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How to Find the Best Essential Oil Suppliers (& Who to Avoid)

Curious about where you can find quality essential oils to get started on using natural fragrances in your soapmaking and bath and body products? I’ve got you covered! Here’s how to find the best essential oil suppliers.

Find essential oil suppliers for soapmakers

If you are looking for more information about using essential oils in soapmaking, I’ve written about my top ten essential oil recommendations to start with (+ blends using them), recommended usage rates and how to calculate the proper usage rate for your products, the safe handling and storage of essential oils, things you should know about using them in soapmaking, and a hit list of other industry leaders’ favorite essential oils to stock up on.

Want to dive deep and learn everything about using essential oils in soap and cosmetics in one place? Well, I wrote the book on that! Snag your copy of Smellgoods: How to Use & Blend Essential Oils in Handmade Soap & Skincare

When you are looking for where to buy essential oils, you probably want the best bang for your buck (who doesn’t?!) – especially if you have a business to run! One of the major struggles soapmakers encounter when first buying essential oils is not knowing what to look for.

Selecting the “Right” Essential Oils Before You Stock Up

First up, you want to make sure to compare apples to apples, and not apples to oranges! When selecting essential oils, you should know the botanical name of the essential oil and the country of origin.

Using a generic name like eucalyptus or lavender is not a strong enough identifier when selecting and using essential oils. All essential oils should carry their botanical name, which is the Latin name of the species of the plant from which the essential oil is extracted.

In the case of eucalyptus essential oil, there are numerous varieties and each one smells differently. The most common is Eucalyptus globulus essential oil which is highly camphorous but not overly so, and is most often the eucalyptus that comes to mind when referring to the oil by its common generic name. Other types of eucalyptus include Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus polybractea, Eucalyptus citriodora, Eucalyptus dives, and more. Some of them have more prominent citrus notes while others are more woodsy.

In some cases, the country of origin can also greatly affect the final fragrance of an essential oil. This is partly due to the climate and soil conditions that can affect the plant’s oil production. Other factors that can come into play are the cultivation practices, post-harvest handling, and altitude of the harvest and processing among other factors.

For this reason, I tend to purchase essential oils by first their botanical name, and then their country of origin. If possible, I consistently purchase the same specific species of essential oil from the same country from the same supplier.

It’s even better when you have a Certificate of Analysis or Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometry Report to go by!

Essential oils contain tons of individual naturally occurring chemicals, often referred to as constituents. Each individual component influences the aromatic quality and smell of each essential oil.

The best essential oil suppliers will often have a certificate of analysis (CoA) available. A CoA is a document that shows the results of testing an essential oil against a set of parameters. They often detail at least the dominant constituent of an essential oil, and are helpful for comparing essential oils for fragrance purposes.

Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) reports are even more detailed than CoA, usually, and are often referred to as fingerprints of a particular batch of essential oil. Here’s an example from Stillpoint Aromatics:

GC/MS Report of Clove Bud Essential Oil from Stillpoint Aromatics
GC/MS Report of Clove Bud Essential Oil from Stillpoint Aromatics

If a supplier gives access to CoA or GC/MS analysis, take advantage! Learn about the scent contributions of each constituent of an essential oil to identify what varieties and sources of an essential oil you prefer. You can also use CoA or GC/MS information to compare essential oils from crop to crop to find the most consistent scent profile before purchasing.

When creating the essential oil profiles in our essential oil usage rate calculator, each essential oil profile was created from a sample of actual GC/MS analyses performed on essential oils that have entered the marketplace, GC/MS analyses from scientific literature and studies, and reputable research sources, such as Tisserand’s Essential Oil Safety.

Evaluating a Supplier Before You Place an Order

It’s important to build relationships with your suppliers, and essential oil suppliers are no different! Here’s some things you may want to do before settling on the best essential oil suppliers for you:

  • Find out how the supplier stores their essential oils, and fulfills orders. Just as you should have proper storage protocols in place, they should, too!
  • Check to see if the supplier batch numbers their lots of essential oils, or if the date of distillation is available. This will help you better evaluate shelf life, once it’s in your hands.
  • Ask if GC/MS reports are available for the essential oils you would be purchasing. Find out if the reports are run on every batch of essential oil, just some batches, or if they have a system in place to meet defined internal quality standards. Not having GC/MS reports available doesn’t mean the essential oils are bad quality for soapmaking, but there should be quality control standards in place. (For instance, a general soapmaking supply company may not be able to afford GC/MS testing on one category of product they carry.)
  • Find out if the supplier distills their own essential oils, if they deal directly with distillers, or if they purchase their stock from a company who does. There’s nothing wrong with being down the supply chain, if you can trust the chain!
  • Check to see if the supplier offers or sells small samples so you can get your nose on the essential oils! Compare samples from various suppliers, even if you are a beginner. Your nose knows, I promise. This is the perfect way to start getting acquainted with various essential oils, too!

I personally am not as picky about essential oils used in soapmaking as I am when purchasing essential oils for perfumery or leave-on products. You can be as picky as you’d like, but be aware that a supplier who distills their own essential oils, performs extensive testing, etc., is likely to have far more overhead to account for in their pricing. Decide what is important to you, and choose the best essential oil suppliers for you using those criteria.

Where You Shouldn’t Buy Essential Oils

Before we move on to where to buy essential oils (oh, yes), I want to talk about places to avoid. If you are new to essential oils, you may be tempted to pick up the tiny 15 mL and 30 mL bottles of essential oils found at health and natural food stores. Please, save that cash!

Those types of stores are not the best essential oil suppliers for soapmakers. Their essential oils are  marketed to consumers – not formulators! They may be diluted or adulterated, and they sit on a shelf 24/7, being exposed to light and fluctuating temperatures. Plus, they’re really expensive when compared to purchasing directly from a supplier.

For instance, a small 15 mL (approximately half an ounce) bottle of lavender essential oil at a local health food store is $12. Off the top of my head, I can think of a handful of suppliers where you can spend $12 and receive at least three to four times that amount of essential oil for the same price. Plus, when purchasing from a supplier, you can find out if it was stored properly or how old the essential oil actually is!

I also don’t recommend purchasing essential oils from multi-level marketing companies (such as DoTerra, Young Living, etc.) for use in soapmaking, as it would be ridiculously cost prohibitive.

Where To Buy Essential Oils Instead!

Now you know what to check before you buy and where not to buy, so how about we talk about where to buy essential oils instead?! Yesssssss. My goal with listing where to buy essential oils is to provide you with a lot of options, so you can do your own research. You might be more selective than I am about essential oils for soapmaking, or you may want to shop around for lower prices – it’s up to you!

Disclaimer: I live in the United States, so the list of American suppliers is going to be the most robust list. I do not have personal experience with every single supplier on this list – that would be quite the feat!

If you aren’t in the US, I have a few options below for other countries. Be aware that I have absolutely no personal experience with foreign suppliers, and am sharing what other other soapmakers have recommended.

Please read the comments down below the list, there are a lot of additional recommendations and also some reviews!

Where to Buy Essential Oils in U.S.A

Where to Buy Essential Oils in Canada

Where to Buy Essential Oils in Europe

United Kingdom

Where to Buy Essential Oils in Australia & New Zealand

Do you have an essential oil supplier that you know & love that’s not on the list? Leave a comment below and give them a shoutout!

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76 Responses

  1. Hello there,
    I order, amongst others, from Escentials of Australia. Their range of products is the greatest in Australia as far as I know, but would LOVE to discover an alternative to them because, while their products are of good enough quality and are reasonably priced, their customer service is beyond apalling. Hardly ever answer emails. I recently got a reply from an email I sent and resent up to 3 times from Aug. 15th to Aug. 25th. The reply arrived on Oct. 17th……
    And don’t get me started about the phone that they never pick up or the calls they never return. After a week long experience with that, I no longer try to contact them by phone. Too stressing.
    A couple of days ago I sent them a question about the usage of one of their products I had purchased. I cannot go ahead and make what I want until they answer my question because it the answer is specific to the type they carry, not an answer that I can find online, but at this point I don’t have much hope.
    I was wondering if this was the case also with other clients in Oz or if it’s just that they consider me a small fish although I’ve spent close to $800 in their shop since mid July.
    I seriously would like to stay a customer, but I’m afraid I will have to rethink that if this attitude persists. It might be more effective actually to order abroad for the couple of products that I cannot find from other suppliers here.
    Sorry for the ranting, but I just don’t get them in this respect.
    Cheers!
    Anna

    1. Hi Anna, I would highly recommend New Directions Australia, I’ve ordered from them a bunch of times and always had a good customer experience.

      1. Thank you, Stacey! I have ordered other products from ND, just not EOs. But I will give them a go with essential oils in my next order.

    2. Hi and thanks for all the useful info you share!
      I’d like to suggest taking Saffire Blue off your recommended list. They were my first supplier when I started soap making 8 years ago and I loved them!
      Now they are in trouble, with countless customer complaints for unfulfilled orders, no explanation and no refund – including me!
      I’m not sure why they’ve changed, but something is amiss.

  2. I really enjoy working with Starwest Botanicals out of Sacramento, California. They focus on dried botanicals and teas, but their essential oils are excellent too. With a wholesale account you have access to more of tge documentation.

    1. Thanks for sharing the recommendation for Starwest Botanicals, Shirin! It’s definitely hard to find the smaller specialized botanical sources with reputable distillers and botanicals! I appreciate it!

      1. While we allow anonymous comments, we can’t allow them in regards to complaints about third party/unrelated services for liability reasons. Please bring your complaints directly to the vendor.

  3. Using the list of companies you provided in this article, I’ve been pricing essential oils, and now I have a spreadsheet as long as my arm. Two companies stand out price-wise: Essential Depot and New Directions Aromatics. As it happens, pretty much everything at Essential Depot is out of stock, so that doesn’t seem to be an option. Is there any reason to steer clear of New Directions? Do you have any idea why their prices are, pretty much across the board, lower than prices elsewhere?
    Thank you!
    Julie

    1. They are a wholesale operation with a minimum order quantity of $100. You can order less, but they charge $20 fee to do so. That can be intimidating for really small potatoes folk like me, but honestly they have so many wonderful things $100 is easy.

    2. Julie,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to so that thorough research and to then post it here. I was imagining having to do just that to really help all this information really be useful but am not at a place where I can commit that kind of time to it. So just wanted to say thank you for your hardwork and willingness to share. What a blessing!

      Janna

  4. I have been really pleased with Camden Grey and Bulk Herb Store. I have only gotten one EO from Brambleberry so I can’t really evaluate them on the essential oils but I have liked everything else from them. I don’t really recommend Wholesale Supplies Plus for essential oils. ( I love their packaging, but their essential oils don’t last as long.

  5. Wow Kenna – thanks so much! This had to have taken a lot of time to put together. I too agree with avoiding the MLM companies. Not only cost prohibitive, but just doesn’t feel right to support such a “marketing centered” company when there are such better options out there!

  6. Hello Kenna! Thank you so much for useful information. Could you please write if you know the soap suppliers in the Netherlands. As in the list only the suppliers from UK. They do not ship sodium hydroxide outside the UK.
    Yaryna

  7. Aromatics International has very high quality essential oils with all the data on harvest, testing reports, batch lots, etc. Most of their oils are organic or wildcrafted and very expensive, so great for aromatherapy and leave on products, but pricey for soapmaking. https://www.aromatics.com/

  8. What about AromaTherapeutix? They have great prices and a huge selection. Also their catalog has more information about each oil than I have seen from other companies.

  9. Thanks for this list. Just in case you didn’t realise…. Under the listing for Australia you’ve put “mainland” & then “Tasmania/New Zealand”. New Zealand is a completely different country & they hate being thought of as Australian. And Tasmanians are Australian & don’t like being seen as separate. (My husband is from Tasmania & his family still live there, although we live on the ‘Big Island’). 🙂

    1. I didn’t mean Australia as in the country but as a continent since there aren’t that many suppliers that I know of across the entire continent. I have noticed folks seem to be pretty particular about it, and had been meaning to update it. Thanks for the reminder!

  10. Coop Coco based in Canada are fantastic! Customer service and support is amazing! I absolutely love this place. They are near my home and I have been to the shop totally worth it!

  11. I am a loyal costumer of The Perfumery, The Sage, New Directions Aromatics, EOQA, Jedwards Bulk Oils (you do not have the last two on the list). I learned tons about Essential oils from Dr R S Pappas and his brother, both chemists.

    1. Thanks for your additions to the list, Dorina. 🙂

      I did want to let you know that I removed part of your comment in compliance with our comment policy. I understand that some folks feel strongly about the issue you mentioned, but I’d rather our comment section steers clear of the recent drama and debate over adulteration and testing. 🙂

  12. edensgarden.com was not on your list, but I use them a lot. They have free shipping & CG/MS reports are available for all their oils. One thing I specifically want to know is how much Eugenol is in a certain Oil. And they provide me with that info in the “reports” section.

    1. I also use Eden’s Garden. Love the company, and from the discussions I have had with them, I’m very pleased with how their oils are processed/stored.

      1. Thank you!
        I have just gone through the website and looks like they have amazing stuff. Any idea about the packaging supplies as well?

      2. They do look great but I am not able to find a single customer review and on FB they have one 2* rating. Pity.

  13. Do you have a similar post regarding the best sources of carrier oils for soap making? I am trying to make organic soaps and have only been able to find a few of the major carrier oils in both bulk and organic. Buying 4oz of organic rice bran oil at a time seems totally and profoundly ridiculous.

  14. I know of 2 more great companies missing from your US list:
    Aromatics International (they offer wholesale options) and Plant Therapy.

  15. Hi Kenna,

    Nice list. I’ve gone through several suppliers in Canada and have recently settled on Botanic Universe. Have you come across them?

    Might be worth adding to your list if you feel they belong.

    New Directions has been great too (I see them on your list!)

  16. Hi Kenna,

    Thanks for providing such great resources! I wanted to add a name to your list of suppliers in Canada.

    Windy Point Soap. https://www.windypointsoap.com/

    They have wonderful customer service, very competitive pricing, and they ship free to all of Canada west of Quebec if you order $125 or more.

  17. Hiya, so glad I finally found this site.
    I have been unhappy with my UK based supplier of Jars and Bottles – they tell me 2 weeks after ordering that there’s a problem with my order.
    So I’m looking for a UK or European based supplier of Cobalt Blue PET Jars (50g/100g), 10ml, 30ml, 50ml & 100ml Bottles as well (preferably double walled) for my all natural skincare products. I would rather go to one supplier.

    I hope you can help me – thanks in advance

  18. I just wanted to compliment you, not just on your list, but on your very informative article. I’m new to soap-making, so all this is very interesting to me, including the links to your related articles (on storage, etc.)

  19. I’m just learning about essential oils and I am wanting to start making my own shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deoderant and soaps. I want too make sure I buy the essential oils that are safe for use on skin. What exactly should I be searching for. I see terms like therapeutic and aromatherapy so it has me wondering what the difference is and is one not safe for use in bath and body products? I know for toothpaste it needs to be good grade. Hope your can help with some insight. Thanks!

  20. Hi l am a complete beginner at making soap. I want to concentrate on making designer fragrant soaps. Can you. Provide a possible list in Europe?

  21. Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you so very much for your well informed article! Whenever I look up good essential oils I just find mostly cheap companies and Amazon.

    I have a bunch of questions so bare with.

    I’ve heard of this oil called mongongo oil from Africa but I can’t seem to find it anywhere in the UK, do you know where I could find it here? Also, it claims to offer sun protection, is this true?

    I’m very interested in making a water based cream but I was trying to find a way to make one with natural preservatives and emulsifiers. I came up blank as it doesn’t seem possible. In my search I did find a company called living libations it’s quite well known and has a lot of good reviews, but they sell water and oil products and claim that they use orange wax as an emulsifier but when I look up orange wax it’s considered a co-emulsifier. They also say they use no preservatives except rosemary and sage extract. I find this really confusing as all information I found says differently. Do you think this is possible or are they definitely lying or scamming their customers?

    I’m sorry for the long one I just really want to make my own cream that is as natural as possible and you seem to know a lot.

    1. Hey, Alexa,
      I’ve not used mongongo and unfortunately don’t have a source for you. I also can’t confirm if it offers sun protection. In the United States, where we are based, sun protectants are considered drugs, not cosmetics, so it would bring up liability issues if I were to advise on a drug product.

      I did a quick lookup on the net, and didn’t find any great info. I try to get (or at least corroborate) my educational info on raw materials with third party sources that are not trying to sell me something, and all I could find in this case is sales pitches. Wish I could help more!

      As far as “natural” preservatives, well, different people have different definitions of natural. There isn’t a set one for the cosmetic community. And, depending on local regulations, some companies are able to “hide” preservatives because they are a component of another ingredient. And some companies, sadly, have not properly tested their products and are selling unsafe product. I am not familiar with the company you mention, so I don’t know their circumstances. I’d be cautious.

      We love Susan at http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/ and she is a wealth of info on formulating and preservatives. I’d pop over there and spend some time reading. See if she mentions any preservatives that will work for you. Heck, maybe ask if she’s ever worked with mongongo too!

    2. I’ve been reading and learning a lot from formulabotanica they have a blog just loaded with articles about emulsifiers, they do 3-4 experiments with each new natural emulsifier they write about. They have a bunch of preservative systems they use. The give you so much information. I want to sign up for the formulation class they offer, it’s pretty expensive, and I am currently only in the experiment stages. I hope these blog articles help.

  22. Hi Kenna,

    Just wanted to let you know that Simply Natural Soapmaking Supplies has closed down their supply business permanently. Thought I would give you the heads up so you can remove it from the list of Australian suppliers.

    Thanks!

    1. Hey, Daniela,
      The note on their website says they are on leave with a return date in May 2018. I appreciate the heads up, but I don’t want to take down the link until I have confirmation they are closed.

    1. Hey, Damilare,
      I don’t know of any suppliers in Nigeria offhand, but you can use this article to evaluate suppliers across the globe. Also, members often add their favorite suppliers in the comments, so perhaps someone else will have a suggestion. Sorry I couldn’t help more!

    2. Hi Damilare,
      Have you been able to get EOs in Nigeria? I’m also scouting for. Toying with the idea of soap and bath bomb making.

  23. For all the Canadian soapers out there, I would strongly recommend to AVOID SAFFIRE BLUE!!. I ordered soap mold from SAFFIRE Blue that ended up being back ordered, after a couple months and when no mold arrived or refund on my credit card I called the company to follow up only to hear a message that their phone line is not for customer service / order issues and that I needed to fill out an online ticket. No problem I thought and promptly filled out my online ticket to hear absolutely NOTHING back!!!!! I googled them and they have a ton of 1* ratings with very similar experiences to mine. 😞 I’m lucky I’m only out a 26$ soap mild and not a couple hundred dollars of essential oils!

  24. This is a great article, thanks! Too bad I don’t live in the USA. Do you know of any supplier in Mexico? I always wondered how any could use the required amount for EO in any soap recipe. I make soap for my family use and find it very expensive to use that amount (I buy the EO in health food stores either here or in Whole Foods Market when I go the USA. I know, they are not the best option but they are the only ones I have right know.

    So even if it is for personal use I have a hard time ($$) spending that much on using one bottle on each batch.

    If I could find a supplier in Mexico like those you mentioned in your article would be really awesome!!

    Thanks!

  25. looking to get bulk supplies for soap making in South Africa and almost impossible.

    Where is the best place to look for suppliers in bulk products?

  26. How do you feel about Days Island and Fabulous Frannies in the US? I have just heard about Plant Therapy and Eden’s Garden. I love that they are well tested for quality and are a decent price.

  27. In Australia, I would recommend Essence of Wellbeing which is run by a Professional Aromatherapist, they supply great essential oils and have super customer service :

  28. I also love that company! Their Feb to March half-price sale is wonderful. They are nearly medicinal grade so I feel safe usong them for everything. I received an order last week & one of the bottles leaked. They immediately replaced the leaking bottle without asking me to return the portion still in the bottle-about 2/3rds is still in there. They also replaced the labels on three bottles which were affected by the oil leak. I have bought from them for years.

  29. I ordered some essential oil from bramble berry and the smell especially of the spearmint oil seems very off have you ordered oils from them???? Have you experienced this? Never had such bad smelling oils from other companies

  30. I am really disappointed with your reommendation. I ordered with Saffire Blue after saw it on your Canada’s list. It’s been 11 days till I ordered and It’s not shipped yet and I have no dates nor delay. I emailed them and never had an answer. So I looked reviews from the company on the internet and I’ve never saw such bad reviews .. people never received their order or refund…

    Caroline

    1. Hi Caroline! I’m sorry to hear that, we never want our tribe to have poor experiences with other vendors! As stated in the article, these are not recommended suppliers – we just wanted to give folks a starting point as to where to look. I have not personally used them all *and* I’m an American, so I relied on international soapmakers to provide suppliers in their countries. (ie, I have absolutely no way of venting vendors in other countries!) We’re happy to update old articles like this, as I will in this case. I hope that our community reads the comments as well because y’all are great about providing extra info and feedback like you have here. 🙂 Best wishes!

  31. Hello. I’m helping my wife research bulk suppliers for soapmaking. So far I have found that Bulk Apothecary carries sodium hydroxide in addition to most of the oils she needs, but they are currently out of stock of several oils. I’ve got all the oils in my shopping cart at New Directions Aromatics, but they do not carry sodium hydroxide. I was trying to find a source that carries both oils and lye and has both in stock so that I can minimize shipping costs but have had some difficulty. Do you have any suggestions? Or do you think I will save significantly on shipping either way?

    Thanks,

    Josh

  32. Would not order from Camden Grey at all. Had a problem with one of my orders and they were very rude and basically told me, oh well, when I contacted them about it

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