Top 5 Most Expensive Essential Oils (+ affordable substitutes!) – Tazeka Aromatherapy
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Top 5 Most Expensive Essential Oils (+ affordable substitutes!)
  • Why some essential oils are so expensive, and what to use instead.

    Top 5 Expensive Essential Oils + affordable substitutes


    If you love essential oils, you have probably noticed—some essential oils are expensive!

    Why so much money for a little bottle of oil?

    It has to do with how much plant material is needed to produce the essential oil, and the amount of labor it takes to harvest the plant (and make the oil).

    For example, it might take 3 pounds of lavender plant material to produce 15 ml of essential oil.

    But for rose essential oil, it can take 30 rose blossoms to produce just 1 drop. (And that’s on the low end . . . it can take up to 50 blossoms!) In a 5 ml bottle of rose essential oil, there are roughly 125 drops.

    That means that it takes at least 3,750 rose blossoms to create a tiny 5 ml bottle of rose essential oil—wow!

    Now that top shelf price tag is probably starting to make a little more sense, huh?

    But there are ways you can use these expensive essential oils without emptying your bank account.

    You can buy organic ready-made essential oil blends. For example, if you look for a blend that contains a few drops of rose, you can get rose’s benefits without going broke. (Below, we’ll share some of our essential oil roll-on blends that give you this opportunity. It’s a good way to experience the more expensive oils and decide whether you like their effects.)

    You can also learn about effective, affordable substitutions for expensive essential oils. In most cases, you’ll get very similar (if not exactly the same) benefits.


    Here is our list of the top 5 expensive essential oils, including affordable substitutes for them.

    Rose (Rosa × damascena)

    We bet you’re not surprised to see this one at the top of our list!

    Rose is excellent for skin care, relaxation, and emotional balance. It has a tendency to open the heart, so we feel comfortable and confident expressing our inner selves.

    Affordable substitutes for rose include:

    • Rose geranium (a blend of Rosa × damascena and Pelargonium × asperum)
    • Geranium (Pelargonium × asperum)
    • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

    Read more about rose (and see what blends we’ve used it in) here.


    Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)

    Neroli is another floral essential oil that has a “low yield,” meaning it takes a lot of flowers to make a single drop of essential oil. The flowers have to be harvested by hand.

    Neroli is used for emotional balance, natural perfumes, and even calming anxiety. It’s also deeply relaxing, and is useful in bedtime blends. (We’ve used it in Peaceful Slumber.)

    Affordable substitutes for neroli include:

    • Neroli-petitgrain co-distill (a co-distillation of Citrus aurantium amara blossoms and leaves)
    • Petitgrain bigarade (distilled from Citrus aurantium amara leaves)
    • Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

    Learn more about neroli and experience it in our essential oil roll-on blends here.


    Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum)

    Have you noticed a theme between our top expensive essential oils? So far, they are all florals!

    Like rose and neroli, jasmine has a low yield. The blossoms have to be harvested by hand at night—that’s when the aromatic components of the plants are most potent. As the sun rises, the aroma retreats more deeply into the plant. This is why jasmine has earned the nickname “Queen of the Night!”

    Jasmine is “arousing and stimulating, while also being relaxing and mood-boosting.” It’s emotionally balancing, and offers a lot of support for people who deal with anxiety or sleeplessness.

    Affordable substitutes for jasmine include:

    • Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
    • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
    • Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)

    You can experience jasmine in our Aphrodite blend.


    Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)

    Helichrysum is another expensive floral essential oil, also harvested by hand (usually with small hand-held sickles from the mountains of Crete).

    Helichrysum is used for wound healing, and its regenerative talents make it ideal for skin care, especially for mature or damaged skin. This is a powerful essential oil in a lot of ways, and is very unique. It’s not easy to substitute! But not impossible . . .

    Affordable substitutes for helichrysum include:

    • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
    • Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
    • Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

    So far, we haven’t used helichrysum in our blends at Tazeka Aromatherapy.


    Agarwood (Aquilaria crassna)

    This is the only expensive essential oil in our top 5 list that isn’t a floral—agarwood is distilled from the twigs and wood of the tree, and is on sustainability watch lists. It’s very precious.

    Agarwood is used for pain relief, supporting digestion, calming sore muscles and muscle spasms, and easing anxiety.

    Affordable substitutes for agarwood should be based on what you’re using it for:

    • Pain relief, sore muscles, emotional calm: Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana or Cedrus atlantica)
    • Pain relief, sore muscles, emotional calm: Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
    • Digestion, pain relief, feeling energized: Cardamom (Ellettaria cardamomum)

    So far, we haven’t used agarwood in our blends at Tazeka Aromatherapy.


    There you have it! Your personal shortcut to getting the benefits of the some of the top expensive essential oils in the world, without paying "through the nose."

    If you do decide to purchase these pricey, precious essential oils, we encourage you to use them respectfully.

    Buy from companies that value sustainability and organic practices. (Depending on the company you buy from, the essential oil may be more or less expensive. If the oil seems very affordable . . . you might want to ask the company some questions before making your purchase. It’s an unfortunately common practice to “adulterate” essential oils—cutting the pure oils with synthetic, more affordable substances that often smell just like the real thing.)

    Use these oils in ways that really showcase their gifts, treating each drop like gold.


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