Steps to creating your own home apothecary

When customers and clients come to visit, the first thing they see is my apothecary. I have to admit, it does create a bit of a focal point in my space. A system is needed to keep my essential oils organized, and handy. Yes, I have them corralled and each cubby is labelled alphabetically. Yes, I am a bit of a nerd. But you will grow to love that about me, because I do tons of research.

I didn’t start out with all this- but I have learned some tips along the way, and I’d like to pass them along to you. So- let’s go.

This article got very lengthy, so what you are reading now is actually PART 1 of a series. Stay tuned for the rest! If you subscribe to the blog, you’ll automatically get the next one. Oh hey, look! A subscribe button! —–>>>

Do some initial planning

Before you begin, ask yourself some questions. Will you be seeing clients here? Is this strictly a work space, or do you live there, too? Additionally, you should be asking how much space do you need to dedicate for this? How much space do you actually have? Can you store all your supplies in this location, or do you need a secondary station?

Is this going to be a supply hub for your family containing other supplies such as herbs and first aid?

Grab a bevvie and set aside a chunk of time for this step. It’s important. You need to be intentional from the beginning. As you define what your needs really are, you will be able to make an effective plan right off the bat. Perhaps you might discover that you will need to either build or purchase storage. Be sure to discuss this along with a budget with relevant family members (or business partners).

Take inventory of what you currently have

Now is a good time to clear out old, expired, rancid or otherwise unusable supplies. From there you can sort out what you’ll be keeping and what you’ll need to add to your supply list.

For those of you who love to be organized, may I suggest my Essential Oil organizer binder templates. This is a 30 page goldmine for the essential oil enthusiast and professional alike.

What you will need to start: supplies

Now for the fun part!

Let’s break it down into categories, shall we.

  • Essential oils
  • Carrier oils, butters, waxes
  • Storage supplies like bottles and jars etc.
  • Mixing and blending items
  • Herbs and dried supplies
  • Labels and misc.
  • Small, medium and large storage

Tip: I will break down different levels of involvement and commitment in each of these categories. Otherwise, it can get overwhelming. And we don’t want that!

Essential Oils

To start out, you don’t need 100 essential oils. Yes, they are extremely collectable. I know, I collect them.

Tip: Set a budget for your essential oil collection. This will help you prioritize and plan in advance. You can also keep your spending under control much better.

You will notice that I only list certain companies here. I have selected the most suitable, appropriate and specific oil for each listing. That’s how much I care! I have made my selections based on:

  • Reputation of the company
  • Botanical name of the oil I recommend (sometimes it matters- a lot!)
  • Price point
  • Method of extraction (for example, I prefer the CO2 extracted oil of ginger compared with the steam distilled one)
  • Completeness of label information and data
  • Organic options- most of the listings are USDA certified organic oils
  • When you visit the link, most times you’ll be able to select a different size, if you wish


Absolute Beginner Startup Kit

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)Canada purchase here
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)Canada purchase here
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globules or radiata)Canada purchase here
Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis)Canada purchase here
Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis)Canada purchase here

What I would add next, as soon as possible

Actually, these added to the above oils, make up my top 10 essential oils to start with. They are extremely versatile and will cover many of your needs.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)Canada purchase here
Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)Canada purchase here
Geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens)Canada purchase here
Lemon (Citrus limon)Canada purchase here
Tea Tree (Melaleuca Aternifolia)Canada purchase here

Nice oils to have on hand

If you have a family with small children, I wouldn't wait to get the Roman chamomile.
Cedarwood (cedrus atlantica)Canada purchase here
Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis L)Canada purchase here
Bergamot (Citrus bergemia)Canada purchase here


Luxurious oils (save up for these)

I get asked about these “luxury” oils often. People are usually surprised at the cost, but do keep in mind that these listed here are not fragrance oils. When they tell me that they can get 2 oz or 60ml of sandalwood at “costco” (or someplace like that) for $19.99 I hate to break it to them that the oil is either:

  • heavily diluted into a carrier oil, or
  • a synthetic fragrance

*Note: I prefer to purchase Australian sandalwood instead of one from India- as the one from India is an endangered species. Also, FYI, it (Australian sandalwood) doesn’t smell exactly like the Indian sandalwood because they are different botanically.

Luxury essential oils

Helichrysum AKA Immortelle (Helichrysum italicum)Canada purchase here
Rose Absolute (Rosa damascene)Canada purchase here
Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum)Canada purchase here
Sandalwood (antalum Spicatum)Canada purchase here

Recommended Reading

Students and customers ask me where they can find reliable information on essential oils. I have put together some favorite books that I like to recommend, especially to start. If you want to have a look at the list, you can find it here. It includes books for all levels of experience.

Incidentally, I also collect books…are you shocked? I didn’t think so.

Ready for Part 2?

Read Well Stocked Apothecary (part 2 in series)


Before you go

Deanna RussellIf you enjoyed the information in this article, please sign up for updates.
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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make purchases I’ll get a (very) small commission at no extra cost to you. Full disclosure here.

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