Holland and Barrett are a high street staple found in the centre of most UK towns. Amongst their selection of health foods, vitamin supplements and protein powders they also stock an extensive range of ‘Miaroma’ essential oils.
Essential oils can be used for aromatherapy, diluted and rubbed into skin or added to a bath. They can add a beautiful smell to a room, sooth dry and itchy skin and, when inhaled, even reduce the symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.
With nearly 40 to choose from you can get anything from the classics like lavender, patchouli and rose, to the more exotic including Frankincense and Bergamot. To get a good overview of the range I ordered a selection of four that have distinctly different scents and potential benefits.
When I think of essential oils this is the first one that comes to mind. It has a distinctive smell and is well known aid relaxation. Holland and Barrett also say that it can be used to calm an active mind and to reduce feelings of nervousness. This oil is sourced from France, 100% pure with no synthetic ingredients.
This must be my all-time favourite essential oil; I find the sharp yet sweet and fresh fragrance revitalising and perfect to put in a diffuser first thing in the morning. Holland and Barrett have labelled this one as being said to have purifying and uplifting properties on the mind and body. This is a pure, natural oil and is sourced from Spain.
This was an oil that I wasn’t familiar with but smelt like a slightly menthol lavender. My father in law told me that patchouli oil was well used in the sixties and seventies as it was the only thing powerful enough to cover up the distinctive smell of cannabis. This is labelled a romantic fragrance that helps to enhance a sense of grounding and stability. It is often used in aromatherapy and this one is sourced from Indonesia.
Another favourite of mine but one I associate more with its use in cooking. Rosemary oil is one of the most surprising essential oils, it smells great, but it is said to have an incredible host of benefits such as enhancing brain function and memory. Holland and Barrett say that it is thought to be highly stimulating and can clear your head. This is pure, free from artificial additives and sourced from Tunisia.
Each oil comes in a small brown glass bottle I poured out a little of each to get a better look. All oils were clear with no cloudiness or residue. However, there was some difference in colour and consistency.
Both the lavender and rosemary oils were the thickness of water and perfectly clear. The lemon oil was also like water, but it was a pleasant pale yellow colour. The patchouli oil was slightly thicker than each of the others and a dark straw colour. From this inspection all oils gave the impression of being pure, as labelled, and of being good quality.
While essential oils can fill your house with incredible smells, when they are in the bottle, they can be overpowering. All of these had clear scents that were intense in the bottle and delicate when diffused. Each smelt as I would expect for its type. From regular use I found that cold diffusing and heat diffusing or burning the oils gave pleasant but slightly too strong aromas. They all gave the most palatable scents when used in a steam diffuser.
Value for money
The Miaroma 10 ml range is well priced. If you look online, you can find gift packs of oils that are cheaper, but I was happy to pay between £5.99 and £6.99 for each of these. At £6.59 the lavender oil is cheaper than many other brands in shops and online.
The most expensive 10 ml oils in the range are Thyme oil and Juniper oil which reach £11.99 and £11.39 respectively. However, when you consider the many offers available at Holland and Barrett you get an even better deal. There is a ‘buy one get one half price’ sticker on most of the range and the others have half price off. For 100% pure oils sourced from selected areas from around the world I felt that they were all excellent value.
From my inspections I felt that these were good quality oils, however, I do feel that there should be more information with them. Unfortunately, these days you can’t just take things at face value, even from trusted high street brands. For me, 100% pure isn’t enough for me to know that I’m getting quality. I’d like to see some information about the oil such as which terpenes it contains(one of the most fragrant active ingredients in essential oils). On the packaging there is a sentence or too about the distillation of the raw ingredients, but it would also be good to know a little bit about the area the oil comes from.
I am a big fan of independent lab test being completed on products, especially those that I’m going to inhale and rub on my skin. I have no doubt that this is high quality oil but being 100% pure doesn’t automatically guarantee quality. It doesn’t specify the quality of the raw ingredients and what steps are taken to ensure there is no contamination from pesticides or chemicals.
I was pleased with the quality of all these oils and enjoyed using them. Essential oils have surprisingly powerful effects on mood and well-being and are a great value way of giving yourself a little lift.
The oils appeared clean and clear, had beautiful smells and were easy to dispense from the bottle a drop at a time. I was convinced of the quality, but I would like to see more information given about each oil. Holland and Barrett is an excellent place to buy essential oils from, especially if you are new to it. There process and huge selection means that you can try a few different ones to get an idea of what works for you.