Dear Expert Essential Oil Distributor

Dear Expert Essential Oil Distributor

How old you were when I started this business

Dear Expert Essential Oil Distributor 

Thank you for visiting my store today.  It was very enlightening. So much so, that I want to share it with everyone.  You announced that you were an expert authority on essential oils and a distributor for a company for, oh, about two years. That you had only used their oils and didn’t want to explore any other essential oils because they were the best.

I’m happy that you found such a company and can be so entrenched in brand loyalty.  You asked if I was “new” to the business of essential oils because you could “help” me with my business because you are an expert;  to which I gave you a brief sampling of my nearly 30 years in the business ranging from developing and teaching standard aromatherapy courses, chemistry, aesthetics, anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical aspects of essential oil use as early as 1990, traveling to many places around the world to participate in distillation, consulting for and writing research papers for companies, and developing products with essential oils – as a full-time career I might add.  I could tell by your reaction that it seemed to wash over your head like a tidal wave, but, that’s ok; it’s a lot to take in all at once. I should have fed it to you in small pieces.

In my clever questioning, I discovered that you have ZERO experience or education in any science, chemistry, medicine, anatomy, physiology, and clinical work and you have not been anywhere to see essential oil production or sampled other sources.  Also, your daytime occupation has nothing to do with essential oils, so, your few years experience is at most, part-time.  Still, that’s great. Everyone should have a hobby.

You commented that my oils were way too “cheap”.  You say cheap, I say fair market value for a commodity.  When I used the word commodity, you asked what that meant. Therefore, by admission, you had no idea what I was talking about.  Ah, yes, a sliver of economic understanding of essential oil crops is always helpful with determining price and whether you may be paying too much or too little.  Once again, the blank stare seemed to speak volumes.

A world map with question marks scattered around on top of it.

Impossible worldwide ownership


You then stated that your company owned ALLLL of the farms which produced your essential oils so that is why they were more expensive.  Well, first of all, shouldn’t they be cheaper since there is no middleman? Also, I’m not sure you could own all of the land required to grow enough crops for the 100 + oils your company stocks plus the sheer volume of oil that is required to be produced to support your world wide sales.  You would have to span ownership in about 35 countries, some of which you couldn’t possibly own land because of geopolitical issues, not to mention that you would now have to own more land than CN, the Catholic church and Queen of England combined to pull off this feat, but never mind, once again, don’t let logic and facts get in the way.

You proceeded to grab one of my lavender essential oil samples and boldly compared it to the sample you had in your handy dandy carry case.  With just a brief whiff from the bottle, you, proudly, declared that your oil was superior based on just smell alone. Just like that. No further discussion.


A field of lavender

‘Look Mom, no chemicals.”  

I explained to you that there are many species and chemo-types of lavender and they all smell different because of diverse chemical constituents attributed to different regions and climate and growing conditions. Therefore, this is not a reliable or ethical way to judge oils from another company.  I, also, pointed out that you did not look at the bottle of my lavender to verify any of this info. I, currently, have three different types in stock, by the way.  That’s when you raised your voice and, proudly, proclaimed ”that’s why your oils are so cheap.  They are full of chemicals.  My lavender has no chemicals in it.”  I was flabbergasted, and, for a brief nanosecond, thought, maybe, could I be wrong? Then, that thought passed and all my experience and education kicked in again.  Pheww!  I explained that all essential oils are chemical constituents obtained from plants and that, in the case of lavender, the two principal chemicals are linalool and linyl acetate plus different chemicals based on where the crop was grown, climate and some distillation practices.  You put up your hand in a “talk to the hand “manner and said, “you are wrong”.

Talk to the hand


Well, I will give you full marks for bold faced ignorance.  I, then, pointed out that smelling an oil directly from a bottle is not reliable since trace amounts of oil around the rim exposed to the air can oxidize leaving a less desirable aroma.  It is, always, prudent to pour a drop out of the bottle on to a stick or tissue to experience the true bouquet and aroma. You once again enlightened me with another pearl of wisdom…. that your oils don’t oxidize and that is why they are better.  Wow, I mean wow, could I have been teaching essential oil basics the wrong way all this time? On the first day of training I impress upon students to not smell from the bottle and that oils do oxidize regardless of quality or source.  Some faster than others.  It’s a basic fact of chemistry.  I could have seriously begun to doubt myself here, but I got over it and pressed on with this engaging conversation….

I could tell that we were approaching an impasse, what with all the factual, logical chemistry information bumping headlong into wildly baseless statements of nonsense, empty stares and hand palms.


The perfect Essential Oil tote

As a parting volley, you slung that handy dandy case of essential oil bottles over your shoulder to reveal that they were, proudly, displayed in a clear plastic case.  I’m sure it is so you could advertise to all that had the privilege of walking behind you that you are an expert distributor.  Probably instructed to do this on the first page of your promotional training.  By the way, I don’t teach any marketing, just safe effective uses for oils. I, gleefully, pointed out that those precious essential oils should not be exposed to sunlight which could happen whilst peddling your wares down the street as in addition to oxygen, further degradation can occur. With a head snap back, you replied…. Our oils are so pure, they don’t go bad.  Oh no, now I will have to go back to all of my chemistry compendiums written by real chemists, scientists, and other long time researchers with many initials after their names who have devoted their lives to essential oil research and tell them they are wrong.  I don’t know how I will break it to them….



Mystified in Midland

AKA Sandy Powell

P.S.  Thank you for all that you do to introduce essential oils to the masses.  For that I am grateful.  You see, not everyone is close minded to facts, logic, chemistry, etc.  Some people even have a background in some of these areas which helps with reprogramming. Finding several of these people has been remarkably easy as they are searching for more independent information and training.  They, also, want great quality essential oils at a cheaper fair market price.  Business has never been better!


Comments ( 8 )

  • Kathy

    Wow….just wow…. that really happened?

    • Sandy

      Yes unfortunately. We have had a great retail experience with one exception of this type of person frequenting our store with variations on this theme. When this person came in and unloaded everything at once, well I had enough….

  • Gertrude King

    What a lovely rant! I particularly enjoyed the lavender discussion because you know how much I like your Alpine Lavender, versus the French lavender most people go for. Yes, there is a difference. As for costs, I used to do small group intro sessions about essential oil basics. I explained to people that you can actually see the essential oil in orange peel and it’s cost reflects its accessibility. Whereas, I explained, it would take my pound weight in rose petals to produce a teaspoon of rose oil and it is priced accordingly. I’m suspicious of anyone who disputes that.

    • Sebastian the Editor

      Thank you Gertrude! We’re glad you enjoyed the rant
      – Sebastian the Editor

    • Sandy

      Hi Gertrude. Thanks as always for your witty but straightforward explanations in attempts to educate others.

  • Megan

    This is amazing!! I have been studying aromatherapy under some amazing aromatherapists to help grow my knowledge and help my business (not a direct sales, we organically grew it and I am always upfront that we are not “experts” but students and if we don’t know the correct answer we can get it from our mentors). It has always baffled my mind seeing how stubborn/blind these “experts” can be, it’s almost like they are brainwashed. I always say it’s like a bad game of telephone and they are just passing along what they were told by their upline and things get twisted and have no factual base by the time they get to the rep. Thank you for speaking out about this. Some of the “advise” these “experts” spread is down right scary.

  • Sandy

    HI Megan. Thank you for your great comments. Always happy to see people such as yourself seeking independent and credible essential oil info, research and safe uses. Keep up the good work and let us know if we can be of any help.

    • Megan

      Thanks Sandy 🙂

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