Can minimalism and building an essential oil collection co-exist? How many bottles are too many or not enough?
Some essential oil users love to show off their collection, and their cabinets and storage compartments are filled to the max with tiny little bottles.
A lot of enthusiastic oil users can’t resist a deal and buy oils because of sales or to gain reward points, and others purchase only what they need at the time.
Personally, if I purchase too many, I start to forget what’s in my arsenal, so I buy on an as-need basis–although sometimes I also can’t resist a good deal!
What Would Marie Kondo Do?
I’m guessing here, but she’d probably say to purchase and keep the oils that spark joy! For those who haven’t heard of her, Marie Kondo is the popular Japanese expert on decluttering and organizing.
She’s the bestselling author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and star of the Netflix series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.”
Her approach to having a tidy home is to sort through different items and decide whether to keep or get rid of them based on how much joy and functionality they bring.
Marie champions that you should keep the items that bring you happiness and discard the items that no longer serve you and spark joy.
Her ideas are called the KonMari method; this method encompasses her strategies on decluttering and tidying based on categories.
You don’t need to become a minimalist to use her methods, but many minimalists absolutely love her ideas.
KonMari and Aromatherapy
I would have thought otherwise, but Marie Kondo is actually a big fan of aromatherapy. According to a recent article in Real Estate, Marie uses an aromatherapy spray every morning to start her workday and believes that the ritual helps her focus on getting into her “work mode.”
Her KonMari shop lists four different aromatherapy blend sprays and an essential oil bundle with four oils. Since her shop reflects items that she recommends, we can speculate that she really likes these four oils:
In an interview with Motto, a website affiliated with Time magazine, Marie talks about her favorite things and loves these three aromatherapy products:
- Kuromoji, an popular oil in Japan, to help her calm down before sleep
- Lavender in a spray to help her calm down
- Mint in a spray to help her concentrate if she is working and becoming tired
Side note: Kuromoji is a tree that grows all over Japan. It’s been traditionally used to make toothpicks and indoor decorations, and the essential oil is often described as a woody, peppery fragrance.
(P.S. I had to look that one up since I had never heard of it before.)
Which Oils are Deemed Essential by the Companies?
We can take Marie Kondo’s idea of only keeping and using items that bring you happiness and applying it to your essential oil collection.
Essential oil companies don’t know what YOU consider essential for yourself and your family, but they do keep track of the most popular and best selling oils.
If you’re trying to build a minimal collection of essential oils and are unsure where to start, then it’s a good idea to look at what’s popular with other people.
I did an unscientific study of sets and collections by random essential oil companies to evaluate what they consider “essential.”
I chose the kits/collections based on the number of oils (3-10 oils) in the kit and terms used to describe the oils.
Terms listed in the kit descriptions included oils that were “bestsellers,” “most popular,” “most versatile,” “staples,” “essential,” or for “starters” or “beginners.”
I only included single oils and excluded the blends that were sometimes included in the kits.
Here’s the companies and their corresponding sets/collections that I looked through. The companies are listed in alphabetical order.
- Amrita Aromatherapy–Essential Oil Sampler
- Aura Cacia–Discover Essential Oils Kit
- doTerra–Beginner’s Trio; Family Essentials Set
- Eco Modern Essentials–Top 3 Trio; Eco Favourites 10 Pack
- Edens Garden–Best of the Best Essential Oil Set (6); Top Single Essential Oil Set (6)
- Jade Bloom–Starter Pack
- Le Reve–Aroma Essentials Set
- Mountain Rose Herbs–Classic Essential Oil Kit
- Plant Therapy–Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint Trio set; 7&7 Essential Oil Set
- Rocky Mountain Oils–The Essential Kit; Single Essential Kit
- Simply Earth–Boxed Set (Popular Single Oils)
- Young Living–Everyday Oils Essential Collection
I evaluated which essential oils were in the kits and came up with a list of nearly 20 oils total.
From that list, I determined which were the 10 most common oils out of all the oils in the kits/collections.
Based on the product descriptions, it appears that the oils are near or at the top of the lists as the most popular, versatile, and best selling oils.
Top 10 Essential Oils in “Essential” Collections
In order of popularity in the collections, here are the top 10 essential oils. The percentage next to the oil describes how often it appeared in the collections.
- Lavender (Appeared in 100% of the collections)
- Peppermint (88%)
- Lemon (71%)
- Tea Tree/Melaleuca (53%)
- Eucalyptus (47%)
- Sweet Orange (41%)
- Frankincense (24%)
- Rosemary (18%)
- Geranium (12%)
- Cedarwood (12%)
If you’re a minimalist looking to build a collection of basic oils, the list may help guide you with choosing oils.
To minimize your collection, it’s probably a good idea to figure out what you plan to do with an oil before purchasing it, rather than buying one simply because you need to use up reward points or because it’s on sale.
Of course, if none of the oils listed above bring you joy and are useless to you, then the list has no meaning. Build your own list and use that as your guide.
How many essential oils are in your personal collection? What do you think is the bare minimum or maximum number of oils that are functional for you and would make you happy?