What your essential oil bottle & label is telling you
An essential oil bottle may seem like a simple thing, but every part of the bottle is designed with care to protect the oil inside. And Aromatics’ essential oil bottle labels contain important information that can help you choose the right oils and use them more effectively.
Let’s break down an essential oil bottle & label!
Using the example of lemongrass ct rhodinol oil (one of our rarest essential oils), you’ll learn why the bottle itself is important, and what the different elements of the essential oil bottle’s label mean.
Before we get started, it’s important to note that this breakdown doesn’t apply to every company. (Some companies use different labeling systems.) At Aromatics, we include as much information as necessary to ensure you know exactly what’s in your bottle, how to use it safely, how to store it, and more.
Let’s get started!
Essential oils are vulnerable to oxidation—a process which breaks down and changes the molecules of the oil. Oxidation occurs naturally when an essential oil is exposed to light, heat, and oxygen.
Oils that are oxidized don’t have the same therapeutic effects as fresh oils. They may even cause negative reactions, like skin irritation. Oxidized oils also smell different, and may appear cloudy.
Nothing can stop the process of oxidation completely, but the amber glass bottle does slow it down by protecting the essential oil from light.
Another part of the bottle that slows the rate of oxidation is the orifice reducer.
The orifice reducer is the little plastic piece that fits into the top of the glass bottle. It’s what allows you to get a single drop of essential oil out at a time.
As we mentioned, the orifice reducer also helps protect the oil from oxidation. Since it makes the opening of the bottle smaller, it limits the amount of oxygen that gets in.
At Aromatics, all of our orifice reducers are the same size.
However, some essential oils take longer to come out of the bottle than others.
If you’ve ever used Sandalwood, you’ll notice it might take some patience to get a few drops out. That’s because the oil’s molecules are particularly large. They make the oil thick and viscous.
Lemongrass ct rhodinol, on the other hand, has smaller molecules. The oil moves easily, and a simple tip of the bottle might be enough to get the drops you need.
Did you know that in some countries, lemongrass is called “Cochin grass?”
If you came across a bottle of “Cochin grass oil,” would you know what it was?
Maybe you would . . . if the essential oil bottle’s label included its Latin name! Plants may have different local names (or common names) in various countries and regions, but their official botanical Latin names will be the same from country to country.
Whatever lemongrass is called locally, it’s genus will always be Cymbopogon, and its species will always be citratus.
That’s why we put every essential oil’s Latin name on the label.
Some plants are able to produce multiple versions of their essential oil.
For example, two lemongrass plants can have the exact same genus and species, and yet produce two completely different essential oils.
How is this possible?
Because environmental factors like rainfall, humidity, and the amount of sunlight they receive all impact the plants’ chemistry on the molecular level. This causes the plants to produce different essential oils.
These different oils are called “chemotypes,” because there are different types of chemicals present in each one. The chemotype is shown with a “ct” on the essential oil bottle’s label.
Thus we get this particular lemongrass’s full name: Cymbopogon citratus ct rhodinol!
Top 2 chemical components
Essential oils are made of natural chemical components.
You’ll find the top two components present in each oil typed on its label. For our current batch of lemongrass ct rhodinol, those two are “citronellol” and “geraniol.” When these two components appear side by side, they’re known as “rhodinol.”
How do we know which components are present in the oil?
When we receive a batch of essential oil, such as lemongrass ct rhodinol, we always send a sample to a laboratory for analysis. They perform a GC/MS test—which stands for Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. This test reveals whether the lemongrass oil is pure (we have to be sure it’s not adulterated with synthetics or different substances), as well as the chemical components that are present. Think of it like an ingredient list for lemongrass ct rhodinol!
You’ll find the GC/MS report for every oil on our website. Transparency is a cornerstone of business at Aromatics.
Why do the top two components matter for you?
If you understand essential oil science and research, you can use the top two components to understand what properties the oil has, how to use it, and any safety issues to be aware of.
AromaNumber and Wellness Category
Understanding which oils to use can be confusing, especially if you’re newer to aromatherapy. You literally have hundreds of oils to choose from!
Our AromaNumber and Wellness Category system shows you at a glance how to use each oil.
Lemongrass ct rhodinol’s AromaNumber is 4, which stands for the category Purify.
This tells you that lemongrass ct rhodinol is an exceptional oil for natural cleaning or purifying your skin. It contains components (citronellol and geraniol, aka “rhodinol”) which have been shown to reduce the presence of certain microbes and fungi.
Safety & storage information
Safety must come first when you’re using essential oils!
Because each oil has different chemical components, each oil has different safety considerations. That’s why it’s important for you to have access to safety information on each essential oil bottle’s label.
You’ll also find the note to store your oil in a cool, dark place, which reduces the rate of oxidation and prolongs your oil’s shelf life.
Country of origin & batch number (top dot)
The country of origin tells you where the plants were grown (or where they grew naturally).
This is helpful if you want to make a blend with oils from a specific region or country. Blending based on the country of origin can lead to some creative, unique blends you might not conceive of any other way!
Each batch of essential oil has a slightly different chemistry—even different batches of the same oil.
For example, two batches of lemongrass ct rhodinol may have a lot of chemical similarities, but they won’t be exact replicas of one another.
That’s why we label every batch of oil with its own specific number. You’ll find the batch number on the bottle’s top dot sticker. You can use this information to find the current batch’s GC/MS report on our website (or ask for a GC/MS for an older batch).
If you buy an essential oil from us and have a question about it a few years later, we may ask you about the batch number so we can give you accurate information about what’s in your bottle.
Our lemongrass ct rhodinol was organically grown.
You’ll find the “organically grown” seal proudly displayed on the essential oil bottle’s label!
Other oils may have seals showing that they’re USDA certified organic, or were wildcrafted (meaning the plant material was sustainable harvested from the wild).
Lemongrass ct rhodinol is rare!
We’re good friends with the distiller who cultivates this unique variety of lemongrass. Get to know him, and see how we’re supporting his work with his small community in India.
If you have questions
If you ever have questions about what’s in your essential oil bottle, where it comes from, how it was made, or anything else, just reach out! We want to help you fully understand your essential oil, so you can use it safely and effectively. We’re always here for you! You can contact us by clicking here.
Boukhatem, M.N., Ferhat, M.A., Kameli, A., Saidi, F. and Kebir, H.T. (2014) Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drug. Libyan Journal of Medicine 9, 25431
Faiyazuddin, Md., Suri, S., Mustafa, G., Iqbal, Z., Talegaonkar, S., Khar, R.K., Ahmad, F.J. (2009) Phytotherapeutic potential of tea tree essential oil in vitro and emerging vistas in the skincare industry: a comprehensive review. International Journal of Essential Oil Therapeutics 3, 2-3, 84-90
Tisserand, R. and Young, R. (2014) Essential Oil Safety 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone