special offers for Frankincense, Myrrh, Bay Laurel and organic Lavandin super.

« Back To Daily Posts