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Aroma Science

GC/MS & Laboratory Analysis

Each and every lot of essential oil and CO2 extract we receive is tested for purity via GC/MS and 5 other major analysis techniques. Together, these tests identify any possible adulterations of the oils.

Together, these analysis techniques can identify any possible adulterations of the oils, and also ensure they are precisely the oil they say they are (Lavendula angustifolia , or ‘Lavender (Wild)’ for example), as well as being from the region of the world they were distilled. We also use organoleptic analysis (a thorough evaluation of the aroma), to ensure the aroma quality of every oils meets the highest standards. It is this confirmation of 100% purity and an exquisite aromatic profile which ensures you receive the very finest oils available, with superior therapeutic properties.

For each lot of oil, we produce a Certificate of Analysis, which includes the result of each of these tests. These are available for every oil on its page for download. To find this for each lot, you can follow the instructions on this page.

How to Read a Certificate of Analysis

1.) Identifying the product name, genus and species of the plant (Latin name), LOT number for the product:

The Latin name describes first the genus of the plant, followed by the species of the plant. While we show ‘Atlantic Cedarwood’ above, we will continue this discussion using Wild Lavender, one of our more popular essential oils. Here “Lavandula” is the genus for Wild Lavender and “angustifolia” is the species of the plant. It is important to identify the Latin name with oils that have similar names, because either the genus or the species may vary, which could affect the chemical composition. The LOT number is our (Ananda’s) method of tracking a batch of an oil the moment it enters our facility. Each LOT number is tied to only one Certificate of Analysis.


2.) The General Properties of the oil describe the plant part, the cultivation method, the extraction method, and the country of origin:

The plant part varies for different oils and can be telling to the properties or chemical components in the oil. The cultivation method can be wild, natural, or organically cultivated. The requirements for these are defined by the USDA and EU NOP standards.  We have been certified as an organic production facility and meet all the requirements from ECOCERT for every oil labeled and sold as “organic.” The extraction method will vary from “steam distillation,” “COextracted,” “solvent extracted,” and “cold pressed.” Each extraction method will target different constituents from the plant. The country of origin refers to where the plant material was grown and harvested, and not necessarily where the oil was distilled.


3.) The Technical Data are a set of fingerprint measurements that are used to identify any possible inconsistencies of the oils when compared to previous tests:

These values of specific gravity, refractive index, atomic rotation (or optical rotation) and viscosity are compared to a previous tests and literature values of specific oils. Click on the links to learn more about each of these “fingerprint” tests. The results of tests vary slightly between each oil, but remain within a certain range when no adulteration has occurred.


4.) The second page lists the Molecular Percentages and shows the composition of the oil by percentage:

The chemical composition will show which chemicals are present and at what abundance. This data is a key portion of the Certificate of Analysis and should be carefully examined when choosing an oil.


5.) The GC spectra shows the peaks associated with each chemical compound. The numbers above each peak are associated with the chemical compound listed in the Molecular Percentages table: