Truth In Advertising and the Great Essential Oil Myth

Kathryn Basso

One of the biggest challenges I face as an artisan soap maker and natural body care product maker is fielding questions from folks who sell multi level marketing essential oils or buy them for their own use.  Truthfully, I don't mind answering any questions at all about my products or what I put into them.  I try to be as transparent as possible.  Nor do I ever knock another product, especially if it is a product I know nothing about.  I certainly wouldn't want someone to do that to me or my products.  But I have to be honest here, I would have to say 99.9% of the time when one of these folks come up to my table inquiring about "which essential oils do you use in your products"?  I know immediately that they are representatives of one of the two large essential oil multi level marketing companies.

And I know when I answer their questions telling them that I do not use Company A or B, I will get that discerning look and the inevitable lecture about how the essential oils I use are not "therapeutic grade" and not of the highest and best quality because I don't use Company A or Company B.  Sometimes, I even get the sales pitch about how I should sign up to be a rep and put those oils in my products.  The truth of the matter is, I'm not cheap when it comes to the amount of essential oils in my soap.  I use up to 6 ounces per batch, depending on the scent of the soap. One company charges up to $40 for a half ounce of their oils.  I shudder to think what a bar of my soap would cost if I used their oils in my soap.  The mark up is insane because it is a multi level marketing product.

It gets tiresome.  Sometimes, yes....I get pissed.  Because I select the really good stuff to go in my products. And they are knocking my product in front of other potential customers.  And stupid me, I fall into the trap of getting into a debate with them telling them the company I use, Lebermuth, has been in business for over 100 years, buys their oils from all over the world, they are high quality oils, they are Fair Trade oils and they use sustainable growing methods.  All on deaf ears.  They drank the multi level marketing Kool-Aid friends.  Nothing I can say will change their minds.

And I have to wonder, what are these multi-level marketing companies telling these people about their products that make them so special?

Well, last week I had the unexpected opportunity to find out.  I was invited by Lebermuth, my essential oil supplier, to attend a free seminar.  I was delighted to attend and find out as much as I could about their wonderful product. 

Imagine my surprise when seated right behind me were six, yes SIX executives from Young Living Essential Oils!  Those of you that know me know that I never waste an opportunity to express my opinion and I had to find out what they were doing there.  Were they spies?  It turns out that Young Living buys their oils from Lebermuth, the same company that I buy my essential oils from. 

Boy, did I have an earful for them.  And of course, they denied it all.  And it made me wonder, does Do Terra do the same?  What do you think?

Do your homework folks.  And don't get scammed.

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1 comment

  • Very interesting post. Makes me wonder if company “B” was actually there under a false name? I ask those company reps who does the testing to determine if the oil is “therapeutic”. Company “A” does the testing for company “A” and company “B” does the testing for company “B”. I see a conflict of interest there…


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