The practice of aromatherapy is mainly based on the use of pure essential oils, which are plant-derivatives containing the essence or the aroma. Each aroma or oil has a specific effect on mind and body. Essential oils are used for both aromatherapy and massage. Since different types of oils have different effects on mind and body, one may be mixed with two or more to develop a special fragrance for a special purpose.
The production of essential oils is an intricate and a delicate process. To produce a small bottle of an essential oil, many hundred kilograms of the parent plant or flower are needed. For example 2000 kilograms of rose petals may be needed to produce a liter of its essential oil.
Currently there is much demand for pure essential oils. Purity may come from a number of factors including the manner in which the parent plant has been cultivated. Organic and non-organic essential oils are found in the markets. Organic essential oils come from plants cultivated without use of pesticides, herbicides, irradiation, or any form of unnatural treatment. Non-organic oils come from plants that have passed through all these. There is all likelihood that these will contain toxic and unnatural substances that one may be allergic to, or which may do more harm than good to the user. There is nothing as good as using a 100% pure essential oil. Since excessive use of essential oils can be dangerous and since they are very concentrated, these are diluted at the time of use by another oil, which is called carrier oil. Almond oil, jajoba oil, apricot Oil, and olive oil etc are all carrier oils. Be it an essential oil or a carrier oil, they should be stored in a cool dark place on account of their volatile nature and sensitivity to ultra violet light.