Essential oils have all sorts of therapeutic properties, and they can be a great tool to add to your health and wellness toolkit. There is a long list of different types of essential oils, all with different benefits, fragrances, uses, and prices. While some essential oils are quite affordable and only cost a few dollars for a bottle, others are much more expensive.
Below, you’ll find a list of some of the most expensive essential oils out there, as well as their benefits, uses, and what makes them special.
What makes one essential oil more expensive than another?
You might be wondering why some essential oils have a much higher price tag than others. There are several factors that can affect the price of an essential oil:
- Properties of the oil. Some essential oils have special characteristics and medicinal benefits. This can ramp up the price of an essential oil.
- Price of the raw material. Certain essential oils are made from readily available plant products, while others come from hard-to-find, rare raw materials. The higher the cost of the raw material, the higher the cost of the end product. For example, jasmine oil is made from jasmine flowers that must be picked by hand after sunset on the very day that the delicate blooms open. This results in a higher price tag than something like orange oil, which is made from orange peels.
- Amount of raw material that is required to make the oil. In some cases, it only takes a little raw material to make plenty of essential oil. In other cases, it can take a lot of raw material to produce only a small amount of oil. With rose oil, for example, it takes 60 roses to make just one single drop of rose oil—or about 10,000 pounds of roses to make one pound of oil.
- Processing method used. The more complex and involved the processing technique required to make the oil, the higher the end cost will be.
- Supply and demand. Some essential oils are much less abundant, but are highly popular with consumers. Others are widely available but not in high demand. That can greatly affect the price you see on the label.1 2 3
Top 7 most expensive essential oils
Below are some of the essential oils that cost the most per drop.
1. Rose oil
Rose oil is probably the most popular and well-known expensive essential oil. Some people compare rose oil to gold, as it is so precious and valuable.
Rose oil is made by distilling crushed rose petals, and it has a very flowery perfume scent. It takes over 10,000 pounds of rose petals to create just one pound of this precious essential oil—or 60 flowers to make just one drop.1 4 This makes it very expensive to produce.
Certain types of rose oil are pricier than others, with Bulgarian rose oil being one of the most valuable. There is a very short picking season in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria where it is made, and each flower has to be cut individually before being taken immediately to be distilled.
Uses and benefits:
Rose oil is often used in fragrances due to its flowery perfume scent. It is associated with love and romance, and it also has been shown to help people relax and decrease anxiety.5
$300-$2,000 per oz.
2. Jasmine oil
Pure jasmine oil is high on the charts when it comes to the most expensive essential oils.
It takes about 200,000 jasmine flowers to make just one ounce of the stuff. Not only that, but the flowers are quite fragile and must be picked by hand and placed in baskets to protect the petals. Plus, they must be picked after sunset on the day that the delicate blooms open. This is how jasmine got its nickname, “queen of the night.”4 As you can see, it takes a lot of work and energy to produce this essential oil—thus the high cost.
Uses and benefits:
Jasmine essential oil is a common ingredient in perfumes and fragrances. It has also been shown to help boost mood and has stimulating qualities. Many people use it on their skin, hair, and scalp as well.6
$450-$700 per oz.
3. Melissa oil
Melissa essential oil comes from the plant Melissa officinalis, also known as lemon balm. It has a sweet, citrus-like scent.
One reason why Melissa oil has a high price tag is because it takes a lot of plants to produce a little oil.7 To make things more difficult, the plant only blooms in summer, and it doesn’t grow abundantly in North America. These factors can make it more expensive than many other oils.
Uses and benefits:
Melissa is thought to help reduce tension and increase feelings of calm, centeredness, and balance. It is also sometimes used to promote restful sleep.
$650-$850 per oz.
4. Agarwood oil
Agarwood oil, also called “oud,” is extracted from the wood of a tropical tree called agar. But it’s not just any tree nor any wood that is used to make this essential oil. The tree first must be infected with a particular type of mold, which causes the tree to produce a fragrant resin. Only 2% of trees produce this resin and are able to be used to make agarwood oil.4
Agarwood oil isn’t found in most popular essential oil brands, and it can be harder to get your hands on. Because it is so rare and hard to come by, it is quite expensive.
Uses and benefits:
Agarwood oil is thought to inspire strength and support self-awareness. It may help with concentration, stress, and digestion as well.8
$200-$800 per oz.
5. Iris oil
Perfume experts name iris oil (also called orris) as one of the top most expensive perfume ingredients in the world. To make just 4.4 pounds of iris essential oil, you’ll need one ton of iris plant bulbs. Plus, the bulbs need to be aged for several years before the oil is extracted.4
Uses and benefits:
Iris oil is mainly used as a natural fragrance in perfumes. It has a floral, woody scent.
$170-$2,800 per oz.
6. Sandalwood oil
Sandalwood has been a sacred oil of high value for centuries. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, sandalwood is one of the more expensive of all the essential oils available.9
Sandalwood essential oil is taken from a type of wood that holds its fragrance for decades, and it has a sweet, woody scent. While the production of this oil is going down as the years pass, the demand stays high. And that has resulted in a high market price for this oil.
Uses and benefits:
A soothing oil, sandalwood is often used in meditation to help calm the mind. It can also support skin health and is mixed into products to be applied topically. Research shows that it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.10
$65-$600 per oz.
7. Frankincense oil
Frankincense is thought of as one of the most precious of the essential oils, and it is often referred to as the “king of oils.” It has a long history of use in ancient religious rituals and is even referenced in texts like the New Testament. This sacred oil is now known to have many different medicinal benefits.
Uses and benefits:
Frankincense is a soothing oil that can bring a sense of peace and satisfaction. It is often used topically for skin health, but research suggests it can also support cellular, immune, nervous, and digestive function. It may be able to aid in a wide range of conditions such as asthma, cancer, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease, for example.11
$180-$350 per oz.
Tips for choosing the best essential oils for you
When it comes to essential oils, there is a lot to choose from. When deciding what essential oils are right for you, many factors might come into play including what their benefits are, how easy they are to acquire, what their scents are like, and of course their price.
The good news is that you can enjoy the benefits of essential oils whether you choose luxurious, precious essential oils that have a high price tag, or if you stick to the more affordable options.
Either way, here are a few tips to keep in mind when making an essential oil purchase:
- Consider your goals. Are you looking to simply freshen up your space with pleasant aromas that you enjoy? Are you looking for specific medicinal benefits to support your mind or body? Or maybe you’d like to support your meditation practice? Take some time to get to know different oils along with their uses and possible benefits before buying. There are a lot of oils to choose from and many different possible uses to support your goals.
- Look for quality. Because it takes so much raw material to make just a small amount of essential oil, some brands will dilute their products to make it cheaper to produce. So, make sure to choose trusted brands that use real, undiluted ingredients. Read labels, check to ensure the Latin name is listed on the bottle, and check the place of origin to ensure you are getting a pure product for a fair price.
- Do your research. Make sure to educate yourself about different essential oils, brands, processing methods, and so on so that you can make an informed choice. As with most products, there is a lot to learn. So take some time to do your research before buying.
- Consult with an expert. Looking to get into aromatherapy and want to know more? Consider working with an aromatherapist—someone who really knows their stuff and can help guide you on which essential oils are best for you.
- Stay safe. Consult with a healthcare provider before using any new products. And make sure that the essential oils you choose are tested for quality and don’t have harmful fillers or contaminants.
- Buy within your budget. You don’t have to use the most expensive essential oils to take advantage of the many benefits of essential oils. While in some cases you might want to pay more for a specific oil that suits your needs, a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean better or more beneficial. If you are on a budget, turn to the less expensive but still effective oils such as lavender, tea tree, citrus, peppermint, eucalyptus, and more. Find out more about affordable essential oils here.
About Chelsea Clark
Chelsea Clark is a writer and certified health and wellness coach who is passionate about supporting others along their own health journeys. She enjoys helping people make positive, lasting changes so that they can live the happiest, healthiest life possible.
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