I adapted this graphic from an ad that is showing up in my Facebook feed. Company logo blurred out. Let’s just call them Rockhead for the sake of simplicity. This is one of the first sources people look at as an alternative to Young Living. One of Rockhead’s primary marketing messages over the years has been that it can provide products of comparable quality at lower prices because it doesn’t need to pay a chain of MLM distributors.
That argument itself is misdirection because the commissions YL pays to its distributors have always been roughly 50% of company profits. The other 50% gets reinvested in little things like, you know, FARMS and research. And, since YL owns the farms and distillers (or has partnerships with them), there are no other middlemen between the product and the end-user. But if you think about how retail works, prices are generally doubled at every step along the way: grower to distiller, distiller to broker, broker to retailer, retailer to customer. Besides each price increase, there are lots of quality control issues in every step along that messy and complex supply chain. THEN Rockhead has to pay for facebook ads and other marketing which YL does not need because its distributors do the marketing/educating.
Rockhead hypocritically spends money on advertising to people who have not yet bought anything. It even wastes money on ads to people like me who would never dream of buying such inferior products. Then talks trash about companies like YL whose distribution method is so efficient that distributors only get paid AFTER a product is purchased.
And yet, Rockhead’s oils are still generally priced cheaper than YL’s. How can that be?! It’s no mystery if a person is willing to look beyond their claims about quality and perceive just how misleading the company really is and how crappy their products really are.
In this particular ad, they offer a product that appears to be Sacred Frankincense (Boswellia sacra). “APPEARS” is the operative word. Sacred Frankincense trees grow only in Oman. And all Sacred Frankincense resin is considered the property of the Omani Royal Family. That may sound strange to Western ears, but this law/tradition has saved the Sacred Frankincense tree from the exploitation and plunder of companies like Rockhead.
Gary Young spent decades of relationship-building and authentic research which contributed to the understanding of Boswellia sacra. Gary’s research also raised the value of, and demand for, the essential oil, one of Oman’s most precious natural resources. Young Living was the only company ever to be given a permit to export Sacred Frankincense oil from Oman. Young Living built a distillery and research facility in Oman and was granted special access to chosen trees. Omani officials eventually allocated 100,000 acres to YL for the planting of endangered Boswellia sacra trees.
Toward the end of all this groundwork, a particularly aggressive essential oil marketing company (let’s called it Dufus) was claiming that it beat YL to the punch and offered a substance labeled Sacred Frankincense oil to its zealous “health consultants.” Dufus is also infamous for trademarking a phrase which gives the impression that it has a certification that indicates the purity of its oils. One of the company’s founders had even written a book in an attempt to set himself up as the world expert on Sacred Frankincense. But it was full of misinformation and, now, can only occasionally be found on Amazon when someone decides to let go of their used copy. Among the “facts” falsely documented in the book is the flying snakes that reside in the trees, making it dangerous to harvest the resin.
Eventually, Dufus dropped almost all pretense of offering Sacred Frankincense. The frankincense oil it offers today is actually a combination of several species of Boswellia, including carterii, papyrifera, frereana and something it CLAIMS is sacra.
When Gary Young asked about Dufus’ presence in Oman, officials explained that no representatives of the company had ever visited the country and, moreover, if they ever did, they would be detained at the border and held for questioning.
So what’s the catch? How do these companies—with no roots whatsoever in Oman—claim to offer Omani frankincense? Understanding the answer provides enormous insight into the Wild West atmosphere of the essential oil industry.
Omani businessmen know that there is demand for Omani Frankincense, especially since YL has been educating the world about it. They also understand that the average American consumer—and even “licensed aromatherapists”—are too stupid to know what Omani frankincense really is. They import cheap and abundant resins from places like Somalia and India which come from any number of inferior Boswellia tree varieties. Then, from Oman-based shops, they sell the inferior resin to stupid (or unscrupulous) essential oil companies and brokers who can, now, legitimately claim they purchase their frankincense from Oman.
But their quality can NEVER reach the level of Young Living—even if they intended to—BECAUSE THEY AREN’T EVEN USING THE RIGHT PLANT!
To learn more about Sacred Frankincense and make yourself immune to the snake oil salesman on the internet, check out these articles and videos…