Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils: Essential Oil Company Comparison

Several months ago I had an opportunity to try some oils from doTerra. I’ve been doing some research and reading ever since. I was intrigued, at Pure Home and Body I want to offer you the best and purest in health, wellness and of course, essential oils. I had not known of any other company than Young Living that sold essential oils labeled as food grade supplements. Update: as of Fall 2014, another company has joined the food-grade supplement market, Ameo essential oils. Read more below about this company. 

It appears there might be some other options.

The companies I have identified here for comparison are multi-level marketing companies, some might call them “relational marketing”. Gary Young makes it clear to his company associates of the reasoning behind structuring their company this way (which makes sense for the other players in the market as well). Aromatherapy is a technical subject and unlike other home-based businesses it is important to work with someone knowledgeable in the field. Tupperware, cosmetics or jewelry can be purchased pretty much on their own, customers make a purchase and know how to use it. Aromatherapy however, is an art and takes years to understand and integrate. Aromatherapy is not a one-size fits all and quick solution to complicated problems. I have been practicing and studying aromatherapy for over 20 years and continue to learn and realize I have much more to learn in the practical and safe application of essential oils. Relational marketing in it’s most effective scenario provides the space for individuals to be supported and coached in the safe and effective use of essential oils with personalized attention, versus buying a product off of Amazon and guessing the best use for it. Using essential oils without wise, experienced counsel will most likely result in haphazard use of the oils, over-use or unsafe use of essential oils. In a perfect world, anyone who is committed to doing business in the essential oil business will be committed to ongoing education to best support their customers. Unfortunately, the market has become flooded with overnight “experts” that are confusing consumers. There appear to be 2 camps, the MLM business owners who are “experts” selling the oils and the organic community (aromatherapists) also with experience selling their educational programs to teach all they know. It’s easy for each to be critical of the other, while in the end consumers do well with a dose of common sense, wisdom in reading information (look at who the authors & marketers are and what they are “selling”), and a filter of perspective in where the information is coming from.


I have found some very interesting details and facts about this company (doTerra), of which I want to remain as objective as possible. What I first discovered is that the Young Living vs. doTerra topic is a hot one. I’ve read quite a few blogs highlighting the debate from both sides, some with good details and others with more subjective, emotional content, (some saying they used one line for a while, then switched to the other and it was amazing, such a difference). Sadly, it reminds me too much of companies like TOMS copied by a company called Bobs who has modeled their marketing, brand and product too close for comfort to the original TOMS. It’s unfortunate that the American Dream has become to some more a sheep in wolves clothing just to make a dollar. All that said, I don’t want to add to the drama. Copycat behavior in business is likely to draw out emotions in everyone involved, especially when it’s in competing forces. I  found comments on such articles bringing out a good deal of passion from readers, some of it far from constructive. So, before I even begin my analysis of these two companies’ products, I want to make it clear this article will be filled with as many concrete examples as possible, including the comparison of specific oils, production and their qualities which I’ll cover later.  I welcome any comments below that will help give readers facts.

How can you tell your essential oils are pure?

How can you tell your essential oils are pure?


I am doing this to educate consumers, not bash companies. This article will have all the details you’ve wanted.  I will not sugar coat things or gloss over important details and in the process I’m sure I will offend someone, which is not my intent. The essential oil industry is growing, but it is also one riddled with inconsistencies, little regulation and known for diluting, altering and synthesizing products to extend supplies and profit (common industry lingo includes “preparing the sauce” as a term for adding chemical fillers to essential oils just before shipping)I believe that fair competition can only make our marketplace better, in quality, pricing and availability.  Because consumers have access to the internet it is even more important for companies to practice business with integrity,  providing accurate information, and in the natural living industry, their products must be pure without a doubt. Greenwashing is prevalent in every industry, especially the Essential Oil industry where many want to get a share of profits.  Knowledge is power. So grab a cup of tea, fresh juice or smoothie and get ready to discover more about the essential oil world.

Young Living was founded by Gary Young after he healed himself  from a major accident. His doctors told him he would never walk again after injuring his spinal cord, but he did. Out of his recovery came a passion for holistic healing, and a love of essential oils. This passion is what created the Young Living company. Since it’s beginning, Young Living has formulated many products including 10 exclusive single essential oils they distill and over 75 essential oil blends targeted to specific needs.

Since there is little regulation in the essential oil industry,  truth in labeling does not apply to essential oils. A company can label their oils as 100% pure even if there is a synthetic oil in the bottle that smells like the real deal. Synthetic reproductions of essential oils are only designed to smell like an oil and do not perform the same as true plant oils distilled from the living plant material. You can read more about Therapeutic Grade essential oils and what makes a quality oil. Pure, quality essential oils with no chemical fillers is what produces results when you use them.

Since the average consumer has little experience with essential oils, the only way to verify purity is to trust the company you buy from or trust your nose (of which a pure essential oil will last years as long as it is stored in a cool, dry location. An essential oil that has synthetics or fillers will break down over time, similar to cosmetics that suddenly have a change in odor which is the added chemicals breaking down). Young Living has been in business 20 years to refine their products, determine the best chemical structure in purity and their products have stood the test of time.

Blending essential oils is another mastery and an art that takes time and experience to develop, not unlike creating wines. Young Living continues to research and maximize that research to create better products that produce results.

In addition to the oil blends, Young Living has developed the Raindrop Therapy. This is a specific therapy for building up the immune system with 9 specific essential oils that are applied along the spine. Books are written about the Statistical Validation of the Raindrop Therapy for those with cancer, autoimmune disorders, colds & flu and many other chronic conditions. Young Living has been around over 20 years and continues to evolve to meet consumer needs. What I’ve seen is a broad reach of consumers, weighing heavily with massage therapist, skin aestheticians, nurses, doctors and even hospitals due to their strict methods of quality control. Their product base is pretty broad including vitamins, supplements, skin & personal care in addition to essential oils and diffusers. Their target market reaches a broad age range as well, from young families to older generations.

doTerra has been around for about 7 years, the company founded from some executives who left Young Living. They structured the network marketing company with products very similar to Young Living including a strong resemblance in personal care products,  single essential oils and essential oil blends. DoTerra is an aggressive marketer targeting young families and active adults looking for natural options in health care. Their marketing materials are appealing and effective at drawing in your senses. The primary focus of doTerra is on building a network marketing company while the product (essential oils in this case) is the commodity, a vehicle to deliver the results of a residual income.

What is food grade and where did those oils come from? doTerra has labeled some of their products as food grade essential oils, certifying that their essential oils are pure, a step in the right direction for the essential oil industry as long as they are honest.  There have been questions and apparent lawsuits into the purity of doTerra oils, especially their peppermint essential oil which may have ethyl vanillin added. Ethyl vanillin is a food flavoring synthetic. It gives a sweet vanilla aftertone. Adding anything to an essential oil would not only remove it’s therapeutic value, it’s a deceptive business practice in an industry that has few regulations and standards. doTerra has created a copyright CPTG logo that can only be used by them, the logo is only that and according to doTerra, ICP’s should not be using it as marketing their oils as therapeutic value. It is only a set of words, the CPTG does not stand for any essential oil standards. Proof of their certified pure therapeutic grade standards will only show if the quality of their oils stand the test of time or they start to reveal some of their reports on quality. doTerra notes on their website that they “work with a global network of leading essential oil chemists and growers”, yet the sources of their specific oils are not listed anywhere I could find (product catalog, doTerra essential oil reference or online shopping). Do any doTerra reps or executives have suggestions for resources or more information on the certified grade of their essential oils? I invite you to list any helpful information for readers in the comments below.

Update: as of the first writing of this article, doTerra seems to have modified their Frankincense to include 3 species: Boswellia Sacra, Boswellia carterii and Boswellia frereana. Their frankincense at the writing of this article was labeled as Boswelia frereana, as of Spring 2015 their frankincense is labeled with the 3 species. I have not a chance to verify why this change was made with the company, anyone with more details is invited to leave it below in the comments.

What is the chemistry of those oils? In addition, several essential oils they use in their blends are not even listed individually in the essential oil desk reference to research what chemical components should be in these “therapeutic grade” essential oils. I would assume that if they indeed had all their essential oils tested for standards, those standards would be available for all oils used in their products. I’ll write more about that in the next post…..

DoTerra has created some unique products, like their peppermint beadlets which deliver a drop of peppermint essential oil in an enclosed round capsule. The rest of doTerra’s product line, is quite similar to Young Living’s line packaged with different oils and names. DoTerra even created thir AromaTouch which is similar to the Raindrop Therapy, only using twice as many oils. I have yet to see research specifics regarding the use of all the doTerra oils (why all these oils are used and their purposes) and blends in the AromaTouch technique, but look forward to reading more if it comes available.  If you know of resources, I invite you to list them in the comments below.

Intellectual Property doTerra has also created an essential oil blend (Immortelle) which they may or may not know is also the name of a line from La’Occitane, a French company which uses essential oils similar to those marketed in the DoTerra product with the same name. If doTerra wants to stay a long time player in the essential oil industry, they’ll have to be more innovative in creating products that stand out from competition, not create threats to patents, trademarks or intellectual property.

For the time being, Young Living continues to build a cache of research and results with their products. doTerra is on the defense and must prove themselves in this new game of aromatherapy by playing clean and growing their expertise reputation in the essential oil industry.  Integrity and trust are built over time, especially in the essential oil industry where purity, consistency and truth in labeling is a must. If everyone focuses on creating the best products, everyone wins with fair pricing and enough business for everyone. There are a lot of self-made “experts” on the internet, some very aggressive with marketing. The bottom line is you have to be an educated consumer, look past the hype, pay attention and ask the right questions if you want to invest in quality oils.

Essential oils are powerful substances and must be handled with care and respect, it is imperitive that you use oils that are pure, without a doubt for aromatherapy. The big difference between Young Living & doTerra? Young Living is investing in the soil of the earth by managing 9 farms in 6 different locations all over the world and teaching sustainable agriculture to the next generation. Yes, Young Living is a business, but the inspiration for doTerra mainly appears to be making network marketing and the essential oil industry is the commodity for now.

Ameo is another essential oil company that provides food-grade supplements as of Fall 2014. Ameo is a distributor of essential oils but does not grow their own plants or own farmland. Their strength, however, seems to be in putting a face and details into the science and testing of essential oils. While Young Living and doTerra speak of third party testing, the public does not hear much of who does the testing or where it is done, only that it is “Third Party Testing” as if an unknown entity. Ameo product introductions come after many months if not years of research into how to provide the highest quality essential oils backed up by strict research and data. Ameo essential oils are tested specifically for many things including heavy metals toxicity, something that can occur if essential oils are distilled in cheap equipment or materials that might contaminate oils with metals such as aluminum, nickel, copper or lead. Their cache of essential oil products includes single oils and blends as well as some essential oil infused supplements. I had the opportunity to speak with a distributor as well as their scientific product developer, Joshua Plant.  Mr. Plant has been the driving force behind the companies cutting edge technology to identify how essential oils are interacting with human cells. They have some interesting blends that may be worth researching, such as their AGX line that has been developed specifically for their synergistic abilities to improve cell function. Ameo seems to be raising the bar in research, technology and advancement in the essential oil industry, another agent of positive change for the field of aromatherapy holding the industry accountable to purity, potency, effectiveness and above all safety.

Is integrity important to you when you decide where to shop? How do you determine if a company is practicing with integrity? I invite you to leave your polite comments below. I also welcome any research and facts you have that will add value to this information.

After publishing this article, I had someone refer this article to me, another comparison of YL vs doTerra that would be worth reading.

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40 Responses to Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils: Essential Oil Company Comparison

  1. Joni August 1, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    Thank you for attempting to help consumers understand their choices for essential oils. So far I think you have done a very good job of presenting the facts. Sadly, the world of essential oils is like a soap opera sometimes. It’s unfortunate that there has to be so much bashing between companies, when truly most of us just want to help people so they can take care of their health naturally.

    There is room in the world for more than one essential oil company, and I would never be foolish enough to say that only one company has pure oils. What it boils down to is what’s right for each individual person. I think people should choose the oils that resonate the best with them, and the company that best represents the things that are important to them.

    You asked for details of those people who had used one brand for a while then switched to another. I would love to share my experience with you, and maybe help shed a little light on the subject. I am not trying to bash any company either, just stating my personal experiences.

    First off, I think it’s important to note a few things (for simplicity I am going to just use YL for Young Living and DT for doTERRA). I began hearing negative things about Gary Young and YL long before DT was even thought of, and the things I heard were not on the Internet and were not from people who worked for any essential oil company. Even so, once someone used YL oils on me, I signed up and ordered my own. At that point, I really didn’t know much about oils or what to do with them, I just liked how they made me feel.

    Then someone told me about a company called ForeverGreen. They distributed ForeverYoung essential oils. Dana Young, Gary’s brother, supplied them to FG and created the ForeverYoung blends. The first person that told me about ForeverGreen and Dana bashed Gary and YL. I wasn’t impressed with a company that would bash another to promote their products, but once again, I had an experience with one of their oils, it resonated better with me, and I switched to this company.

    I am a gut extinct kind of person, and something about ForeverGreen didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t that I though their oils were not good quality, I just felt that for me personally there was something better. I had someone use Butterfly Express oils on me, but they didn’t resonate with me, and they don’t advocate ingesting the oils. I was used to taking them internally, and that was something that was important to me.

    At about this time Dana Young left ForeverGreen, and FG brought on a new essential oil person, Alexandria Brighton. Alexandria is Gary Young’s ex wife. (She went by the name of Dixie when she was married to Gary.) Alexandria created TruEssence oils for FG. Dana Young started his own company called BeYoung. (I told you it was a soap opera)

    After that, I was actively seeking something better. I was speaking to a friend discussing what was going on with FG and she mentioned to me that all of her friends that were using YL were switching to a company called doTERRA. She did not know anything about it. So I started doing research on my own. The more I read the more I liked. I emailed the Vice President of Marketing and heard back from him right away. Again, I continued to learn more things about DT that really impressed me. So once again, I switched companies, but this time when I smelled the oils and used them, I was blown away at the quality. To me they smelled crisp and clean and pure. I have been using DT ever since. That was January of 2009, and I have not been disappointed once.

    I am impressed with DT marketing, with their fresh branding, and with the quality of the corporate team who have years and years of experience with top marketing companies. For me it was easy to share the oils with professionals because of the marketing and professionalism of the company. I also found the culture of DT to be unlike any other MLM company I have ever known.

    You asked about integrity, and if that was important when choosing where to shop. Integrity is of the utmost importance to me. Within just a few weeks of becoming involved with DT I had the opportunity to attend a leadership meeting with the owners and founders of DT. I met each of them personally and believe them to have the highest integrity. It is something that is very important to them as well.

    While I am sure that there have been DT consultants that have probably said negative things about YL, I can honestly say that DT Corporate has never bashed YL in any kind of public forum, or Internet site. They have never made disparaging videos accusing YL of anything, and they have never run tests on any of YL oils to prove that they are not pure. That is not what is important to them. Making sure DT’s oils are of the highest quality is. They are concerned about promoting DT, not bashing another company.

    That does not seem to be the case with YL. First YL set out to prove that our Frankincense was not good quality because of the absence of Boswellic Acids. YL published an Assay test that they requested to prove this fact. The name doTERRA was clearly stated on the paper. When DT talked about this test/paper at their convention, the name YoungLiving had been blotted out, and the name YoungLiving was never mentioned. The reason the paper was brought up at all was to point out that Boswellic Acids SHOULD NOT be found in steam distilled Frankincense. DT never advertised that there was Boswellic Acid in it’s Frankincense, it is in one of their supplements, but it is clearly noted that it comes from Frankincense extract, not the oil. Several experts in the essential oil field (all of whom have no connection with DT) have said that it is absolutely impossible to have Boswelic Acids in steam distilled Frankincense. The molecules cannot come over because they are too big. YL published the test to promote the quality of their Frankincense because of the high quality of Boswellic Acid found in their Boswellia Sacra and Boswellia Carteri Frankincense.

    Then in 2012, four years after DT was created, YL decided to sue DT. Interestingly enough this lawsuit was timed perfectly to coincide with their annual convention. YL claimed that DT stole formulas and used inside information to recruit YL consultants to DT among several other claims (side note: I find it very interesting that Gary and YL never sued Dana Young, ForeverGreen or BeYoung oils. I heard Dana publicly speak disparagingly of YL and Gary on many occasions. FG consultants recruited YL consultants specifically by bashing YL. Many of Dana’s blends are very similar to YL blends. In fact, most other essential oil companies have lists on their websites of what blends compare to YL blends, yet none of these other companies have been publicly attacked by YL, or sued by them. Why is that?) Gary also made a video about the lawsuit, and there was even a website specifically dedicated to the lawsuit and updates. That website has since been taken down, and I do not know what or if there has been a ruling made.

    Next Young Living decided to “prove” the impurity of DT’s Peppermint oil. Because DT Peppermint smells so sweet (I have heard some compare it to a sweet chocolate smell) YL and others believe that it is not a pure peppermint. A website was put up to publish the tests that were supposedly run on DT’s peppermint. It was entitled CertifiedSynthetic, but it has since been taken down as well. This website did not say YoungLiving’s name on it any where, but whoever put it up went to great lengths to disguise who they were, however Gary Young posted the link to this website on his personal FB page. The tests showed that DT’s peppermint had Ethyl Vanillin in it, and therefore was not pure. It listed the lot number of the peppermint.
    The PHD Chemist who tests DT oils immediately disputed that it could even be DT peppermint as the menthol content of the peppermint that was tested was far below what DT’s peppermint normally tests at. He ran a test on the same lot number, and the two peppermints didn’t even compare. The website also published tests results on DT’s Lavender and Birch stating that they weren’t pure either. Once again, I find it interesting that the timing of this website coincided again with YL annual convention.

    DT has only (to my knowledge) publicly responded to YL three times. In 2010, in response to continued disparagement, David Stirling decided to speak out and tell his side of the story. You can read it here:

    In response to the lawsuit filed by YL, there was a letter sent to DT consultants very quietly (no video, no website) acknowledging the lawsuit and assuring them that it would not affect the business of DT at all, which it hasn’t. DT currently averages around 25,000 new consultant’s every month.

    After the very blatant disparaging Certified Synthetic website went up, DT was left with no choice but to file a lawsuit against YL. You can see it in its entirety here:

    In response YL filed another lawsuit.

    Interesting to note, the DT lawsuit is only listed in their business tools section, which the public most likely would never see unless they already knew about it and were searching for it. YL boldly posted information about their lawsuit on their main website.

    One last point and an interesting story. YL reps are constantly complaining that DT reps are bashing YL and trying to recruit their distributors. Shortly after I became involved with DT I met a new DT consultant from Australia who had not been introduced to DT by a DT consultant. I asked her how she had heard about DT and she replied that she had gotten an email from YL instructing her to pay no attention to any information that she might hear about DT, and not to get involved with DT. (I have no idea if this email came from corporate, or her upline). This of course piqued her interest, and also kind of made her mad. She had the opinion that no one was going to tell her what she could or couldn’t look into, and so she started learning about DT. The more she learned the more she liked what she saw, she joined DT and was one of Australia’s first consultants and became one of their top leaders.

    I am by no means an essential oil expert, and I don’t claim to know everything regarding the whole DT vs YL dispute, but for me personally doTERRA is the best fit, and I am happy with my choice. The bottom line is there will be many DT and YL consultants who are fiercely loyal to their respective companies, and that’s probably a good thing. There are also many people who use both brands, and there are some people who use oils from many different companies. Isn’t that the beauty of free enterprise? Everyone gets to research and try oils and decide for themselves what works best for them, and which company’s values and culture they most relate to. It’s too bad that everyone can’t just “play nice” and promote the good qualities of their own companies without having to bash the competitor.

    I apologize for the length of this comment. You may already be aware of many of the facts that I stated; I hope my thoughts were helpful. Thank you for this forum to voice my opinion on the matter. I look forward to the second part to this series.

  2. Susan P August 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Thanks for taking time to respond. I appreciate all the time and detail you put into your thoughts.

  3. Allie August 5, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    Thank you so much for the interesting review. I am trying out both Young Living and doTERRA. I have to say my family enjoys both companies oils. It has been very confusing for me to decide who to stick with but it has been amazing the feeling you get after you use the oils and makes me feel like I am doing a great thing for my family. God Bless.

  4. Susan P August 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    Thanks for the comment Allie, you are right that the bottom line is using quality oils is a huge benefit to our families. Glad you stopped by!

  5. Maraline September 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    The whole conversation is extraordinary. I purchase alexandria Brighton collection at – Alexandria formerly Dixie Young, sources and formulates entire line of over 150 singles and blends all organic and certified /tested upside down and backwards. Love them! Maraline

  6. Susan P September 12, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Yes, conversations in the essential oil industry are quite the buzz online lately. I see GoDesana carries a large line of blends and very specific species in their ingredients like mandarin-orange, mandarin-green, lavender-vera. This is helpful for consumers who can research those species to see the differences in uses. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Nicole October 12, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    Over the years I’ve slowly moved to holistic treatments and products (both health and beauty) instead of pharmaceutical and drugstore products. This year I signed up to be a distributor with both Young Living and doTERRA. I read so much about one being better than another I decided to do my own research instead of reading others opinions or being caught up in the controversy. I think that both brands make great products but I am leaning toward Young Living since I’ve had success with their oils in treating stress and healing minor skin infections. I’m still testing out both products and will probably just go with one brand. Thank you for your post!

  8. Susan P October 12, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Thanks for stopping by, Nicole! You are wise to do your own research and experience for yourself the quality of pure essential oils. They are such a great alternative to so many chemicals in our personal and home care and yes, an awesome way to manage stress. Cheers ~Sue

  9. Kelley W October 14, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Thank you for this post. I have tried YL in the past and loved it, but due to a few things I decided to start using a small company named Heritage Essential Oils, which we’ve been using for years.
    Recently I smelled a friend’s doTerra peppermint oil. It smelled AMAZING! After looking into it a bit, I decided to order a kit and try them out.
    I just got my oils on Saturday, I was so excited! Seriously, I’ve been dreaming about that peppermint oil and I couldn’t wait to smell it again!
    But I opened the bottle and it smelled TERRIBLE. All of a sudden I got a headache, nauseous, my lips started tingling and my face got flushed. All I did was put one drop on my hands and rub them on the back of my neck, like I’ve done with any other peppermint oil.
    My first thought was wow, this stuff must be WAY stronger than the others! But I just couldn’t get past the awful smell. I had my husband and daughter smell it and they both said it smelled bad.
    Then it dawned on me. I have a terrible reaction to chemicals these days. This was exactly the type of reaction I have to a dose of chemicals (perfume, etc.) Of course then after googling I read everything about the claims that they add ethyl vanillin. I’m not saying I believe it, but my reaction really concerned me.

    Any thoughts?
    I’m going to talk to the company today, so I haven’t even gotten that far yet, but I’m just wondering if you’ve heard of anyone having this kind of reaction?

  10. Susan P October 15, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Kelley. I know of many individuals who have had a host of reactions from inferior and diluted oils including headaches, rashes, nausea: many symptoms you’d experience from perfumes and synthetic fragrance. The issue may not get any clearer as companies may be packaging “food grade” oils as essential oils. Flavorings and extracts are not essential oils and would most likely cause unpleasant side effects when they are not used as intended. This highlights even more the need for standards in an industry where diluting pure oils with synthetics is the norm.

  11. Gretchen L October 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Thanks for the information! Kelly, I would love to hear what you have learned from calling DT about your reaction to the peppermint oil. The ethyl vanillin charge is dubious – and it’s doubtful that you would have a reaction to it – first because it’s everywhere in food, and second because of the extremely low concentration – and that’s in the worst case scenario of its even being there. Interestingly a friend of mine has a similar reaction to another company’s peppermint, and that’s one of the reasons she only uses DT – she wouldn’t name the other company so I have no idea – but I guess I come down on the side that EO’s are complex and a lot of things can cause a reaction. On the other hand – I personally can’t use any peppermint straight out of the bottle – it needs to be at leass than 10% dilution or my body freaks out. So who knows :)

  12. Brandi October 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Kelly, a batch that smells ‘off’ from another batch is most likely due to different weather conditions. The peppermint that you smelled that smelled great was in a different batch than the second bottle that smelled different. If a plant gets too much or too little rain, it can change the smell of the heavily fragrant plants such as Lavender and Peppermint.

    I also emailed dT about the ethyl vanillian and received a phone call directly from corporate telling me that it wasnt’ in the batch when it was tested so it has no reason to be there. They are now in contact with the french lab to discuss further testing of that same batch.

  13. Susan P October 23, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    Oh this is quite interesting, Kelly. I’m sure if DT says there is no ethyl vanillin in their peppermint oil then it is not. Smell is so subjective, but responses like itching, redness and nausea are not. Yes, oil chemistry will vary from season to season, but I have yet to experience such a dramatic difference in aroma from one batch to another. If an oil is still considered in the “Therapeutic” range, the differences can be so subtle they can only be measured with mass spectrometry or gas chromatography. That would be impressive for an individual to discern such subtle chemistry changes with their nose! Improper distilling on the other hand could cause a more noticeable change in chemical structure and aroma if plant materials are distilled at too high a temperature or for too short or long. Too short a distillation time does not draw out the therapuetic components and can also affect smell. Some distillers will also distill plant material twice bringing out a first distill for the best quality and a second distillation to stretch plant material that has the smell but not the therapeutic chemical structure.

    On a fun note, I had a chef (specializing in healthy cooking with whole foods, wine and essential oils) smell two peppermint oils, one was DT and the other from another brand. Without any comments on my part other than asking for her professional discernment on the aroma, the first comment she made about DT peppermint was she smelled “vanilla” (she had never heard of DT or any of the ethyl vanillin controversy, nor did I give any indication of what I “thought”).

    If any DT reps would like to do a “smell” test, send me your address and I’d love to send you a sample of another company’s peppermint oil to compare. This is the best way to really train your nose in aromatherapy, cross over some brands.

  14. mUmoF4 January 14, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Kelley W, I’m with you! I began using heritage 3 weeks ago.i was jut introduced to YL about two months ago. My reason for partially leaving YL was not because of the purity but i just couldn’t afford to pay so much for the oils. I knew for a fact that part of my money i was spending on YL oils was going to marketing and packaging.I’d rather not have it appear at my door in a pretty package but pay a decent amount. essential oils have been around for thousands of years and it makes me sick to see people literally FIGHT FOR YL. its crazy how young living can consume a human being to a point that people are losing friendships over this. I LOVE HERITAGE. I DONT HAVE TO HAVE A MONTHLY AUTO SHIP OR BE PUSHED TO SELL THEIR PRODUCTS.Also, the reason YL is doing so good is not because of their purity but because PEOPLE GET INCENTIVES. WHO WOULDN”T WANT THAT?

  15. Elizabeth February 22, 2014 at 3:41 am #

    Oh my goodness I am so confused what to use. I am a mama to seven children. I was interested in EO years ago for the fun of it – smelling yummy fragrances in small health/new age stores. Have some various oils/even got the essential oil bible. Never delved deeply. Just threw lavender in the tub hoping it would chill be out after an exhausting day. Then six months ago my daughter became sick. I was told by two different drs. she had mono – though they refused to test her. That she’d get better – nope. She is the same. Took her to another doc and insisted on mono blood test – high positive. They were surprised its still this strong after all this time. She turned 16 and couldnt even have a party as she is so exhausted, glands huge, throat awful. Spleen is fine though. I was researching mono, cfs, fibromyalgia and came across EO’s. Light bulb. Hey lets look into it – through HRS and HRS of reading on the web about oils discovered YL and Doterra. Figured I start with YL Thieves as read alot of testimonials on other sites/not theirs/even on helping mono. Well just started with it a few weeks ago and since everyone was sick with colds thought I’d dilute some with almond oil and rub on our necks and feet at bedtime. I am waiting on a diffuser to diffuse it in my daughters room. She sprays it – greatly diluted with water – like 3 drops to 3 oz of water – in her throat. It helps the pain for five to ten minutes. I haven’t gotten sick on the upside and my little children kicked the cold pretty quick. She however has been too tired to put it on her feet, etc. I have now started research on Doterra. My concern as a mother is safe high quality EO as their isn’t any fda regulations on EO, but at the same time fda approved treatments such as antibiotics don’t work for the virus mono. I am replying simply to say some of us just want the truth without the controversy. I read one blog where a woman researched all the big companies and ended up not going with either YL or Doterra. I will say all the hype those two put out about impurities adulteration etc. made me scared to even consider this other one. Yet the prices are high. I don’t mind if it works. I ordered the premiere kit for YL and am looking to buy the same Doterra to compare. I am tired of the hundreds of dollars spent on antibiotics that don’t work, anti-depressants for myself and pain med for chronic pain of acute fibromyalgia. Average $300 per month on just my two medications. Is it okay to really believe that there are actuallyxx small companies out there that are pure and just as good as the two above but more affordable? I’ll pay the price regardless, I just want the truth – is it all just advertising and scare tactics. Also on a humorous note, I find the “fighting” between the companies akin to being in a home with seven children ages 3-18. You’d be amazed at the stories and atrocities I hear when one is rattin out the other! I really don’t care about the fight – just the truth for those of us who NEED God-given natural help for our families. Sorry for the length – instead of sleeping I’ve been doing 4 more hrs of reading about this – still confused and its 3:40 am…..

  16. Susan P March 1, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    Thanks for taking time to post Elizabeth. As moms we only want the safest and best for our kids. Unfortunately marketers are trying to put doubt in our minds about what we already know. My kids are 5-17 and I have followed a similar path as you. Leave it said that I am at peace using oils from a company who has full quality control, caring for plants from seed to finished seal. They are investing in the earth and offering their best. Anyone who has to try so hard to “convince” you to change or use scare tactics does not have confidence in their products. Best of luck to you!

  17. Sandy R April 20, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    The confusion is so overwhelming. Over a year ago i was introduced to both DT and YL so in doubt I PRAYED TO MY GOD and asked which was the best for ME, MY FAMILY and MY CLIENTS. I received an answer of BOTH!
    I have only used DT to this point and after a raindrop session i tested (by muscle response) a few oils in comparison and YL was the best for me at that moment.
    So for NOW i will begin using some YL and test what EVERY INDIVIDUAL needs not what is best for my pocket book or a clients but what is BEST for the body, mind and spirit of EVERY individual that God allows me to touch.
    These days it is CHOICE that guides us to OUR TRUTHS not the opinions of another.
    Take it to The Lord he will Guide you to the truth you need for the moment in time.
    The future is ever changing, don’t let your choice be guided by anything other than what The Lord knows to be the best for YOU.
    In GOD we TRUST!
    AMEN and again i say AMEN

  18. Susan P May 7, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your heart Sandy and taking time to comment. It’s great to know there are professionals taking time to compare on a personal level. It’s easy to put trust in “third party” testing when consistent results from regular use speak volumes.

  19. Sharon O May 27, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    As a mother and health care professional, what is important to me is purity. Young Living is the brand I choose because they control the process from planting the seed to harvesting ans distilling the oils. I do not like outsourcing.It has nothing to do with drama; for me they can prove purity and stand behind their product. For instance, Valor was out of stock because there was no Idaho Blue Spruce. Instead of finding come IBS elsewhere, they waited until the oils were ready. Quality and integrity played out right there.

  20. Bethany May 31, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    Interesting, all of the things you called out doTERRA on can be found online! They source their oils from all over the world and are helping communities financially by sourcing from them. They don’t build farms or nursey’s in Amercia and grow plants for oils here they go to where they grow naturally and give those communities a boost to their economy. They belped a village in Haiti build clean wells when they discovered they were hauling buckets from miles away. (where they source vetiver). They have a chairy Helping Hands that goes all over and helps build medical clinics and teaches them about essential oils. I have never once heard anyone at corporate say a bad word about YL. In fact we are encouraged to not bash but support each other, we are on the same side, sharing oils with the world.
    I have persoanlly been attacked by YL reps that I don’t even know on my Face book site, and when I meet them in person. I am kind and gracious becasue I beleive there are so many people who need oils we should encourage and not fight. This is the message we get from our founders. The lawsuit was a last straw for doTerra after many ignored attacks by YL. Dr. Pappas even released a statement on the quality of our peppermint oil and the false test that YL released. You should do more research before you write this. It was obvious you are in favor of YL, which is great if that’s what works for you, but you don’t need to take others down.

  21. Susan P June 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi Bethany, thanks for taking time to comment. This article is not intended in any way to “bash” doTerra :). They obviously get their oils somewhere, and the aggressive network marketing campaign means that supply has to be obtained somewhere. It’s great that they are giving back around the world as any company should rather than stripping impoverished villages of their resources and selling overpriced goods in order to support greed in the marketplace. I continue to research products and you might benefit from some testing yourself. All you need to do is get a couple bottles of peppermint essential oil from different manufacturers, including a bottle of peppermint extract and you’ll be surprised at what you learn when you put your nose in the test! Cheers~

  22. Anna July 31, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    I am just getting into researching both doTerra and Young Living. Not sure which route I’m going to go yet. I have friends who sell doTerra so I feel obligated to them. I became interested in EO after attending a class by a do Terra consultant a few months ago. My experience was that there was definitely some Young Living bashing coming from her. To say only one side is doing it is just ridiculous. Both have reps guilty of it. Right now I am leaning towards Young Living because I find the whole start up of doTerra shady and leaves a sour taste in my mouth. YL also seems to have more actual back up proof for their product. I also think doTerra is guilty of lying (by omission) in regards to their frankensence and that doctor’s study of frankensence and it’s usefulness in treating cancer. I also don’t care for that ridiculous label they have copyrighted on their bottles that THEY made. It is misleading and I don’t understand the intention of it other than to sway those who aren’t informed. Those two things combined do not spell integrity to me but rather purposefully misleading in an attempt to sell a product.

    As for the first comment above In regards to doTerra keeping things “quiet” in regards to suing,etc- of course they are! It’s embarrassing for them because they walked a fine line in ethics. They don’t want to publicize this, it’s bad for business! I don’t blame YL for being more vocal in regards to their suing- they were taken advantage of and I feel we’re stolen from. Anyone in their position would feel wronged. To deny the shadiness of the whole thing is being ignorant. Anyway, just my two cents. :)

  23. Esther Shemtov September 14, 2014 at 3:47 am #

    Actually both products tested with dangerous levels of toxins. Both are pyramid companies.
    Just contact Kelly Vivace on Facebook she will tell you all about it. I researched and found the testing listed on her page and several other independent and non pyramid aromatherapy oil companies. YL and DT have a lot of problems on their hands and a ton of GMO including dangerous toxins in their products that they do keep hidden. I personally ditched these companies for kosher and Truly Organic Essential oils that rebuild our Temple (bodies) and not build a pyramid. Do your own research these companies are only interested in your money not healing and that is truly sad.

    Good day ;-)

  24. T.J. Soto October 6, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

    Susan, I am very impressed with the research and info you have put together here about these 2 companies. You can tell you did your homework and that is very much appreciated. I don’t know if you will read this but I hope you do and will respond to me in regards to my comment. What I have taken away from this article is that both companies sounds like they are of the purest form, but no one can really prove it and show that their company is better or of a higher quality oil than the other. I have been with a company in the nutritional industry now for several years and one of the top 100 independent distributors with this company. We just recently launched our essential oil line of products and it was the largest launch of essential oils in the industries history. I am very intrigued with these essential oils and what I am learning about how they work. With your expertise and knowledge, I would love to get your opinion on our line of oils and how they match up to Doterra and Young Livings oils. Would this be a possibility? If so please shoot me a email and I would love to get your take on this. Thanks so much and I appreciate your time.

  25. Jeff D December 11, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    Susan P,

    Your opening to the entire story is how “I want to be as objective as possible” but your behavior is classic passive-aggressive in nature. You wave an olive branch in one hand and a sword in another. You are not qualified to make any claims about any companies. Both YL and DT have had issues with oils.

    I wish people like yourself in the marketplace under the guise of helping people would just share what you use and how it benefits you. Stop tearing down others to promote yourself or even your choice of products.

    I encourage you to stop posting such hogwash from an uneducated stance other that pure conjecture and opinion packaged in a sweet pill and labeled as fact.


  26. Jeff D December 11, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    Btw. I said Blessings and it auto corrected to bleeding. Oops.

  27. Kristina December 18, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    So in all of this I still didn’t see an answer as to why DT peppermint smells so overwhelmingly sweet, if it doesn’t contain the ethyl vanillin. Does anyone know?

  28. Susan P December 21, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    I have not seen the documents indicating that DT peppermint does not contain ethyl vanillin. The synthetic oil industry (which includes food flavorings) has over 3,000 registered chemicals, so it depends on what the testing was looking for in DT peppermint.

    There are also different species of plants that contain natural vanilla aromas like Onycha (contains Vanilla Aldehyde) which may have been added to the DT peppermint oil to give it the vanilla aroma.

    According to the Modern Essentials mentha piperita oil profile, the DT peppermint has several ingredients that I could not find in chemical profiles of other Mentha Piperita’s (could give DT an aroma different from other peppermint oils): JR Buckle Clinical Aromatherapy, Stewart’s Chemistry of Essential Oils and Essential Science EDR. See last paragraph of this article for details. Good question….any DT execs have insight into this distinct aroma? Growing conditions? Location?

  29. Margaret M January 23, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    I would love to hear anyones comments on Be Young Total Healths oils. On their purity and if they are cut with any chemicals. I realize the company is ran by Dana Young, Gary brother and there was a falling out there. But are they pure oils or is EOBBD just another hype.

  30. Rebecca January 31, 2015 at 7:31 pm #

    I have been very successfully using YLEO for 5 years. I was told about YL from a coworker who used to be a distributor but wasnt anymore. I researched various companies and concluded from the information I found that I felt most comfortable with the quality standards set by YL.
    I signed up as distributor but only to get the discount. I didn’t want to be a sales person and push people to buy my product. I respect people’s right to decide for themselves what they want. After using these oils for 5 years, I highly recommend them to my family, friends, and clients. I have tried using various oils over the years, some that people have recommended to me, others that people have given me, including some local-made oils.. (the quality and efficacy just isn’t in these oils).
    I also got a set of samples from a DT rep.. I love peppermint EO and was excited to try this – I was very disappointed. I got an instant headache from the peppermint and I also found it quite odd that it smelled so strongly of vanilla. The smell sickened me. I am quite sensitive to synthetic ingredients (gets worse as I have gotten older. I find myself very sensitive to many food additives as well.) It just didn’t seem pure to me. The lavender didn’t feel quite right either. I was not comfortable trying to ingest these oils. I trust my gut instinct as I have learned thru the years (many times the hard way) that my gut instinct is usually correct. I looked into the DT company and I feel that the company start-up is questionable. It also seems that they are more concerned with making money than with marketing a good quality product. I am not a fan of MLM but I have not found a great quality company with highly effective oils to take the place of YL. I have already spent quite a bit of $$ on oils that do not hold up to my standards of quality and efficacy. I like the information that is supplied by YL regarding their oils and uses. I trust this company and its oils. I used them successfully when my daughter had high fevers up to and past 106.9 (scary. it was these high fevers that got me to switch from using tylenol/ibuprofen. within 20 minutes of topical appication of peppermint & lavendar, as a 1.5 yr old, her fever would be down 1-2 points. another application and it would be down even more.)

    I trust these (YL) oils. It is hard to want to put that trust somewhere else that for me, has not been proven. I feel that deceptive business and marketing practices overflow into production. Also, the energy that we have while producing/marketing products get infused into the product- YL only allows happy people to put energy into harvesting/producing their oils. I hear that the best Asian restaurants do this too – if anyone enters the kitchen with anger in their hearts, all the food is tossed and started over. Look into the studies/pictures of water crystals by Dr. Masaru Emoto for more info on how our energies affect water and therefore most living things.

  31. Carol H. February 11, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    Can anyone tell me which one of these companies is Christian and which one is Morman?

  32. Susan P February 14, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    Thanks Rebecca. It is important to use quality products you can rely on especially for pregnant women and children, unfortunately with the essential oil industry having no regulations, a manufacturer can add fillers that could be just as harmful if not more than over the counter drugs and a manufacture doesn’t have to disclose this to consumers. It’s helpful to be with a company that has stood the test of time. Additives or fillers may damage the liver and kidneys over time, a result that will only show up after long term use. I’m not going to risk that with my family!

  33. Tiffany B. February 19, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

    I have oils from a few different companies, including peppermint from three different companies right now. They all smell different even though they are supposed to be pure peppermint EO. DT does have a sweeter smell than the other two but also a much stronger smell, YL has a more bitter (?) smell, and Heritage has more of an earthy smell to it. I don’t know why there is a difference, but there is. It seems like I’d probably find yet another variation if I got a different brand to try. My best guess is that it’s related to growing conditions, plant age, etc., not that they are being aldulterated by other ingredients.

  34. Susan P February 20, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    Thanks for stopping by, Tiffany. Yes, you are right that oil aromas may vary slightly from growing conditions, but like wine,(a Pinot Noir does not smell like a Cabernet) over time one can train the nose to notice subtleties to detect synthetics in an oil. While as consumers we’d like to believe oils are not adultered and we can trust our sources, the history of the essential oil industry is they have added fillers for over 150 years since synthetics were first developed. If doTerra’s peppermint EO continues to smell “sweeter” than other brands side by side, I would ask if the plants that produce this peppermint oil are Genetically Tested to be the Proper Species and not a hybrid of some sort (Mentha x piperita “chocolate” or another of many species of Peppermint Plant rather than a true Mentha piperita: There is also a process called “dementholation” where the menthol content is lowered or removed from an oil which could also produce a “sweeter oil”. I would be interested in seeing if doTerra’s “sweet” peppermint consistently stands out from other peppermint oils over time and would ask why their oil stands out from others?

  35. Leslie February 27, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

    Regarding the Peppermint debate, the independent study indicated NEITHER DoTerra nor Young Living were in compliance of the active components in Pepperment Essential Oil. Considering the connection the people at this website have to Aromatics International, I’m not sure I completely trust the results of the study. That company and the school they are connect with, Aromahead Institute, seem to have fairly poor opinions of both Young Living and DoTerra. That being said, I do intend to take the free class and possibly some of the paid classes through Aromahead and try some of the products from Aromatics International as well.

    I’ve also read about another explanation as to why DoTerra’s Peppermint EO smells like it does. It is more processed than its less candy-like smelling contemporaries. This one made more sense to me:

    Personally, I’m utilizing both companies to obtain the oils I use. I like DoTerra’s commitment to supporting fair trade and local farmers. I utilize them as my mainstay for oils. I also like that they source their plants in places they are indigenous to. I like Young Living’s large selection of oils, roller ball bottle toppers and the availability of Rose, Jasmine, Sacred Frankincense, Neroli and other oils unavailable through DoTerra.
    I got into EOs for their health benefits, fragrance and the enjoyment of making my own cosmetic products. I am not interested as much in the business aspect (not at this time anyway), so staying loyal to one brand or the other when neither one offers me everything I want makes no sense. I shall continue to utilize both brands and any other source for essential oils that interest me as well and doubt that will change anytime in the near future.
    I really enjoyed your article and I am glad to see I am not alone in my refusal to take sides in the ridiculous amount of mud-slinging going on. I do prefer DoTerra’s peaceful approach to the whole situation and that is part of why I chose them as my mainstay. It shows a level of integrity, in my eyes, and that is something that is often sorely lacking in business these days. I support it whenever I find it.

  36. Susan P March 1, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Thanks for leaving the comment and links Leslie. It’d be great to see some updated test results that are more recent than 2013 to see how companies have responded to that data. Any readers have information on this? Cheers!

  37. Tammy March 9, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

    Are there any reviews or can you provide any information on goDesana (Green Organics International) essential oils?

  38. Susan P March 10, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    I have not heard of this company, but in reading their website, it looks like they have some excellent certifications for their oils including USDA organic, NSF dietary supplement certifications and GMP good manufacturing practices certification. These look like some good certifications, and I have wondered about the essential oil industry and child labor practices. The GMP could provide confidence a company is not engaging or indirectly supporting child labor.

  39. Maria June 13, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    I trust Dr Robert Pappas the wolds leading EO chemist who is not affiliated with any particular company. If he says that the peppermint oil that was tested wasn’t doterra’s then I believe him. And all you need to do to find out his testimony is to do a simple Google search.
    DoTerra Is completely transparent with their testing. They do 5 times. First and second gc/ms and then during distilling again to make sure the none of the constituents have been lost, again at bottling and they compare to their database of past oils and then they do a human element test.
    Your article is biased (but it is also a couple years old at the time) you can even tell by the different phont you use. You can find any of your questions answered on line and the headquarters if you call go above and beyond to answer in full detail and disclosure
    I personally love using doTerra the most. I have tried many other but I feel the most benefit from Doterras, so I use them the most.
    They are completely 100% non-GMO (which they were before) but this year there products can be stated as such. And if there are any sort of pesticide or other foreign particles found during testing then they don’t buy the oil. This at times have caused shortages Bc they never lose their intrigty with their products. If they can’t source it sustainable and high thearputically then they choose not to sell it. This is why I trust doterra

  40. Tana Jensen July 28, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

    I’m trying to find some comparison notes between Young Living and goDesana. Can someone help me out here. Which company would they recommend? Thanks.

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