Frequently Asked Questions

What is an essential oil?

Essential oils are the volatile, aromatic oils obtained by steam or hydrodistillation of botanicals.

Taken from an email:  "I have been trying another brand of essential oils and they are very expensive. From what I read that the better oils are similar in price. I am not trying to be negative but am curious to why your Copaiba essential oil is sooooo much cheaper than the other company? Thanks for your comments."

Thank you for your inquiry.  We actually receive such emails often.  Our explanation is quite simply that we are not a MLM company.  We are a small business, doing our own in-house bottling and labeling.   We hire a chemist for testing purposes of each oil for grade and purity, making sure the essential oil is excellent in quality and never with pesticides or any other foreign substance.  But from there, we simply do not have the overhead that the large companies have and we don't have all the middle men to pay.  As such, we are able to keep our costs lower and can offer, you, our customers a better value.

Taken from an email: "I'm wondering if you or your distiller test for purity? and if so, what test do you use?"

TOS actually has a chemist do all the testing for us. We figure the essential oil distiller could tell mus anything he wants, and have seen this be the case.  So we learn to do our own testing for purity and quality, that way, we know which distillers we can trust and which ones we can't.  
The test we most commonly use is the GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy).  We check for purity - not cut with any synthetics or other oils.  We test for pesticides - making sure every oil, irregardless if organic or not, is pesticide free.  Each oil is graded according to the GC/MS analysis for depth of quality.  We do not accept any oils except for the truly therapeutic grade, 100% pure.

Taken from an email:  "Are your EOs food grade for ingestion?"

All of our essential oils are therapeutic quality, 100% pure and certified pesticide free.  That said, across the board in the aromatherapy industry, some essential oils are classified as GRAS and some are not.  GRAS stands for Generally Regarded as Safe for ingesting. has an excellent chart with many of the most common essential oils used and their usage guidelines for safety.

Please consult this guide to see if the essential oil that you are wanting to ingest is listed as GRAS.  If it is, you can be sure that our essential oil will be GRAS.   

Taken from an email:  "My bottle doesn't look full?"

All of our oils are measured by weight as they go into the bottles/containers.  So if you ordered a pound, it is 1 pound by weight, not volume.  If it was by volume, we would list it on our website as fluid ounces. 
Some of the oils weigh more than others. Their specific gravity (density) can be higher than others.  Visualization: a cup of feathers weighs less than a cup of lead. Some essential oils are heavier and thicker than others that are thin and light. So some bottles/containers will be fuller than others.  Wintergreen, Clove, Birch, Cinnamon, Benzoin, Very Vanilla - these are all examples of heavy oils.

What is the typical order turnaround time from The Oil Shop?

We used to be able to say, 99% of orders placed on our website by 12 noon, Eastern Standard Time, Monday-Friday, are shipped out the very next day! This is what we still strive for. Now, however, due to worldwide shortages and sometimes weather impeding progress, we do have various times of delay.  You will receive a shipping notification email once your package has shipped.

What shipping methods do you use?

TOS ships via UPS only. No USPS or FED EX.


We cannot accept returns or give credits on orders.  There are too many possibilities of contamination once out of shipping boxes.


Any claims concerning lost or damaged shipments must be submitted to us by e-mail within 30 days of ship date in order for us to consider your claim. All packages are insured for the full value, so if it is lost or damaged by UPS then it will be covered, but in some cases we may have to wait until UPS reimburses us before we resend your order. It could take up to a week for UPS to honor a claim. Fortunately The Oil Shop has a very small damaged package rate because we use the most durable containers in the industry and we pack everything we ship with extraordinary care and diligence. We pride ourselves on the lowest damage and shipping mistake rates of any e-commerce business on the internet.

International Sales

The Oil Shop refers all international orders to our older website at 

Can I get a sample?

Yes!  In most cases we send samples with any order but we do not just send out samples by themselves. You are free to ask for samples of our products by putting your request in the NOTES section of your order.  In most cases sample requests are honored without changes, however we cannot guarantee that all requests will be honored. Sampling will be done purely at our discretion in terms of the number and types of samples we will allow. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis depending on the cost of the oil, size of the order and customer history.  In some cases, for the really expensive oils there will be a fee for our standard 1 gram sample vials.  The fee can be calculated by multiplying the factor of 0.07 times the published 1 oz price. For the samples which do have a fee associated with them you will not see the charge on the receipt generated from the site but you will get a second invoice with the correct total in your email.

What is the conversion from pounds to kilograms?

One kilogram (kg) equals 2.2046 pounds (lbs). Because The Oil Shop deals internationally, we both buy and sell bulk quantities in the conventional international unit of the kilogram. Pound sizes are made available for the benefit of our US customers who are used to dealing with the English system but we highly recommend that you commit the conversion factor to memory because you will get better deals when buying in the kilogram sizes and it will be useful for you to know the conversion when comparing our prices to other US competitors who only sell in various pound sizes.

How do you open these crazy bottles?

The Oil Shop uses metal containers for sizes 1 lb and above because they provide the best durability and reliability in transit so our customers don’t have to deal with breakages at the hands of UPS. Please see the step by step instructions on how to open the 1 lb, 1kg and 5 kg bottles. These bottles use an industry standard crimp-top pour out spout closure that is very common to the essential oil and fragrance industry. The reason you have not seen this type of closure before is because you most likely have never dealt with a bulk importer or large wholesaler of liquid aromatic products before. These closures have been used for decades on 15 kg and larger steel pails but we have adapted them to the smaller 1 and 5 kg bottles because they provide best vacuum seal to protect the oil and give better pourability than the stand plug-style aluminum bottles.

Do you offer any discounts?

We do not offer a distributor discount and practitioner discount at this time.  With current shortages, we have had to  suspend this option.  In the future, if reinstated, to qualify for distributor's discount, please send you business name, address, phone, state vendor license number, a brief description of your business and the mission statement of your business.  Once qualified, you will be given a code to enter each time you order that enables the distributor discount of 15%.  We look for companies that will be reselling our products as a benefit for others.  We would love to have you on board.  For the 15% practitioners discount, please ask for an application. You will be contacted once your practitioner application has been approved.

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