What Your EO Bottle & Its Label Are Telling You

Are you overlooking key information on your essential oil bottle & label?

An essential oil bottle may seem like a simple thing, but every part of the bottle is designed with care to protect the oil inside. And bottle labels contain important information that can help you choose the right oils and use them more effectively.

Let’s break down an EO bottle & label!

It’s important to note that this breakdown doesn’t apply to every company. A great company will include a truly pure EO in the bottle and as much information as necessary to ensure you know exactly what’s in your bottle, how to use it safely, how to store it, and sometimes more.


Essential oils are vulnerable to oxidation—a process which breaks down and changes the molecules of the oil. Oxidation occurs naturally when an essential oil is exposed to light, heat, and oxygen.

Oils that are oxidized don’t have the same therapeutic effects as fresh oils. They may even cause negative reactions, like skin irritation. Oxidized oils also smell different and may appear cloudy.

Nothing can stop the process of oxidation completely, but the amber glass bottle does slow it down by protecting the essential oil from light.


The orifice reducer is the little plastic piece that fits into the top of the glass bottle. It’s what allows you to get a single drop of essential oil out at a time.

The orifice reducer also helps protect the oil from oxidation. Since it makes the opening of the bottle smaller, it limits the amount of oxygen that gets in.


Plants may have different local names (or common names) in various regions and countries, but their official botanical Latin names will be the same.

If you came across a bottle of “Cochin Grass” essential oil, would you know what it was? Maybe you would . . . if the essential oil bottle’s label included its Latin name. It’s Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus).


Some plants are able to produce multiple versions of their essential oil. For example, two Lemongrass plants can have the exact same genus and species, and yet produce two completely different essential oils.

How is this possible? Because environmental factors like rainfall, humidity, and the amount of sunlight they receive all impact the plants’ chemistry on the molecular level. This causes the plants to produce different essential oils.

These different oils are called “chemotypes,” because there are different types of chemicals present in each one. The chemotype is shown with a “ct” on the essential oil bottle’s label. For example, when purchasing Rosemary essential oil, the label will ideally show if you’re purchasing:

• Rosmarinus officinalis ct 1,8 cineole*

• Rosmarinus officinalis ct camphor

• Rosmarinus officinalis ct verbenone

*Young Living’s Rosemary essential oil is Rosmarinus officinalis ct 1,8 cineole but the U.S. label doesn’t state this.


Safety must come first when you’re using essential oils!

Because each oil has different chemical components, each oil has different safety considerations. That’s why it’s important for you to have access to safety information on each essential oil bottle’s label.

You’ll may also find a note to store your oil in a cool, dark place, which reduces the rate of oxidation and prolongs your oil’s shelf life.

Note: Any EO labeled as “may cause skin irritation” (outside of a warning about using the oil once oxidized) is NOT a pure essential oil and contains synthetics. Next time you’re at a larger retail store selling EOs, take a look at their labels to see the difference between them and your pure essential oils.


Each batch of essential oil has a slightly different chemistry—even different batches of the same oil.

For example, two batches of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), both grown in Bulgaria, may have a lot of chemical similarities, but they won’t be exact replicas of one another.

Every batch of essential oil should have its own specific number. You’ll find the batch number somewhere on the bottle. You can use this information to look up a GC/MS report on the company’s website (or contact the company for batch-specific information).


If you ever have questions about what’s in your essential oil bottle, where it comes from, how it was made, or anything else, reach out to the company. If they can’t answer your questions to your satisfaction, you may want to consider ordering from a different company.

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