A synthesized “nature-identical” Oil of Spike Lavender has recently been made commercially available in the United States. This oil is less expensive than natural Oil of Spike Lavender because it is made with a mixture of petroleum-based chemicals, and is less labor-intensive than natural farming -- but the smell might fool you! As noted by The National Academy of Sciences, 95% of the chemicals used in synthetic essential oils are compounds derived from petroleum. * Unfortunately, the formulas for such “nature-identical” oils are considered “proprietary”, and the ingredients are not available to the public. They are protected under law as “trade secrets”.
According to Monona Rossol with Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety (ACTS), there are currently over 21,000,000 individual chemicals now available for worldwide purchase -- 30,000 in high production (over 1000 tons/year). However, only about 1000 chemicals have ever been evaluated for the cancer effect. The EU is requiring data on all high production chemicals by 2018, or else the chemicals will be illegal to sell.
So, how do you tell what you are buying? Unless a company discloses that they only use pure natural essential oils, instead of a true natural oil you may be purchasing an unknown mix of chemicals. Some natural oil may be included, but it will be “filled out” with a selection of synthetic chemicals, in order to reduce the cost. The bottom line is, you have no way of knowing exactly what you are buying. At the Art Treehouse, we only sell 100% pure natural oils for artists to use in painting. Our Oil of Spike Lavender comes from real plants harvested by real farmers.
* SOURCE: Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace (Report by the Committee on Science and Technology. US House of Representatives, Sept. 16, 1986) [Report 99-827] Referenced here: http://www.access-board.gov/research/completed-research/indoor-environmental-quality/references
The painting is by Rodolphe Ernst (Austrian 1854-1932), titled The Perfumist.