Aura Cacia was the first essential oil brand that I tried when I began exploring the world of aromatherapy.
Being a complete newbie then, I had simply searched with the words “essential oils” in iHerb.com, a webstore that’s chock-full of natural products of all kinds and offers international shipping to boot.
Aura Cacia came up and it had very positive iHerb ratings, so naturally it attracted my attention.
Since then, I’ve tried essential oils from several other brands. But I still remember Aura Cacia with special fondness…
Anyway, as Aura Cacia was the one that had introduced me to the world of essential oils, it seems appropriate to begin my writings about essential oil brands with it. So here goes!
|Based in:||Norway, Iowa|
|Number of essential oil singles:||More than 100|
|Number of organic essential oil singles:||Around 24|
|Essential oil products:||Singles, blends, body oils, body scrubs, body creams,
body massage creams, mists, roll-ons, facial oils, shower forms and minerals, air fresheners
|Other products:||Carrier oils, diffusers, bottles and containers|
|Domestic shipping (within continental US):||Free for orders over $49|
|International shipping:||Not available|
|Also sold on:|
Click here for Aura Cacia products on iHerb
Click here for Aura Cacia products on Amazon
Aura Cacia’s setup is rather different from that of the typical essential oil business. It belongs to a co-operative, the Frontier Co-Op.
A co-op is a bit different from the usual type of business, in that it’s owned by a number of members who share in the control of the business. In Frontier’s case, its members are the wholesale customers who buy and sell Frontier’s products.
The co-ops that I’ve seen are typically very involved in the communities they work with, and Frontier is no exception.
Per Frontier’s website, the co-op uses 4% of its annual net savings to support charitable causes and improve the lives of both local communities and grower communities around the world.
Its activities included building a pre-school in Madagascar and a dormitory and school for children in Vietnam.
Frontier also emphasizes natural and sustainable living. The co-op began selling organic products back in the 1970s, way before the word “organic” is as popular and well-known as it is today.
Frontier had also purchased land to establish tall-grass prairies, and they’ve been working with growers to grow and harvest plants in sustainable ways.
Sourcing, Distilling and Testing
Aura Cacia sources locally as well as around the world for the plants used to make its oils, and it maintains direct relationships with the growers.
Aura Cacia doesn’t distill its own oils, but to be fair, very few essential oil vendors do.
The brand does, however, perform its testing in-house. Every shipment of essential oils is put through gas chromatography (GC) tests to ensure that each shipment meets expected quality and purity standards.
And you’ll be glad to know that Aura Cacia products are not tested on animals!
Aura Cacia Pros
1. Carries a very wide selection of essential oil singles and blends.
2. Also carries home and beauty products made with essential oils, carrier oils and accessories such as diffusers and containers.
3. Essential oils are of good quality and very reasonably priced.
4. The website provides information such as recipes and how-to-use pointers, which can be helpful especially for beginners.
5. The co-op (Frontier) promotes sustainability and has a very strong program of giving back to society
Aura Cacia Cons
1. Aura Cacia’s website does not offer international shipping. But if you live outside the US, you can get most (though not necessarily the full selection) through Amazon or iHerb.
2. The biggest con (in my opinion at least) is that the website contains limited information on its products.
For example, information such as the country source and method of extraction/ distillation for essential oil singles are not indicated. For certain home and beauty products, the full ingredient list is also not given.
To be fair, I should add that certain information that aren’t indicated in the website are actually on the labels of the products.
For instance, the country source is indicated on the label of essential oil singles. I know this because I’ve purchased Aura Cacia products before. But I’ll have preferred to know this before, not after I’ve bought the product.
This is probably the main reason why I eventually moved away from Aura Cacia. You can say that I’ve outgrown them.
When I first started out, I didn’t know that the country source, for instance, makes a difference. But now I know that the same oil from different countries have different chemical composition makeups, and therefore different scents. So over time, I develop preferences for oils from certain countries, and the lack of such information on Aura Cacia’s website is a problem for me.
Aura Cacia’s products are easily available through Amazon, iHerb or its own website.
It also carries related products such as home and beauty items, carrier oils, diffusers and containers. So you can buy everything you need in one place.
There’s also an incredibly wide selection and the oils are reasonably priced, making it a nice starter brand.
But the information on the website is rather limited, so experienced or knowledge-seeking users may find it inadequate to make purchase decisions.