It is increasingly important to learn about the companies that are creating your favorite products. Natural care products are no different. In this NOW essential oils review I want to help you not only become familiar with the products they make but their motivations and company practices as well.
NOW is a company with humble Midwestern beginnings that has grown to become an internationally recognized natural product brand. Their essential oils are made with meticulously selected raw materials. And they vow not to compromise quality for value.
Read on to learn more about the company whose mission is to help empower people to live healthier lives by creating useful and practical natural products and services.
All About the Company NOW
NOW is a family-owned natural products company that was founded in 1968 by chemist Elwood Richard. After his father’s passing in 1960, Richard and his brothers continued to run the family business, Fearn Soya Foods. Two years later, he opened his first natural health food store, Health House, which now exists as The Fruitful Yield throughout the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Richard began creating his own products and stocking them in his stores in order to make natural products more accessible to his customers.
Throughout the decades, both value and quality have been the foremost goal for NOW products. Their company is Good Manufacturing Processes certified through the Natural Products Association – receiving an “A” rating since the inception of the certifying agency in 2000. Richard passed away in 2017, but NOW is still a private, family-run business that focuses on creating high-quality nutrition products at a reasonable price.
What Does Natural Mean At NOW?
Since the term “natural” isn’t regulated, NOW makes it a point to explain that to them, natural products are created with limited processing and without any synthetic ingredients.
NOW offers products in six primary categories: supplements, beauty and health, essential oils, sports nutrition, natural foods and pet health.
In fact, they list ingredients they consider unacceptable in natural products along with fifteen ingredients that will never be added to any of their products:
- Artificial colors
- Artificial flavors
- Aspartame, Sucralose, or Ace K
- Harmful levels of PCBs and Dioxins
- Harmful levels of pesticides
- Hydrogenated oils
- Microbial pathogens
- Nano-particle ingredients
- Unlabeled common allergens
In total, NOW offers close to 1,500 products, including close to 200 essential oils and blends, diffusers, and topical oils.
NOW works closely with suppliers to monitor all materials used to create their products. This includes conducting surprise inspections to make sure that they are meeting NOW’s quality standards.
They also test their products to ensure that they aren’t any synthetic botanicals or other unnatural substances. NOW “routinely tests for not only identity but also for purity, heavy metals, pesticides/agricultural chemicals, and possible adulterants including pharmaceuticals.”
Testing is done in-house through state-of-the-art facilities where they also manufacture and distribute from in Illinois and Nevada within the United States and in multiple locations in Canada. Distributing their own products cuts down on costs and those savings are passed on to their customers.
More About NOW Essential Oils
Testing standards extend to their essential oil products as well. Trained professionals identify each essence (color, aroma, chemical composition, etc), determine its purity, and make sure it’s safe. They ensure that NOW essential oils are not contaminated or blended with inferior raw materials.
Beyond materials, though, methods used to extract the essence is also important.
Almost all of NOW’s essential oils are gently steam distilled. The exception is their citrus oils, which are extracted by cold press instead. Each approach helps maintain the integrity of the botanical.
When buying essential oils, it is best not to assume that paying a higher price means that you are getting a higher quality oil. If the company you choose to buy essential oils from does not share information about their sourcing and manufacturing processes, that might raise a red flag.
Not only do some companies dilute their oils, they can also use misleading terminology to suggest that their products are of a higher grade than they truly are. If you see descriptions like, medicinal, therapeutic, or aromatherapy grade, you should know that there are no added benefits to using those products.
There is no industry standard for such terms, so it is best to look at the ingredients label to make sure that the oils you’re buying are 100% pure.
All of NOW’s labeling is clear. The categories of oils that they offer are:
- Pure essential oils
- Organic essential oils
- Essential oil blends
- Essential oil kits
Their pure and organic essential oils are labeled as either 100% pure or certified organic & 100% pure. NOW oils are also cruelty-free and vegan. Their organic oils met certification standards of both the United States Department of Agriculture and Quality Assurance International.
Blends are slightly different from pure essential oils. NOW makes pure essential oil blends, which are exactly that, a combination of pure essential oils.
They also make essential oil blends with jojoba oils. In this case, carrier oils, like jojoba, are used as a base, and then either essential oils or “absolute” extracts are added. NOW chooses this route for the rarer, more expensive essential oils. Blending them with jojoba oil reduces their price and makes them more accessible.
Absolutes are also extracted from plants, but instead of distillation, a solvent (in their case, alcohol) is used in the extraction process. Although the alcohols are later removed, there might still be really small traces of it in the final blend. In terms of fragrance, absolutes are far more concentrated than essential oils. Only NOW’s jasmine and rose oils are absolutes.
All of NOW’s essential oils are non-GMO – there are no genetically modified organisms used at any stage of the process. All of the plant materials used to create oils are all natural.
Regardless of which type of oils you purchase from NOW, all of them are rigorously tested and carefully manufactured to meet quality standards.
NOW Essential Oils Product Reviews
1. NOW Nature’s Shield Essential Oil Blend
If you want your home to smell clean and exhilarating, this oil blend would be a great choice. In addition to being refreshing, it also helps lift your mood and just makes your space feel nice and healthy.
Whether you add drops of this oil to your diffuser or dilute it in water to manually spray it through a spray mist bottle, you will notice an immediate change to your senses. This bottle is 1fl. oz. (30 mL) and smells refreshing and sweet.
Nature’s Shield is a blend of clove bud oil, organic lemon oil, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils. As with all of their citrus essential oils, the lemon oil was cold-pressed, and the other oils were extracted using a steam distillation process.
Clove bud oil is known to help stimulate the brain and increase energy levels. Lemon oil also wards off exhaustion and improves your mood. Cinnamon bark oil can help reduce anxiety and depression, helping to make you less irritable while reducing tiredness. Eucalyptus helps clear nasal passageways and it is also a mental stimulant. It also helps cleanse the air due to its antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Lastly, rosemary oil helps perk your mind and body up throughout the day, reduce stress and improve brain function.
- Helps ward of sickness
- Exceptional value for the price
- Safer to diffuse around pets and children
- The blend can smell too strong for some people
2. NOW Essential Oils Woodland Walk Natural Oil Blend
After putting a few drops of this oil blend into your diffuser, you can close your eyes and literally feel as though you are walking through the woods. It’s aroma reminds you of the freshness of sap, tree bark, and vibrant green leaves and needles. This fragrance leaves you feeling grounded.
Woodland Walk is a combination of pine needle and cedarwood atlas oils, juniper berry, and also frankincense and myrrh oils. All were steam distilled to extract the freshest, gentlest essence and poured into a 1 fl. oz. (30 mL) amber bottle.
Pine needle and myrrh oils are anti-inflammatory; cedarwood atlas and juniper berry oils both deodorize and purify the air, helping stimulate the brain, which enhances concentration. And similar to frankincense, they both relax and center the body.
- Accurate woodsy fragrance
- Helps cleanse the air
- Can repel insects
- The child-proof caps tend to get stripped over time
- Scent doesn’t linger as long as some would like
3. NOW Essential Oils Set of 10 Variety Pack
This set of ten essential oils (each 1fl. oz. / 30 mL) includes many of the usual suspects in the essential oils world: Jasmine, Citronella, Tangerine, Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Orange, Rosemary, Clove. All of them are 100% natural and either cold-pressed or steam distilled to bring out the purest essence.
If you are looking to stock up on oils you use most frequently, this set has everything you would need.
Jasmine – smells like sweet jasmine blossoms and has a nice calming effect
Citronella – in addition to being antibacterial, it repels flying insects and can reduce depressive symptoms with its citrusy-musklike fragrance
Tangerine – A few drops of this cold-pressed citrus aroma helps lift your mood and invigorate your senses
Lavender – an unmatched floral fragrance that’s soothing and calming
Peppermint – fresh, pungent, minty aroma that invigorates, cools the respiratory system, and helps you restore energy levels
Tea Tree – in addition to reducing anxiety and cleansing the air of infections, diffusing this potent oil can help you feel renewed.
Eucalyptus – probably the most associated with creating a spa-like atmosphere, eucalyptus essential oil is cooling, refreshing, and helps clear up sinuses and chest congestion
Orange – sweet citrus scent that lifts and refreshes as only orange can, it cleanses the home and reduces stress.
Rosemary – brings warmth and purification to your home environment with its fresh, pungent, woodsy notes
Clove – both antibacterial and antimicrobial, clove fills your home with warmth, spiciness, and comfort.
With regards to the Jasmine, the one in this set is an oil with other fragrances. Some people prefer not to place this fragrance in their diffusers and instead choose to use it with their reed diffusers or oil warmers.
- Great value for the number of oils included
- Commonly used oils
- Jasmine is a fragrance, not 100% essential oil
4. Set of 6 Essential Oil Blends by NOW
Essential oil blends are like a fragrant harmony. This is a set of six well-balanced, 100% natural essential oils that are combined to help you sleep, focus, calm down, clean the air, cheer up, and experience heightened romance. Each bottle is 1 fl. oz. (30 mL).
- Peaceful Sleep: Orange, tangerine, lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang, and sandalwood oils are combined to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.
- Mental Focus: A citrus mint combination to help your brain feel invigorated and balanced using lemon, peppermint, wintergreen, basil, rosemary, and grapefruit oils.
- Peace & Harmony: This calming blend of peppermint, patchouli, orange, lavender, and basil oils helps you feel centered.
- Clear the Air: A refreshingly minty blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, hyssop and rosemary oils that work together to help purify the air.
- Cheer Up Buttercup: A light, energizing citrus blend of bergamot, orange, lime, grapefruit, and lemon oils.
- Naturally Loveable: This sweet romance blend also has floral and citrus notes from the combination of lemon, orange, ylang ylang, sandalwood oils, and jasmine absolute. It’s a calming blend that helps you relax.
- Essential blends, not synthetic
- Can be diluted with carrier oil for body application
- Combined fragrances don’t please everyone
- Naturally Loveable incorporates an absolute oil
5. NOW Essential Oils Let It Be Organically Kit
Last but not least, we have a kit that includes NOW’s most popular organic essential oils: lavender, peppermint, tea tree, and lemon. Each bottle is ⅓ fl. oz (10 mL) and while smaller, they’re still priced affordably for organic oils.
NOW only purchases raw organic materials from suppliers who also meet or exceed organic certification requirements, which involves surprise audits to ensure they are consistently upholding these standards.
Organic oils do not come in contact with non-organic materials or processing aids at any point of production.
Three of these oils are the same fragrances as in the value pack I mentioned earlier, so I won’t describe those again, but this set also includes organic lemon oil. Lemon oil smells like fresh lemon zest. It’s uplifting, invigorating, and helps you feel refreshed. It’s also antiviral and antibacterial, so when you add it to your diffuser, it helps cleanse the air.
- Meets stringent organic standards
- Common, useful oils
- Smaller bottles may not last as long
What Customers Are Saying About NOW Essential Oils
Finding the best essential oil company for you can take some time. And as with all brands, there are some who love NOW essential oils and others who would prefer to go with a different company. Below is some feedback from customers who have also used these oils.
What Customers Like About NOW Essential Oils
- Woodland Walk natural oil blend is a holiday favorite for lots of customers.
- NOW essential oils are less expensive than other brands that offer the same product, and NOW’s oils are still high-quality.
Things Customers Dislike About NOW Essential Oils
- NOW essential oils may have questionable throw, but this seems to vary by diffuser.
- If you create bath and body products with these oils, you may want to avoid using the jasmine fragrance because the exact oils added to this fragrance are not listed.
Final Thoughts About NOW Essential Oils
If you are trying out NOW essential oils for the first time, I would suggest starting with their set of ten variety pack. You would have ten oils to choose from, many of which are common fragrances that you might already enjoy.
NOW’s set of six oil blends would be my secondary choice. This company also has a diffuser that runs continuously for a full work day or for sixteen hours off and on throughout the day, which makes it easy to try out these oils. And don’t forget that they have organic options as well.
Since essential oils and absolutes are highly concentrated, always be mindful when handling them. Suggestions on each bottle lets you know how many drops can be added to your diffuser and/or how much oil can be added to water inside of a spray mister.
But there are so many benefits to using essential oils so just think about what you need the most and then make a choice based on that. Since NOW essential oils are so good, you can’t really go wrong with any of them!