Slide background


E.O.B.B.D stands for Essential Oils Botanically and Biochemically Defined.

The E.O.B.B.D standard is not a certification, and it is a not a regulatory agency. Instead, it is a definition of a set of standards and processes that should be used on every batch of essential oils. It guarantees that the essential oil has been subjected to a series of test that confirms all of the characteristics, molecular fingerprint, and botanic definition has been properly done and can be traced back to the producing country, specific location, species of plant, and if applicable the chemotype. These standards were first introduced in France in the 1970's and have since become a standard for evaluating pure essential oils. These standards along with additional standards we require at Be Young make up our 14 step process and our guarantee to you for the highest and most potent essential oils we can offer. 

Botanical: of or relating to plants 

Latin names with very specific meanings are given to each plant's genus family and species. There are multiple plants within each genus and family, sometimes hundreds. If an essential oils company fails to harvest the correct species with the correct botanical name, they will not be yielding the correct compounds for therapeutic effect. E.O.B.B.D assesses for the full botanical species in order to pinpoint precisely the chemical compounds within.

The producing organ will determine the chemical compounds and their concentrations.

It is important to know where  essential oils are produced and stored within the plant. The oils in cinnamon leaf and cinnamon bark, for instance, have different chemical composition and percentages of compounds, even though they have similar aromas. You wouldn’t want to bake with bitter cinnamon leaf oil, and you wouldn’t want to bathe in capsicum-laced cinnamon bark oil. It is important to know which portion of the plant is harvested for oil so you can identify its proper use. 


Physical health of the plant 

The uniformity and health of oil producing plants will significantly impact the value of the oil’s final chemical analysis. The EOBBD inspection of the plant and the crop that produce essential oils is extensive. It includes, not only the health of the harvested plant, but also an assessment of nearby plants that may impact the compounds within the final oil yield. 

It is not just about extracting plant compounds, it is about extracting the proper ratios for therapeutic benefits

There are several different extraction methods and they vary depending upon the essential oil desired. Dry steam with minimal pressure is the desired process for 90% of essential oils. Cold expression, however, is ideal for citrus oils. For fragile, flower-based essential oils, such as rose and ylang-ylang, hydraulic distillation in a water bath is best. The process used to extract oils from the plant matter impacts the final quality of the essential oils and, if done correctly, preserves their longevity. 


Most of the standards for essential oil only test the top four or five chemical compounds.

It is essential to measure every compound within an oil-producing plant. They are concerned with more than fragrance, after all. The EOBBD total physical analysis measures down to 0.01% of all compounds in the essential oil. This is where quality is found. Smaller compounds are often necessary for activating the major compounds, making all the difference in whether the oils are effective for therapeutic use.



If oils are diluted, this refraction angle changes. 

EOBBD evaluators shine lights through the liquid oil and measure the angle of refraction. Why? Essential oils that are sealed and created under the correct parameters will refract light at a very specific index. If oils are diluted, this refraction angle changes. The refraction index is a very reliable measurement of whether or not an essential oil is pure and unadulterated.

The color of an essential oil identifies its producing organ.

Color is a crucial element in evaluating essential oils. For example, coriander seed will have a slight color to it that is visibly different from the crystal clear coriander leaf oil.  The color of cinnamon bark oil is completely unlike the oil of the cinnamon leaf. The color of an essential oil identifies its producing organ, thus revealing the properties that oil possesses.

Density will reveal whether or not an essential oil is adulterated at the atomic level.

This is a highly technical measurement of atomic mass units and a chemical analysis of molecular bonds. The physical density of oils is indexed. This testing will reveal whether or not an essential oil is adulterated at the atomic level.

The odor of a pure essential oil must be full, robust, and contain all the full notes of the plant’s true aroma.

An essential oil’s odor must conform with the species listed on the label. Oils and synthetic chemicals with similar components can have similar scents, but the subtle elements and notes of the aroma will reveal a true species.  Lower quality citrus oils, especially, are often sourced from chemicals that mimic a portion of the recognizable citrus odor. 

A pure essential oil will draw light towards the center.

The assessment for this measurement detects the way light shined through the oil spins when the oil is in motion.  An adulterated oil will stir light toward the outside of a prism, whereas a pure essential oil will draw light towards the center.

Discoloration can reveal that the oil has been improperly extracted.

A trained expert in essential oils will understand all of the elements of any given oil, and recognize those qualities on sight. The viscosity, the color, the clarity, and other visible qualities of an oil indicate purity. Any appearance of inappropriate cloudiness, particulates or discoloration can reveal that the oil has been improperly extracted.

For an oil producing plant, climate is crucial. 

Changing the country of origin for the plant matter that produces essential oils can yield a product so unique it can behave like a completely different species than oil extracted from plants grown just a few hundred miles away. Elevation, water, insects, and soil quality are just a few of the parameters that influence an oil's quality and the compound percentages within. The same genus or species of plant, when exposed to different environmental factors, can contain significantly altered concentrations of key compounds.

EOBBD insists that an essential oil producer trace a batch from field to finished product.

EOBBD insists that an essential oil producer trace a batch from field to finished product and document every stop along that journey. If the oil is traced back to a clearinghouse the origin can be unknown, which means the quality cannot be documented. It is essential that the full tracing track is documented in order to ensure that the oil has not been adulterated at any point.

In additition to the 14 steps of E.O.B.B.D we also require a soil microbiology analysis on every batch.

The importance of soil microbiology is vital to the plant and to the final harvest.EOBBD assesses the soil in which oil producing plants are grown in order to verify that the growing conditions are truly organic or wild-crafted. If the microbes are not measured at a specific ratio, this can indicate that the growing processes are not organic and the final yield may have traces of unwanted chemicals, pesticides and herbicides that can destroy the effectiveness of essential oils.

E.O.B.B.D Guarantee Essential Oils

Four decades of testing equals E.O.B.B.D

  • 1970
  • I.N.S.A. Established

    Due to the lack of uniformity of testing pure essential oils a scientific committee of independent health professionals based in Europe came together and formed the I.N.S.A. - (Institut de Normalization Scientifique d’Aromatologie) which developed the 14 standards for testing pure essential oils.

  • 1971
  • E.O.B.B.D Established

    I.N.S.A. - (Institut de Normalization Scientifique d’Aromatologie) develops a database by which the standards of H.E.B.B.D is established and made available to members who are accepted to access this database.

  • 1974
  • Quality Assurance

    H.E.B.B.D (known as E.O.B.B.D in the US) is enhanced with a quality-assurance system with standards for therepeutic use. This process evaluates trace of lots, botanical description, organoleptic characteristics, extraction method, and full physical and chemical analyses (GC/MS coupling) on every batch of oil. These controls are made under the responsibility of a J.C. Chalcat Ph.D. 

  • 1976
  • Chemotype

    Pierre Franchomme, founder of the International School of Aromatherapy, creates the term "chemotype" (formalized in 2006 by the European Union). This concept  is particularly important in identifying properties that can differ within the same plant depending on growing season, climate, harvest, and exposure to environmental factors such as pests, fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals.


  • 1980
  • Chemotype e.o.b.b.d

    Philippe Mailhebiau, one of the founders of the H.E.B.B.D, adopts chemotypes as a requirement for the H.E.B.B.D standard.

  • 1984
  • e.o.b.b.d. is internationally recgonized

    H.E.B.B.D is officially recgonized as the criteria for quality assurance in the essential oils industry. 

  • 2000
  • E.O.B.B.D ISO Certified

    Rigorous procedures for a method of analysis and quality control management are established and obtain ISO 9002 certification.

  • 2011
  • 1980 - 2011: database grows

    The H.E.B.B.D database has expanded tremendously between the years of 1980 and 2011. Here, interested parties can review evaluations for more than 25,000 chromatographic analyses on essential oils consecutively over 70,000 olfactory tests.