If you use Piping Rock, and think the prices are good, but not sure of the quality, I’m here to help.
Piping Rock essential oils is a huge natural health products company. They sell essential oils, carrier oils and aromatherapy accessories. Plus, Piping Rock is big into natural supplements, multi vitamins, and protein powders. They also sell other herbs, nuts and seed. In this way, they are quite comparable to NOW essential oils company.
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That said, I wanted to order Arnica essential oil for back massage and muscle soreness, and I couldn’t find it at any of my favorite oil brands. So, I researched the internet, stumbled upon Piping Rock, and placed my first order. And now I can share my experience here with you!
Piping Rock has been selling essential oils since 2011. Their company legacy dates back to 1971 when they started manufacturing and selling vitamins.
Their company mission is quite noble, in that they say “everyone deserves great health”. True, their products are affordable and don’t leave anyone out in working towards their health goals.
That said, price isn’t everything…
Piping Rock Oils Quality
My first order from Piping Rock included Arnica oil, Muscle Ease blend, and Apricot Kernel oil. I also added a basic Essential Oil Starter Kit with Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary and the like to my cart.
It was only after I had received & opened the oils, that I started researching the company. Big mistake! I found Essential Oil University, which is a trusted source for essential oil information. The site is founded by essential oil chemist Dr. Robert Pappas, and has become a leading education reference on the chemical breakdowns of essential oils.
On the Essential Oil University Facebook page, you can find this post, which exposes 13 Piping Rock essential oils as fake after going through chemical testing.
My personal product experience aligns with these findings. Though I don’t have any chemical testing equipment available, I have my nose (olfactory testing) and other tools available. I didn’t like the smell of Piping Rock oils.
I could not find any information as to where Piping Rock sources their essential oils. It is to be assumed that they gather the plant materials from all over the globe, through different relationships with farmers, distillers, or wholesellers.
Their website states that they hand-select raw materials. It states:
In 40+ years in the natural products industry, we have discovered the best ingredient suppliers in the world. We only use ethical suppliers whose high standards of quality, purity and freshness match our own.
Being a natural supplements company first, this statement pertains to the whole of their product line. It is only assumed that essential oils fall under this same practice. But what if they don’t? What if this is only about supplements and nutritional products? There is no way to know exactly.
The essential oils at Piping Rock are labelled as “Pure Essential Oil”. If it seems to you like an oils’ quality is good, but you just don’t know how to check it, look for the availability of third party GC/MS reports.
When essential oil companies send their oils to a 3rd party testing lab for independent verification, this has become somewhat of a quality indicator. Some oil brands, such as NOW essential oils or Aura Cacia, still do in-house testing only though.
Similarly, Piping Rock tests their oils in-house only. Under quality guarantee, their website states:
We start with wholesome raw materials, sourced from reliable suppliers and then quality-tested in our lab.
Brand such as Plant Therapy, REVIVE, Simply Earth, and Edens Garden send their oils to an independent 3rd party lab for testing. They make test results publicly available, so anyone can read up on essential oils quality themselves. You can find these respective brand reviews on my website.
My Piping Rock Oils Testing Experience
For me, the easiest way to test a new-to-me essential oils brand is to order familiar oils. That way, I can draw from my experience when smelling and evaluating the oils.
I was quite excited when I received my Piping Rock oils. Their Lavender essential oil smelled pleasant. It was only after reading the label that I found out it is actually Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia), and not traditional Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).
So that made me go “hmmmm” a little bit.
Next up, I opened Frankincense, another oil I use a lot and am very familiar with. The scent smelled weak. Accurate, but weak.
I decided to make a DIY body butterwith this oil, to see how it behaved in a recipe. The scent weakened significantly after about 3 hours of making the body butter, and was almost completely gone overnight.
The third oil I went for was Cedarwood. Again, a lovely oil and a scent I always recognize. After opening this bottle, I was done with Piping Rock oils. This Cedarwood was again a different plant species than what most popular oil brands use. It was Cedarwood (Juniperus ashei), compared to Cedarwood Atlas (Cedrus atlantica) or Cedrus deodara.
I do not have another Juniperus ashei in my oils collection. I don’t know if these different kinds of oil species are cheaper to source, or why Piping Rock is selling these kinds of varieties as their oils.
If you’re switching from another brand and are expecting a similar scent experience, you’d have to first research the Latin plant names and make sure that the varieties match.
I was personally disappointed with how these oils smelled. They were not what I was used to, and not what I was hoping for.
I did end up opening Peppermint oil, but it smelled so strongly chemical, it made my eyes tear up.
Rather than tossing these essential oils in the trash, I downgraded them for use in my DIY cleaning products. Therapeutic value is less important in an all-purpose cleaning spray than if you’d put the essential oil on your skin, body lotion, or in a massage blend.
Even though I couldn’t get Arnica oil at Plant Therapy, I certainly recommend the Plant Therapy starter kits and oil collection over Piping Rock. Plant Therapy is such better quality!
Product Selection and Pricing
Piping Rock offers 100 essential oils and oil blends. You can find things like Verbena oil, Elemi, or Tagetes essential oil here. This is incredible, knowing that other oil brands don’t carry such specific oils. They have 1 starter kit, which is 12 oils for just under $45.
Oil bottles are 15 ml in size, which is slightly larger compared to a popular 10 ml size from other brands. Keep the bottle size in mind when comparing essential oils prices.
At the end of the day, Piping Rock does carry some items I just couldn’t find anywhere else, and at an affordable price. That said, if I know I’m not actually getting a true, pure essential oil, I am not going to spend my money there. Rather, I’ll save up and buy what I need from a better oil company instead.
The oils were carefully packaged and arrived without damage. My essential oil supplies (glass bottles) were wrapped in bubble wrap, and arrived without damage, too.
Carrier Oils, Accessories and Supplies
It is incredibly handy to be able to buy accessories and DIY containers at the same time as ordering your oils. When your package arrives in the mail, you’ll be all set for your recipe making. No need to wait on separate mail-outs from separate online stores.
The carrier oils I ordered, I enjoyed. The quality was good, and the shelf life lasted as expected. I still have one of my Apricot Kernel oils 2 years later now and it’s not smelling rancid or “off”.
I can recommend the carrier oils and accessories from Piping Rock.
Piping Rock also lists a whole category of 44 fragrance oils. These are not to be confused with essential oils. They don’t carry the same therapeutic properties as you’d expect from an essential oil. Fragrance oils are used when you want a nice scent alone. Projects would include candle making, natural perfumes, or simply scenting a room without expecting aromatherapy benefits.
You can find out more about fragrance oils vs. essential oils here.
I believe Piping Rock being such a big company, they can offer great prices as they themselves probably enjoy bulk discounts from their suppliers. This is guessing only, of course, but it makes sense to me. They buy at a great price, and can roll that over onto us.
On their website, Piping Rock provides some insight as to why they’re able to offer such low prices:
After 40+ years in the natural products industry, we’ve found the secret to making quality nutrition more affordable than ever before. Our state-of-the-art supplement warehouse enables us to manage formulation, testing, manufacturing, quality control, packaging and shipping all under one roof. By eliminating expenses related to outsourcing, distribution and retail locations, we dramatically lower our operating costs without sacrificing quality. We are proud to pass the savings directly to you. By delivering the highest quality at low prices, PipingRock makes nutritional well-being accessible and affordable for everyone!
Shoppers at Piping Rock enjoy a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can return your products within one full year of purchase. This is a pretty great timeline and offer.
Piping Rock also has deals happening almost all of the time. If you’re shopping for a discount or bulk price, you’ll be very happy!
Overall, Piping Rock is not an oil brand I’ll keep stocking up on. I gave them 2 stars, personally. I don’t like that some of the plant species used aren’t the ones I’m used to. However, they are labelled properly, so it’s not a hard fact official mistake. It’s just my preference.
Bigger issue though, was how my eyes started to water after opening their Peppermint. The report of fake, fraudulent 3rd party testing by Dr. Pappas didn’t help my confidence in these oils, either.
I do like their wide selection, and affordable pricing. But I don’t like that there is only one starter kit to choose from. This doesn’t make it very easy to gift, or even get started yourself in the most easy way.
I recommend you shop with alternate essential oil companies, such as Plant Therapy, REVIVE essential oils, or Edens Garden. They offer oils in a very similar price range, that are 3rd party tested and in my opinion, much better than Piping Rock.