10 Most Expensive Essential Oils in the World

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Essential oils are much more than just pleasant scents; they are potent extracts that harness the therapeutic properties of plants. These oils are obtained through meticulous extraction processes that often require large quantities of plant material, making some varieties particularly rare and expensive. As a result, the cost of these oils can vary significantly, influenced by factors such as the rarity of the plant, the complexity of the extraction process, and the oil’s demand in industries like perfumery and aromatherapy. 

Orris Essential Oil

orris oil
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Harvested from the roots of the Iris flower, Orris essential oil undergoes a unique three-to-five-year drying process before distillation, contributing to its high cost. The result is a subtly sweet and floral scent, highly esteemed in perfumery and aromatherapy. A mere ounce of this rare oil can cost upwards of $20,000, making it the most expensive essential oil in the world due to its complex production and exquisite aroma.

Rose Essential Oil

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Known as the “Queen of Essential Oils,” Rose oil is extracted through a meticulous steam distillation of rose petals, requiring tens of thousands of petals for just a small amount of oil. Its rich, intoxicating floral scent is a favorite in skincare and therapeutic products. For a 5mL bottle, prices can reach up to $400, reflecting its extensive labor requirements and the vast number of flowers needed.

Jasmine Essential Oil

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The extraction of Jasmine oil is a labor of love, involving the delicate process of picking the blossoms by hand at night, when their fragrance is most potent. This essential oil, celebrated for its deeply soothing and uplifting properties, can cost around $120 per 5mL. Its use in high-end perfumery and in promoting skin health justifies the expense.

Agarwood (Oud) Essential Oil

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Extracted from the resinous wood of the agar tree, which has been infected by a specific mold, Oud oil is prized for its unique and complex aroma. Its rarity and the slow natural process needed for the resin to form make Oud one of the most costly oils, often sold for over $300 per ounce. This oil is a staple in luxurious perfumes and traditional medicines across the Middle East and Asia.

Sandalwood Essential Oil

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Derived from the wood of mature Sandalwood trees, which can take over 40 years to reach harvesting age, this essential oil is valued for its woodsy, sweet fragrance and calming properties. A 5mL bottle can cost approximately $100, reflecting the slow growth and scarcity of the sandalwood trees.

Chamomile Essential Oil

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Particularly the Roman and German varieties, Chamomile oil is renowned for its calming, anti-inflammatory effects and is a popular choice in the treatment of skin conditions and stress relief. The cost of this soothing oil can be around $100 per ounce, a price that underscores its healing capabilities and the intensive labor of the extraction process.

Helichrysum Essential Oil

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Extracted from the flowers of the Helichrysum italicum plant, this oil is famous for its rejuvenating effects on the skin and its ability to improve various bodily functions. With a cost of around $150 for a small 5mL bottle, the price reflects the rarity of the plant and its potent therapeutic benefits.

Melissa Essential Oil

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Also known as lemon balm oil, it is distilled from the leaves and buds of the Melissa officinalis plant. Known for its light, fresh lemon scent and its ability to relieve stress and anxiety, Melissa oil is one of the more expensive oils, priced at about $150 for 5mL due to its low yield and intensive harvesting requirements.

Neroli Essential Oil

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This prized oil is extracted from the delicate white flowers of the bitter orange tree. Its sweet, floral, and slightly citrusy scent is cherished in aromatherapy and skincare. The high cost of around $200 per ounce is attributed to the large amount of flowers needed to produce a small amount of oil.

Bulgarian Rose Oil

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Sourced from the Rosa damascena plant grown in Bulgaria’s unique climate and soil, this oil is favored for its superior fragrance and therapeutic qualities. Its intensive laborious harvesting process and the sheer volume of rose petals needed justify a price tag of about $300 for 5mL. This oil is particularly celebrated in perfumery and luxurious skin care formulations.

This article originally appeared on Rarest.org.

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