Tips for Preparing Essential Oil Samples

As I was planning gifts for Christmas, I remembered that I love to give extended family and friends gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Many people don’t have the props they need for the wisemen when they reenact the story of Jesus’ birth.

You don’t have to wait until Christmas to give others the gift of essential oils. Some of the best times to give people essential oil samples is when they have a health concern, birthdays, and holidays.

When I hand someone an essential oil sample for a present or because they need it, I often hear that it is one of the greatest gifts they have received. It gives me great joy when I see their faces light up.

Preparing essential oil samples for gifts is even easier now that oils have become so mainstream. The old way to make the samples was messy because some of the drops splashed alongside the oil bottles and onto counters. There was also the risk of contamination from fingers when the orifice reducer was pressed into place.

Fortunately, today, it’s so much easier to make sure the oils end up where you want them to and to keep the samples as pure as possible. I’ll show you what I use to make the process fast and easy.

Choosing a bottle type

Sample Bottles: No matter the occasion, I recommend using 1 ml (1/4 dram) bottles instead of 2 ml (5/8 dram), especially if you are giving away more than one oil sample per person or  you’re choosing not to dilute it. This way, you can add 5-18 drops of oil and it will appear mostly full rather than partially full. This is especially important when your gift list is long and the oil’s cost is on higher end, such as at Christmas when you’re giving away frankincense and myrrh. Make sure to choose a colored bottle to protect it from the sun’s UV rays.

Roller bottles: When making your own blends or sharing oils that need to be diluted, I recommend getting roller bottles with stainless steel rollers. The stainless steel rollers roll more smoothly than their plastic counter parts. Make sure to choose a colored bottle to protect it from the sun’s UV rays.

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The Tools

Labels: You’ll want to label the oil bottles and lids you’re giving away, especially if you are giving away 2 or more oil samples. The lids could get switched.

Learn from my mistake: I gave a friend a few samples. I put labels on the lids, but not the bottles. I should have suggested that she use one oil at a time and replace the lid before opening another bottle. The lids got switched. I’m super grateful that one of the oil samples wasn’t oregano because the residue from the lid could have gotten onto the other sample and irritated her skin when she applied it to her skin. What a surprise that would be! And no, that wouldn’t have been fun!

Color coded water proof essential oil bottle labels.

White waterproof, oilproof Essential Oil Labels

Pipettes or eye droppers and mini funnels: Using one of these tools will prevent spills. No matter how careful I am, some of the oil ends up on the counter or the side of the bottle if I without the assistance. Another advantage is that you could be waiting a long time to get a drop from oils like vetiver. When the drop finally comes out, it’s a pretty big drop and your target (the top of the sample bottle) is tiny.

Learn from my mistake: One time, I grew impatient with vetiver while making several samples and took the orifice reducer off. OH MY! That was a HUGE mistake. It came out faster than I expected and ended up with a  pool of vetiver on the bottle and counter. Most of the spilled vetiver ended up on the necks of everyone in my house and the kitchen smelled like vetiver all day, even after the clean up. I love the smell, but it served to remind me to NEVER do that again!

Using a pipette or eyedropper will speed up the process and prevent messes. I would forgo the mini funnels for thick, slow oils like vetiver.

A large pack of pipettes make it easier to avoid cross contamination while creating samples.

These mini funnels fit bottles 4 oz or less.

Swiss Key or Press: I used to use a butter knife or my fingers to insert the orifice reducer or roller bottle into place. The knife often knocked the bottles over and caused the oil to spill. My fingers would hurt after a few sample creations, plus I was concerned about contamination with this method.

I personally use a Rollerbottle O-Pressto Orifice Aid for sample bottles and the end of a plug for roller bottles as seen below. This tool can only help you place the orifice reducer, it cannot help you remove it if you want to refill it. It’s not recommended for rollers because too much pressure on the roller can cause it to dislodge, rendering the roller useless.

Many people use an Essential Oil Swiss Key because it takes up significantly less space, seats orifice reducers and rollers into bottles, and assists in removing orifice reducers and rollers from bottles.

If you are in a pinch because you don’t have one of these, my hack is to use a standard 2 pronged plug from any electrical device to put the roller onto a bottle.

Essential Oil Swiss Key for sample sized, 5 ml, and 15 ml bottles.

Rollerbottle O-Pressto Orifice Aid

Keychain Travel Bag: There are times when you might fill one of these for yourself or give away several sample bottles at a time. A Keychain travel bag makes it easier to keep the oils handy on the go- because there’s nothing quite so frustrating as needing an oil and not having it with you. Black not your color? They come in many different colors.

This is black keychain travel bag that holds 8 1 or 2 ml bottles.

This key-chain holds 10 bottles and comes with 1 5/8 dram roller bottles.

Writing about creating essential oil sample gifts reminds me that I print out this card to give with my little gift bags of gold, frankincense, and myrrh at Christmas time. Download it and print it out onto card stock, get a hole punch and add a ribbon to it, then add it to the gift bag for your essential oils. Viola! You have a memorable Christmas gift.


I like to use draw string gift bags like this because it’s easier to find the frankincense, myrrh, and the “gold” (chocolate wrapped in gold foil). Plus, I can see right away that everything that nothing fell out.


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