How To Recognize an Essential Oil?

This article was originally written by Nitin Jain

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A selection of essential oils is now available from health food shops, chemists and by mail order. When you are buying them, be careful to choose essential oils, not perfumed oils. Although these may well smell delicious they are not benefecial for aromatherapy.
An essential oil is:
Thin and watery rather than oily.
Swift to evaporate and it wont leave a greasemark on paper.
Overpoweringly scented when neat, which can be quite unpleasant.
Perfumed oils will always smell pleasant whereas essential oils often have more of the effect of smelling salts.
All essential oils fall into three basic categories:
TOP NOTES : These oils evaporate very quickly. They are generally uplifting and stimulating, with a greenish, fresh aroma.
MIDDLE NOTES : These are used to help with most bodily functions and the body;s metabolism.
BASE NOTES : These are extremely relaxing, sometimes sedative and generally have a lovely, warm aroma.
You’ll notice essential oils are always sold in tinted glass bottles (if not, be suspicious). This is becaiuse they are special oils that need a little care. They are damaged by light and should always be stored in a dark, cool place. Be careful to keep the lids tightly screwed on your bottles, otherwise you will be disappointed to discover your oils have evaporated into thin air.
Here is a very informative chart describing the benefits of various essential oils: