The Educated Consumer
When a well-known natural-body-care company opened its first store in Toronto, I visited this beautiful boutique with a colleague. We explored the store, sniffing merrily away until we came to the essential oils. There were testers, so, of course, a drop instantly went on the hand, and....lo and behold , it contained carrier oil, a vegetable oil used to dilute the pure essential oil, a vegetable oil used to dilute the pure esential oil. When we asked the sales person about this, we were told that these were the purest oils available, and no, they were not diluted in anyway.
Even when we pointed out that although they were certainly good quality, they were actually "oily" or greasy to the touch, and not completely volatile, as true essential oils should be, the sales person referred to the label copy, which said they were pure and did not mention any dilution. Obviously we were mistaken, for these were clearly undiluted.
Unconvinced, we asked the sales person to make a call, just to check. Four phone calls later she finally found the person who could tell her that, indeed, these oils were diluted, in fractionated coconut oil, to be precise, and that they were at 30 percent concentration. This was in 1996.Since then the labelling has been changed, and all this company's essential oils now state very clearly that they are diluted in coconut oil.
If a reputable "natural-health" company can do this, what is being done by companies that have no interest in the bigger picture but just want to make a profit using the most effective marketing tag?
The truth is no one is going to protect you and your health except you. The more information you have, the better able you will be to make good choices, thus controlling your exposure to synthetics, carcinogens, preservatives, and toxins of all kinds. This level of awareness is the minimum necessary if your intention is to maintain and preserve health.
The inclination of a growing proportion of the world's population is to return to more-natural less-processed products, whether they be food, drinks, body-care items, or supplements. True aromatherapy is one of these natural-product families; Synthetic fragrances are not. It is up to you the consumer, to know what it is you are looking for, to do your own homework and not just rely on the information provided on labels and by store staff.
Although some store employees are extremely knowledgeable, in other case a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Some times you will be given wrong information; other times you may be deliberately misled. In fact, there is probably more misinformation than good information out there, or maybe the good information is just harder to get.
Reference: Hydrosols: Suzanne Catty
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