Essential oils don’t go rancid, but they can oxidize and deteriorate over time. In other words, they slowly lose their aromatic quality. Shelf life clock starts at the time of harvesting & distillation. The time that it takes to get to you from the date of harvest can approach a year’s time or more. If an oil is stored correctly it will still be of a high quality an additional…. Birch: 3 – Years / Anise: 3 – Years / Clove: 1.5 – Years / Cypress: 1.5 – Years / Vetiver: 5 Years Myrrh: 5 Years …. if the oils are not refrigerated and protected from oxidation cut these guidelines in half!
The shelf life of essential oils can be maximized by storing them in dark glass bottles, keeping their caps tightly closed, and keeping them refrigerated or in a cool, dry location away from sunlight. As you use up the oil from a large bottle, re-bottle the oil into a smaller bottle. This reduces the “headspace,” the amount of oxygen that stays in contact with the oil.
Guidelines for Telling if an Essential Oil Has Deteriorated
- The aroma has changed
- The essential oil has thickened
- The essential oil has become cloudy