If you’re on the hunt for essential oils–maybe you’re just beginning or maybe you want to try out a new brand– you’re probably feeling completely overwhelmed. Your internet is flooded with big essential oil companies and blog posts. Everyone seems to have an opinion on where to buy essential oils. And since the essential oil market is unregulated the phrase, “best essential oil company” is very subjective. 

Essential oils are available almost everywhere these days: the gas station, grocery store, and online. But why? Well, there’s been a resurgence of using natural strategies for common issues like trouble sleeping, low energy, anxiety, boosting the immune system, and the list goes on. There’s a reason why people say, “there’s an oil for that.”  

Most likely you landed on this article because you’re on the hunt for essential oils—and you want to know which brand is the best brand to buy from. You’ve definitely heard of NOW Essential Oils– they’ve been around for a while, 1968 to be exact. And a lot of the time when we see a company has been around in their industry for a while, there is this automatic sense of trust. But not so fast. In this article, we’re going to take a more in-depth look. 

I’m going to review and rate NOW  essential oils on a grading scale of A+ to F based on price, selection, and quality. To learn more about our rating scale go here. By the end of this post, you’ll know if  NOW essential oils is the right brand for you. 

When looking for your perfect essential oil brand, you must have a clear goal in mind. Are you looking to use oils for therapeutic benefits, or do you want to mix up some all-natural, non-toxic cleaning products?

If you’re looking to make some simple DIY cleaning recipes, then getting a cheap not so pure brand is not the worst idea. But if you want therapeutic benefits, a pure brand that passed all the tests is what you need to get.

By the end of this, you’ll know whether NOW essential oils is the brand for you. 

The Basics: Who is NOW Essential Oils 

You’ve seen NOW essential oils before. They’re available online, in grocery stores, and drug stores. NOW started as a natural products company and they’ve been around since 1968. So, they’ve been into the healthy food and lifestyle business before it became a cash cow. Their claim to fame is carrying health products for low prices. So it’s not super surprising that their essential oils are probably the least expensive on the market. This though- as we will learn- is a red flag. 


The elephant in the room with NOW essential oils is, “How do they get them for so dang cheap?!” I still have no idea how they get their oils for so cheap. They are well below market price for all of their offerings. So if price is everything you care about, then they are a front runner for cheap essential oils. Here’s a breakdown of their pricing on some of the most popular essential oils:

Lavender $5.99 for 15 mL 

Frankincense $12.49 for 15 mL 

Peppermint $3.99 for 15 mL


They have a medium sized selection to choose from. If you’re looking for the more popular products like where to buy lavender oil then they’ll have what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a more wide variety of essential oils, including blends for specific issues then this isn’t the best company to choose from.


They have all the basic tests listed on their site: GC-MS, FTIR, Refractive Index and Specific Gravity. They even have chemical data sheets listed with some of their essential oils in a downloadable PDF document. I’m not sure how useful that is since it’s not tied to a specific batch of oil that the end user is purchasing. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your batch of essential oil will have the same chemistry.

What I did notice is that they don’t have any information (from what I saw) on where the essential oils are sourced.  They do however include blog posts about the importance of sourcing and testing- but fail to show their own. I’m a geek with this stuff so it’s something that I like to know- and you should do if you’re  looking for pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.

And here’s where it gets bad. Consumers Advocate sent out 3 of NOW’s essential oils to get tested for adulteration. Of those 3 essential oils, peppermint and lavender both came back with synthetic markers of adulteration. This didn’t come as a shock to me considering their cheap prices, and lack of quality transparency. 


NOW essential oils have been in Whole Foods and natural health food stores for a long time. They are also all over the internet so you should be able to source them easily. I highly recommend buying directly from NOW or a store like Whole Foods if you’re going to use their essential oils.

I wouldn’t trust random Amazon sellers or other sites where you don’t have good info on who you’re buying from. Essential oils are highly adulterated and one way you can avoid an essential oils scam is to buy from a reputable company (both online and off).

NOW Essential Oils Rating 

Bottom Line: NOW Essential oils are cheap. Cheap doesn’t always mean low quality, but there’s not really a good explanation for $12 Frankincense. And since essential oils is a highly subjective (and adulterated) market, it is a cause for pause. So, just something to keep in mind as you’re considering this brand.

NOW Essential Oils falls on a D on our scale. This means that there is substantial room for improvement- in more than one area.

Who are NOW essential oils for? NOW oils are typically best used for their aroma. They are what I refer to as “smell good” essential oils. So if you’re looking to freshen up your house or laundry, then these might be for you. If you’re looking to reap therapeutic benefits, then this is not the essential oils company for you.  You most likely will not get the results you’re looking for. 

Have you used NOW essential oils before? What did you use them for and what was your experience? I would love to chat in the comments below.

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  1. Great work here, thank you! The link “Consumers Advocate ” sends me to the NOW info but I’m not seeing the lab work results at all. Is there a link for that? It doesn’t even seem to mention the failed results.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and for reaching out!

      Here is what we found from Consumers Advocate: “According to them [NOW], 12 out of the 18 oils they tested came out with markers of adulteration…We picked three NOW brand essential oils ordered directly from the company’s website and had them tested by an independent lab. As it turns out, their peppermint oil came back with addition of menthol and menthyl acetate, while their lavender oil came back with synthetic markers of linalyl acetate. Although NOW does have a “NOWledge Center” we didn’t find any articles that were extensive or well-researched on the topic of essential oils.”

      If you want to know more about specific results we always recommend reaching out directly to the brand or learning more about Consumer Advocate’s testing methods via their Quality & Testing section here: https://www.consumersadvocate.org/essential-oils#toc-quality-testing

    2. I noticed the same thing. I like the testing they do give but I am concerned about microbial testing ( like molds, etc.) … However some other brands like doterra do not classify themselves as organic which is concerning if they claim to be high quality. They claim it’s because “ we use different farmers”.. but even the now brand has organic options which makes me feel good about pesticides

      1. Hi! Getting the tag “organic” can be very expensive for small farmers. Organic also doesn’t mean “no pesticides” it means whatever is considered organic pesticides. Hope this helps! Thanks for your response.

  2. Ugh I just bought a bunch of now essential oils from a health food store. I should have done more research. I thought sense they were from a heart food store I would be okay. What is a good brand to buy?

  3. I agree that NOW essential oils AND their vitamins are near the bottom of the quality scale. In the past, when I would buy an essential oil from NOW, they always seemed to have some slightly “off” harsh chemical scent, and performed poorly at the expectations for a given essential oil. I remember buying NOW Eucalyptus oil for congestion, cold symptoms, etc. and the NOW brand generally made my symptoms WORSE. Switching to a better known, better respected brand, also somewhat more expensive brand, gave me the results I was looking for, time after time. Once again, avoid the “cheap” brands if you are hoping for quality.

    1. Thanks for sharing! It’s definitely worth looking into each company to find out the ingredients to see which one is best for you.

  4. Thank you so much for this post! it’s very informative. I checked out the link to Consumers Advocate and learned even more about essential oil. I thought Plant Therapy was a good company so I’m disappointed to find their products have adulterations too! I’ve tried a few of NOW’s essential oils: tangerine, jasmine, lavender, ginger, organic lemon. The only one that smells natural and pleasant is the organic lemon. The lavender essential oil seems very floral but it an artificial way. It’s not pleasant but not horrible. It fails to promote any feeling of relaxation of calm. The jasmine, on the other hand, smells so artificial, even when diffused, that it makes me feel nauseous. When it comes to essential oil, we really do get what we pay for. I totally agree with your statement that, if you’re just looking to add essential oil to your laundry, the NOW essential oil would be a pretty good choice considering the brand’s affordable pricing but to get therapeutic benefits, I doubt this company’s essential oil could offer much.

    1. Thank you for your comment! It’s always good to research each brand before deciding which one is best for you 🙂