Q. Where do you ship essential oils?

We ship oils to the United States and Canada. 

Q. How do you ship?

We offer the following shipping methods:

Priority Mail with the United States Post Office. When you check out you will see an estimated shipping time of 1, 2, or 3 business days. While that is an estimate and is not guaranteed, typically the post office is pretty spot on with their projection. Priority Mail is arrives every day but Sunday and is delivered with your regular letter carrier.

We also offer FedEx Ground/Home Delivery. If you are shipping with Home Delivery that typically arrives in the evening. Home Delivery arrives every day but Sunday. FedEx Ground is typically delivered during the business day and does not arrive on Saturday or Sunday. Alaska and Hawaii customers must ship with USPS.

Lastly we offer FedEx Smart Post. With Smart Post you get the reliability of FedEx’s tracking system with the convenience of post office delivery. FedEx receives Smart Post orders from our facility and drives them to your home zip code’s post office. At that point the Post Office goes the “last mile” and your package arrives with the regular mail delivery. Please note FedEx Smart Post typically takes 7 days to arrive.

Q. How are your oils packaged?

All oils are packaged in amber glass Boston round bottles with the exception of the sample size oils, which come in 5/8 dram vials. 5ml and 15ml bottles come with a .55 or 1.15 reducer in the opening of the bottle. All other sizes ship with a polyseal cap, no reducer. If you would like a black rubber dropper you may request a free one with any size.

Q. Are EOX oils pure?

Short Answer: Yes.

Here’s the problem with the simple, short answer:

“Purity” in and of itself has meaning in terms of pesticides and chemical contaminants, but does not address the pervasive issue of adulteration wherein an otherwise pure essential oil can legally be diluted with a pure vegetable oil or less expensive essential oils and still be called pure as far as labeling requirements are concerned.

A Certificate of Analysis (COA) can give assurance of purity in terms of pesticides and chemicals, etc. As far as adulteration is concerned, the only way to have assurance for that is with Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrograph (GCMS) analysis. A link to each oil's COA is made available in the product description on our site.

It is our position that any purveyor can say that they test all of their oils, but it is another thing to specify as to what they are testing them for and then provide the documentation that proves it. It is a considerable expense that most companies do not wish to incur so they accept the testing that is provided by the distiller, which shows their sources, so they will not release the paperwork. It’s also a bit like letting the fox watch the henhouse! Independent testing is the only way around the issue and that is the EOX process.

Q. Are EOX oils “therapeutic grade?”

Short Answer: Yes.

Here’s the problem with the simple, short answer:

“Therapeutic grade” has absolutely zero meaning under the law (no matter what any brand may state), so any company can claim that and there is no way to refute it, because there is no legal definition.

So, in order to give a real answer that addresses the real concerns of our customers and members, we first need to define “therapeutic grade” from the EOX viewpoint and then proceed from there. To do that we first have to know why the term has come into popular use in reference to the many different qualities of oil that can arise from varying distillation methods and the laws in different countries. Several of these factors have been discussed here:

What is Therapeutic Grade?

Additionally, it is helpful to know that certain essential oil sellers have filed various trademarked permutations of the term “therapeutic grade” so that they can claim they are the only ones that have that particular grade of material. However, anyone really giving it any thought will come to the realization that a company having filed a trademark in an attempt to control a particular type of wording offers in no way any kind of validation for the actual quality of product.

It is up to each company to define their position on this term, but it is essential (pun intended) for each customer to understand all of the facets of the issue so they can make an intelligent choice for themselves and not be pulled into the hype.

Q. Are your oils organic?
A. As you may know, USDA Organic status is quite an expensive little label for any company to pay for. At times, a USDA Organic essential oil may actually be less vibrant and beneficial for health than a small batch artisan essential oil; the same is true of carrier oils. Organic labelling laws vary from country to country. Organic labelling of products manufactured in a select few other countries, including China, allow for a certain amount of pesticides and other contaminants. So, look to see where the country of origin is located on the label, and do careful research on the company who is producing the oil.
Although therapeutic-grade carrier oils are often organic, this isn’t a necessary component of the rating: whether they’ve been organically or conventionally grown, look for carrier oils which been grown, harvested, cold-pressed and stored using optimal techniques designed to preserve the greatest range of active constituents. 

A Certificate of Analysis (COA) will give assurance of purity in terms of pesticides and chemicals, etc. We have a COA available for every one of our essential oils. You’ll find it just above the price and size selection.

Q. How are your essential oils extracted?

A. Most of the EOX essential oils are extracted by steam distillation of pure plant material under natural pressure. The citrus fruit oils are obtained by cold-pressing the peels of the fruits, with exception of the lime oil which is steam distilled… and quite yummy!

Q. Are your oils adulterated?

A. No, not in any way. We do not dilute or adulterate oils. If you wish to cut them with a carrier oil for topical use, as recommended, you must do that yourself. We will never, ever adulterate an oil.

Q. What is the difference between Ylang Ylang Extra and Ylang Ylang III?”

When aromatic botanicals are steam distilled the aromatic molecules within the essential oil that are the smallest and most delicate notes come over first and then throughout the distillation process the subsequently larger and heavier aromatic molecules come over.

Normally, for most distillations this process just collects all of the fractionated levels into one batch that is the essential oil for that plant; however, with ylang-ylang flowers the process is the same but the way in which the oil is captured is a bit different.

So imagine that a full distillation of ylang ylang will take 2 hours to complete. Then imagine that time frame being divided into 4 segments that are 30 minutes each.

The first 30-mintue segment is what is called “Extra” because it has the most delicate floral top notes, and is what is most often used in perfumery applications. The next 30-minute segment is then called Ylang-Ylang 1st, with the subsequent segments being called 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

The 4th segment, called Ylang-Ylang III, is the level of the aromatic notes that are less floral and more masculine, almost bourbon-like in scent.

Then there is Ylang-Ylang Complete, which is an equal blending of all 4 fractions to represent the full range of aromatic molecules were the oil just captured without segmenting the oil as it comes over the distillation column.

In essence any essential oil can be worked in this way, but it is only standard to show the levels this way for Ylang Ylang. So, even though EOX fully supports the idea of using a complete essential oil, for many reasons, this is our one exception… to follow the long-standing tradition of Ylang Ylang distillation.

Over time we have found that our customers either want the more floral notes of the Extra, or the more masculine, bourbon-type notes of the III, so that is what we currently offer online through EOX.

That being said, for inhalation applications of aromatherapy, it is widely thought that the Extra is more appropriate for getting the molecules into the bloodstream, due to being smaller in size, than the Ylang III. I say “widely thought” because that may be anecdotal folk type remedy information, and I am not aware of any serious clinical trial data that has been made available through any peer-reviewed journals to verify that one way or the other. Furthermore, we are not permitted to make those kind of claims because that would fall under prescription laws and we are not physicians. So all we can do is provide general information about the oil, but not instruction for its specific potential applications.

Q. Are your oils Food Grade?
A: At Essential Oil Exchange, we believe that essential oils should be whole distillations, not just a segment.  As discussed above, Ylang-ylang is the only exception we make (as part of ylang ylang distillation tradition in particular), and we do offer the Extra and III because that is how our customers have requested it. 
Distillation laws are different in the U.S. than in Europe regarding essential oils and legal applications. In the U.S., in order to be able to legally use an essential oil in a food or beverage (i.e. ingested internally) it must be re-distilled. That means after the initial distillation, the essential oil is then put back through the a second round of distillation. In Europe re-distillation is not generally required to allow internal use. In the U.S., however, that is not the case, and anyone claiming that their oils can be ingested internally is selling oil that has been re-distilled, whether therapeutically produced or not, plain and simple.
EOX only deals with therapeutic-grade materials, yet most of the "ingestible oils" (i.e. oils from plants and herbs that are normally ingested as food or supplements) have been properly re-distilled to both meet therapeutic qualities and satisfy regulations.
After distillation pressure, other often-seen designations are ‘premium’ (which is a fancy word that doesn’t really mean anything); ‘perfumery grade’ (which has nothing to do with aromatherapy); or ‘high altitude’ (which is also generally used by specialty perfumers and has vague references to somehow being more therapeutic, but isn’t necessarily so). What does make an essential oil therapeutic is being a ‘whole’ oil, not fractionated in rounds to call the top notes more therapeutic. Just because some molecules of an oil are larger does not mean they do not have therapeutic properties, which is claimed by promoters of these types of oils. It can mean that the larger molecules are less effective for some applications of aromatherapy through inhalation because of the molecule sizes, but we strongly believe the oils should be used in a holistic way and as whole oils, not fractionated segments.
As an example, when an essential oil is distilled, the process is performed over a period of time. The molecules of the oil that are obtained first are the smallest and most volatile. Some distillations are performed in rounds in order to obtain particular levels of scent for specific applications, primarily perfumery, as in the case of ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata). ‘Ylang-ylang’ means ‘Flower of Flowers’ and has an incredibly sweet, floral scent. In order to capture this scent, it is distilled in four segments. The first segment is called Extra, then follows I, II, and III respectively. With each successive segment the oils progress from the highest, most floral, top notes to the III where the oil takes on more masculine, bourbon-type notes. Following these segmentations, equal amounts of each of the Extra, I, II, and III are then recombined to create the ylang-ylang ‘Complete’ in order to create a whole oil. All essential oils are distilled in this manner, yet ylang-ylang is the only one commonly discussed and openly sold by its level. 
Essential Oil Exchange does its best to use smaller, independent, micro-distillery partners around the world when they are available to provide our therapeutic-grade essential oils, as they have artisan distilled for decades. EOX has had to set its own standards for our materials because getting certified organic oil that is only food grade has no value towards the therapeutic mission of EOX or the value we want to provide our customers.

Q. My oil is thickening or partially solidified, what do I do?
A. This is a common issue when oils fall below a certain temperature. Put the container in a ziplock bag and give it a warm water bath. Typically 30 seconds re-liquifies the oil.

Q. What are some best practices for oil storage?
A. In general it’s best to keep your essential oils at a constant temperature in a cool environment, in an air tight container, and out of the sunlight. All of our oils are packaged in amber glass bottles to help protect them from the light. Room temperature or below is generally fine for storage. Temperature consistency is important. Large fluctuations between hot and cold will lower the quality of any natural product, including essential oils. If you choose to store your oils in a cooler environment that would be okay, cooler temperatures may cause the oil to have a thicker consistency (or even solidify), but will not harm the quality. Each oil will have its own reaction to different temperature levels, so you will have to do your own research to find out more about each specific oil. 

Q. Are oils at risk to high temperature during shipment?
A. Generally, oils will not reach a temperature so high during shipment that they become damaged. We have not had an issue with this. If you are concerned about temperature during transit, I would recommend choosing to ship your oils with FedEx Ground, which is the most direct and reliable shipping method we can offer.

We believe in consumer education because that makes more knowledgeable customers and a better future market for real value. We hope this article helps you to understand some of the nuances that affect the aromatherapy marketplace so you can make informed and truly therapeutic choices.

Want to know more? See our Policies and Procedures page.