It’s here… the article you’ve been waiting for! This is your friendly Organic Life Tips Test Team’s essential oil brand review.
We took three top essential oil companies that offer online ordering, and ran them through our rigorous testing process (us drinking tea, eating chips and chocolate, and opening boxes and bottles), to find you the best essential oil brands for everyday users… just like you.
How did we choose the three? They were the top choices from our initial essential oils brand review where we rated 10 essential oil brands based on a set of criteria. The top ranked from that initial review were:
- Plant Therapy
- Rocky Mountain Oils
- Mountain Rose Herbs
These are the brands we put to the test.
OLT’s Essential Oils Company Review Criteria
Please keep in mind that this is an all-new review of the top three, tested as such– ratings are based on more data and are graded on a much tougher scale then in our initial review. These are already our top three and all great companies. In this test, they’re only being compared against one another, not the rest of the essential oil brands.
Here’s the criteria we used in this test.
About the Company: This isn’t really rated, but we thought you should know.
Ease of Ordering: How simple or stressful was the ordering process?
Price: How much does it cost per milliliter?
Shipping (Packaging and Delivery): Was it shipped quickly and packaged well?
Product Packaging: Were the oil bottles and labels aesthetically pleasing and include all important information in an easy-to-find manner?
Ease of Information: How easy was it to locate their quality reports and GC/MS reports for the batch number on the bottle?
|Hold it! What is a GC/MS report? GC/MS stands for Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry, which are chemical analysis techniques that determine the chemical components of an essential oil. These components give the oil its unique properties, like its anti-inflammatory or analgesic effects, for example. A GC/SM report will also indicate an oil’s purity.|
Customer Service: Was their customer service fast, friendly, and helpful?
Scent: Was the scent of the oil consistent and appealing?
So, we essentially did something we do all the time by ourselves (shopping for stuff online and judging the experience), but we did it together… and we took notes.
To make this easiest for everyone to read, I’m going to sort it out by company in the order in which we opened the boxes! You can also view the process in the video below.
Essential Oil Test Results
Box #1: Plant Therapy
About the Company:
From the moment you click on the web site, you get the feeling of family with this company. When you keep reading, you realize that feeling runs throughout core of Plant Therapy’s business practices.
The company puts “people first,” and this shows from their customer service to their commitment to giving back to the community.
Through individual donations and their new “Planting Kindness” program, the company and has provided over $200,000 in charitable giving to a broad span of organizations and given their employees an opportunity to use paid time for volunteer work.
They are also committed to a quality product. Some oils are organic, and they thoroughly vet their farms before contracting to use them for their plants. Plant Therapy is also the first Essential Oil Company to become a 100% Green Power Partner.
They also hold the Leaping Bunny certification, which is one of the most difficult certifications a company can achieve. This means that their products are never tested on animals, and are produced in a safe manner for all living things.
As far as the extraction process, most of Plant Therapy oils use steam distillation, except for the citrus oils, which are cold pressed. There are just a few CO2 extracted oils and a few solvent extracted absolutes.
Ease of Ordering:
Ordering Plant Therapy is incredibly easy. You have a choice of ordering from their website, or ordering from Amazon. You can join an ordering club or you can order individual oils direct from the company. We ordered from Amazon. We got an emailed confirmation and shipping information right away, and the package arrived from Amazon in two days.
$.53/ml (this was a set, so price was divided among all bottles included)
This was the most affordable price of all the brands tested, but prices will vary between oils. Plant Therapy also offers a full money back guarantee on all purchases.
Shipping (Packaging and Delivery): AMAZON
We gave this three stars because it was a large box with a loose piece of the large type plastic bubble insert that didn’t seem to do much to secure the package. The wooden box was also wrapped in bubble wrap. The packaging seemed wasteful. But everything arrived safely.
This package was packed and shipped by Amazon fulfillment, so this is not reflective of packages shipped directly from Plant Therapy.
Please note that we did not use Shipping (Packaging and Delivery) as a final ranking factor as we had ordered Plant Therapy through Amazon prime to meet the review timeframe. As such, the packaging is not reflective of what we would have received directly from Plant Therapy. We are only providing this as a ranking for your consideration if you choose to buy Plant Therapy (and likely other Essential Oils as well) through Amazon.
I know this was a set that we ordered from Plant Therapy, so we’re not really comparing apples to apples with this one… but it came in the most adorable and functional wooden box. We loved that.
When one of our group ordered a single oil from Plant Therapy, it came bubble wrapped in an envelope, which was fine for a single oil.
The bottles themselves, and the labels, are well-designed and aesthetically pleasing. They show all the important information clearly, including a KidSafe label on the bottles that are safe for children and the top label, which is awesome for when you store them in a box or drawer. That way you don’t have to pull out every bottle to find what you’re looking for.
Ease of Information:
We would have given them five stars for this, but it was a little bit hard to read the batch number on the bottle, and then it was hard to find the batch number on the web site when searching up the GC/MS Report. We had to call customer service.
Ultimately we did find the GC/MS report (pictured below). It was listed under a different sized bottle (30 ml), which shouldn’t have really mattered. But once we found it, the info was all there!
True to their mission statement, the customer service with Plant Therapy was excellent! The call was answered right away, and the customer service agent was friendly and helpful.
Having said that, they directed us to input the batch number into the web site to find the GCMS report. But when we put the information in, the batch was not found, so their directions didn’t actually help. Jennifer just happened to think to search for it under a different size bottle, and we found it!
The Sniff Test:
This is where Plant Therapy fell a little short. We sniff-tested Peppermint Oil, Lavender Oil, and Lemon Oils from all brands… and since we had it, many of us took a whiff off the other oils in Plant Therapy’s boxed set as well.
Now, some of us have less-discerning olfactory senses, while others picked up all the scent nuances. Most of us, however, felt that the lavender smelled a little “off,” perhaps bitter. The Peppermint Oil was not smelling like fresh peppermint, but maybe more of a spearmint tone. The Lemon Oil was pleasant, a little on the sweeter side versus tart and zesty.
It was really the off-smell of the Lavender Oil that pushed the star value down to three… Lavender Oil is a staple for many essential oil users, who often put it on their skin, in their cleaning products, and in their aromatherapy diffusers.
Box #2: Rocky Mountain Oils
About the Company:
Rocky Mountain Oils (RMO) was founded in 2004 by a group of wellness enthusiasts committed to bringing quality oils direct to the user at an affordable price.
RMO claims that all of their oils are 100% organically grown from non-GMO plants. While they do not own their own farms, they use small family farms instead of larger commercial agriculture.
RMO is firmly committed to sustainability, and not only recycles their returned oil bottles at a certified recycling center, they will recycle bottles from any other oil company.
They are also in the process of switching to 100% recycled packaging for shipping.
Ease of Ordering:
Rocky Mountain Oils are available either through their website or through Amazon. And yes, we actually called and checked to make sure that the oils with the RMO label on Amazon were the actual Rocky Mountain Oils, and not some knock-off trying to make a quick buck. They’re the real deal.
Their web site is easy to use, and the ordering process is smooth. We ordered ours and the email confirmation came immediately. Everything was exactly as it was ordered, no problems at all.
OG Lemon Oil: $.93/ml OG Peppermint Oil: $1.73/ml OG Lavender Oil: $1.73/ml
Their oils are a bit on the pricier side for an average user. They are more comparable to the prices of professional use oils, but we still gave them four stars because…
They set the bar for satisfaction guarantee, offering a 90-day money back guarantee on all of their oils. If you don’t like it for any reason, you can send it back for a full refund.
Shipping (Packaging and Delivery):
The oils came in a small box, and were quaintly and effectively individually packaged in recycled cardboard tubes. There was minimal waste with this shipping order and everything arrived perfectly intact in two days.
PLUS, we loved the message printed inside the box… “Enjoy the Journey.” It’s like, the oils just enjoyed their trip and they’re letting us know we should enjoy our journey, too.
The packaging on the Rocky Mountain Oils was great. Everything you needed to see was clearly printed on the labels. It’s also nice to have the label color sort of visually matching the oil inside. Makes it simple to grab and go, as we often do in our busy lives.
And RMO includes the top label, making it easy to choose the right oil out of a box, case, or drawer without pulling and flipping each one.
Fun Fact: It’s best to store your essential oils upright in a cool, dark, dry place.
Ease of Information:
Not only was the batch number clearly printed on the bottom of the bottles, it was also super easy to find the GC/MS report on the web site.
All interactions with Rocky Mountain Oil Company were pleasant and productive. The web site is clear and easy to use. Their customer service email and phone number with business hours is clearly listed. You can also follow RMO on social media– Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The Sniff Test:
Our resident gardner and permaculturist, Bev, said, “As a gardner, Rocky Mountain brings me back to the garden.” She could smell the fresh crushed peppermint leaf in the aroma of the Peppermint Oil. The Lemon smelled like fresh zest. The Lavender was in perfect harmony.
Box #3: Mountain Rose Herbs
About the Company:
If your primary concern is to utilize a company that is fully committed to sustainability and fair trade, just check out the “Certifications” tab on Mountain Rose Herbs website.
They are certified organic, non GMO, Fair For Life, Earth Kosher, PCO Forest Grown Verified, and Salmon-Safe. They are also fair trade certified by Fair for Life.
The company offers a number of other herbal products aside from essential oils, and has been around for a long time, since 1987!
Ease of Ordering:
This company does offer a huge variety of oils in lots of different sizes, and even offers some of the rarer oils that are difficult to find. It’s easy to find what you’re looking for on the web site (MRH does not sell on Amazon) and PLACE your order. However, that’s where the ease of ordering ends.
We ordered through Mountain Rose Herbs website. We did not receive any kind of order confirmation or emailed receipt, or any tracking information.
Our package took much longer than expected to arrive (about six days), and in fact, delayed our oil test gathering!
Then, when it did arrive, the box contained TWO LEMON and ZERO PEPPERMINT. They sent us the wrong order. But since we had no confirmation or emailed receipt, we couldn’t check that until we actually opened the box. Bummer.
OG Lemon Oil: $.42/ml OG Lavendar Oil: $.77/ml OG Peppermint Oil: $.60/ml
The prices are comparable to Plant Therapy, but the benefit is that they come in a wide variety of sizes. Of course, the larger the size, the cheaper per milliliter.
Shipping (Packaging and Delivery):
The four bottles of oil came packaged in a huge box with a LOT of paper wrapping around them. As Carrie (who volunteered to open all the boxes), said, “You could have wrapped a full size geode in this!” It was a lot of packaging.
If you watch our video, you can see the little bottles in the bottom of the box once all the wads of paper wrapping were removed. It was a bit wasteful.
It also took much longer to receive the oils than the other brands. The MRH package took six days and arrived three days after it was expected.
The bottles have a nice, organic look to them… and the labels include all important informations, such as the scientific plant name, bottle size, organic specification, batch number, indications and warnings. All good stuff.
But the lack of color makes it a little more difficult to quickly differentiate between oils. And…
There’s no top label. Now, if these are in a case, a box, or a drawer standing upright (as they should be), you’re going to have to lift each one to find what you’re looking for. That sounds like unnecessary stress to me.
Ease of Information:
The batch number is printed right on the label and is easy to find… that’s about where the ease of information ends.
You are currently not able to find GC/MS reports online for any MRH oils. However, if you call customer service you can request the reports for certain batches, which are tested by MRH vendors and some by a 3rd party testing facility.
We received a GC/MS report for our oils via email three days after requesting them through a phone call to customer service.
Having said this, they are in the process of setting up their in-house GC/MS testing equipment, but could not give us an ETA on when that process would be complete.
Friendly, yes. Fast and efficient? No.
Unfortunately, when you’re going to buy organic essential oils online, you want more than just a quality product. You want the entire process to go smoothly… because you don’t have time for long hold times on the phone and sending back mixed-up orders.
The phone call to customer services was a little over nine minutes long, and ultimately, information was emailed days later.
Mountain Rose Herbs does have a sixty day return policy, but the purchaser is responsible for shipping and qualifying orders will be credited back to your card. We didn’t try this, so we’re not sure how returning (or replacing a mixed-up order) will go.
If you have experience with this, please leave us a comment below! We would really appreciate that information.
The Sniff Test:
The fragrance of Mountain Rose Herb oils was wonderful. All of the… well, both of the oils we smelled (they didn’t ship us Peppermint), were very true to their scent. The Lavender was not overbearing and the Lemon was sweet and zesty. These would be wonderful oils in an aromatherapy diffuser.
And The Winner IS…
Ultimately, based on the criteria we laid out and our experience, we…. have a virtual tie between Rocky Mountain Oils and Plant Therapy.
Is that anti-climactic? Sorry, but we just can’t choose between these two great oils. In fact all three we tested are great brands.
Immediately after the testing was finished, most of the team thought that Rocky Mountain Oils was their favorite. But after compiling the ratings, it became clear that the choice was too close to make a call one way or the other.
If you trust our sniffers and that matters to you the most, go with Rocky Mountain Oils. If you want a typically less expensive alternative, choose Plant Therapy. You won’t go wrong either way.
Each of these two brands can be ordered online with confidence. You can check out their selection of oils at Rocky Mountain Oils and Plant Therapy websites. For organic essential oils selections, see Rocky Mountain Organic Essential Oils or Plant Therapy Organic Essential Oils.
If you’re looking for some current suggestions/deals, here are a few including our top pick.
- Get 10% Off with your $60+ Purchase & FREE Shipping. Use Coupon Code “10OFF60“. Click here to shop.
- Check out the limited time Spring Blends.
- OUR TOP PICK…. Save up to 48% When You Buy the 7&7 Essential Oil Set vs buying the oils individually. An awesome set of 7 singles and 7 synergy blends. It’s great because it has the staples (lemon, tea tree, lavender, etc…) as well as synergies formulated for:
- relaxation (“Tranquil” and “Relax” blends)
- energy (“Energy” and “Invigor Aid” blends)
Rocky Mountain Oils
We are including a table of our ratings below. See for yourself how closely the top two compare.
*** We chose not to use the “Shipping” criteria in the composite rankings as our Plant Therapy order was fulfilled by Amazon to meet testing timeframes. This prevented an “apples to apples” comparison for this criteria as the Rocky Mountain Oils and Plant Rose Mountain Herbs products were shipped directly from the respective companies.
With that, we’d like you to meet our Organic Life Tips Testing Team (aka our awesome friends):
OLT Essential Oils Testing Team
From left to right in the photo….
Deborah is a mother of two, an administrative assistant at a high school, and is deeply involved in her community. Deborah is an excellent cook and is dedicated to a natural and vegan lifestyle. She and her family use essential oils as a part of their healthy living routine, including aromatherapy and as a component of their bath and beauty care.
Jennifer is a holistic practitioner and certified aromatherapist. She uses aromatherapy extensively in her practice for emotional and physical support within a whole-listic client protocol. Her focus is on the purity, energy, and chemical composition of essential oils to create the most effective healing support tools for her clients. You can reach Jennifer at Healing Redefined.
Carrie is the owner of Little Bird Holistic Arts. We actually held the testing at her location. To which we say THANK YOU! Carrie is a holistic healer who uses essential oils in her practice as well as with her family. She is a Reiki Master/Teacher, Yoga Instructor, and has immense knowledge of multiple healing modalities including essential oils, herbs, and all things natural.
Dory is a Reiki Master/Teacher, Author, certified Birth Doula, and Adaptive Yoga Instructor. She incorporates essential oils into her healing sessions, birth work, and yoga rest poses. Dory uses essential oils within her personal life for herself, her husband, and her children. Essential oils offer support for her children with issues of insomnia, muscle pain, anxiety, and stomach aches.
Beverly is an avid gardener utilizing permaculture principles, as well as a homeschooling mother to three. She likes to be as close to the natural world as possible in her family’s eating and healing needs. Beverly uses essential oils in a diffuser for home aromatherapy, applied topically for healing, and in creating home remedy products.
If you have questions or comments about this article, please feel free to drop a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.