Google+ Honest Reviews and Lifestyle Tips: Soulflower: The Flip Side of coin - A Brand Eye-Opener

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Soulflower: The Flip Side of coin - A Brand Eye-Opener

After experiencing Moksha lifestyle's aromatherapy oils, and being able to compare them with Soulflower, a truth was revealed to me. I have been thinking from the past few days about it and finally decided to share what's bothering me. Here's my two cents on the Soulflower selling strategies, the flip side, I feel it is important for you all to know.
Image:Courtesy Soulflower website
As I had mentioned, it took me a week to place my Mokshalifestyle.com order as the owner went on a business travel and could not respond in time. In the meantime, I ordered Soulflower Jojoba oil from Flipkart.com as I badly needed to restock it. When I opened that new Soulflower Jojoba bottle, the oil smelt weird and felt extremely thick. I checked the date and the label said July 2013. I smelt the older empty bottle but that smelt better. In the meantime, my Moksha order also got confirmed the very next day and I received my 100ml Jojoba oil from Moksha in a few days.

Moksha's Jojoba oil smelt fresh, was NOT thick and did not weigh down my hair. It spread on my hair length pretty easily in comparison to the Soulflower one and also, I needed just a few drops. I took a good number of days to compare and finally discovered that the Soulflower one was RANCID!!! Yes, I paid INR 250 for a bottle of rancid Soulflower oil and I got 100 ml (more than 3 times the Soulflower packing) from Moksha for just some more money.

I have shopped with Flipkart many times by now and every single product I have received is fresh and flawless. So I can't blame them here. I feel like Soulflower could be clearing their old stock through partner sites after relabeling the bottles for a newer mfg date :( Not sure how many more such products are being sold since a first time buyer cannot even compare or figure this out.

When I bought from Soulflower directly, I never faced any such problem. I still love their body milks, their massage oils, some of their soaps and their essential oils. But I just couldn't ignore this experience. When I first got in touch with them in May during my first order, it was an exceptional experience. Every time I communicated, they asserted that the customer is foremost to them.

I have Lavender essential oil from Aroma Magic, which I had bought before I knew about Soulflower. In September, a reader asked why Soulflower's lavender oil is twice as costly as Aroma Magic's and if there was a difference in the quality. At that time, I had replied that the quality is same but Soulflower offers better discounts and better packing, so it evens out. But that question left an impression on my mind and I forwarded the query to Soulflower team. 

They kept avoiding my question. Then finally when I emailed them that I will place my next order only after I receive an answer to my question, I received a call from their manager/owner. He kept insisting that their oils are the best in the industry and blah. He didn't let me come to the pricing point.

So I brought it up again and asked why their essential oils are priced at more than double the other brands and he explained that other brands are not selling the purest oils which they sell, and that there is no regulation to govern such practices if others could be selling diluted and not 100% pure essential oils. I agree that Soulflower's essential oils feel stronger and stingy on the skin as compared to Aroma Magic, which means the quality is quite good. But that still does not justify the more than double pricing. This made the guy very irritated and his voice became angry, so much so that the call 'got disconnected' and he never called back again.

I don't mean to defame any brand and I will still be a buying those products which I love. But changing the labeling and selling old stock like this is something unforgivable to me. I can't write it off as a one-off incident because I know Flipkart stores its products properly and it could not have gone rancid there.

UPDATE: Soulflower contacted me recently for feedback and I shared this incident. They do follow up almost always after every order. The owner patiently listened to all my feedback and promised to check with flipkart asap. Later they got back to me and informed that Flipkart had shifted its warehouse to Mumbai at that time and that could be when the oil may have gotten exposed to too much heat or humidity. 

Soulflower then sent me a brand new bottle of Jojoba oil which is totally fresh with no smell. It is of the same quality as the previous Jojoba bottle I had bought directly from Soulflower last year. I am happy that they worked on my feedback and took action. My recent interactions with the same person were quite customer friendly and they have finally proved that customer is the foremost to them. I am still buying my favorite products from them directly (the discounts are great if you place bigger orders), but I will now always be wary of buying their products through other sites.

15 comments:

  1. omg.. do u remember even i bought from their partner site for 50% offer.. now i am really confused.. i also mentioned that the date were 0f July 2013.. now about the smelling part.. i am really really confused.. because this was my first time buying all these essential oils..carrier that i really don't know how they smell.. i have to compare now.. because even though the essential oils doesn't smell weird..some of my carrier oils do.. but then i thought as i am new to such smell i may feel that.. and regarding the double pricing issue..even i am really shocked.. because internationally there are so many brands selling oils.. but they sale quantity and quality at least for carrier oil.. i don't quite understand as why their carrier oils are so expensive.. like only 30ml for 350 n 450.. i mean we do need more carrier oils as oppose to essential oils.. i still keep wondering about their price for the quantity.. i really want to read more about this, i am in mixed feeling now... waiting for your jojoba post..!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Reshma, you can still use those oils even if they nay be old. Some oils like Avocado carrier oil, are naturally thick just like castor oil. Others become thick as they get old. If you have smelt any old oil bottle (like i have a 5 yrs old olive oil packing which I need to discard), the rancid ones will smell like that and will be really really thick to feel. If you have doubts about any specific ones, you can share with me and I will try to give as much details as I know of, so you can judge. Some oils do have a naturally weird smell, like Argan smells a little bitter but when you take out a very small quantity, you won't feel it. This is the very post I was referring to in your other comment. I am not going to post anything separate on the jojoba oil. I will now buy only those products from them which I really like and for which I cannot find an alternative in another brand, like the massage oils which are really good. And I will avoid buying from their partner sites. Seriously I couldn't have expected this from Soulflower. It's a real shame.

      Delete
  2. I Like soulflower products too but even I would say that they have sold old stock with new labels as flipkart always sell fresh product and it's soulflower who have done this.
    When we appreciate then the customer service guys are prompt but when it comes o doubts, questioning etc they will ignore.
    I also use their Jojoba oil for my hair!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually they have a very small team who handles everything from reception phone calls to packing to feedback to chat to customer service etc. and those members are extremely nice and doing a LOT of work. The one I spoke to is the manager or the owner. I love their massage oils and body milks. I just wish they stop doing this cheating especially when they are charging so high for everything.

      Delete
    2. Which is the best Mustard oil brand for hair?

      Delete
  3. OMG!!!!!! What is it with all the so called "trusted" brands?!!! M completely shocked after reading this.. I mean how can someone ever be sure enough about getting a "pure" product after paying SO much!!:(( And the customer care guys ignoring such poking questions definitely raises doubts in one's mind! Where do we go Gagan in this world full of mislabeling and substandard products??!!:((( I'm seriously thinking of going back to a plain amla oil for my hair!!;D:D:D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Carolina, yes I was equally shocked to discover this. So the lesson learnt is to not fall for their discounted products as they may be quite old and relabeled. There is no question on 'Purity'. The oil is pure but it is thick because it is quite old and so it smells like any other old rancid oil.

      Customer care, well Souflower has a very small and dedicated team. I have interacted with them and they do just as the owner instructs them. On their own, those members are extremely nice. The experience I have narrated in this post is about the owner/manager who has a lot of air around his head these days.

      Do send a quote to Moksha, at least you will get fresh products at affordable rates.

      Delete
  4. ohh thats bad gagan sorry i dnt have any good or bad experience with them..but thanks for sharing with everyone n they should know abt this....I would love to try jojoba oil...:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a shock Tej that a brand so renowned could do this. But i just hope their conscience pricks them some day or may be they will learn the hard way when the orders come down if they don't respect the customers investment in their products. You can order your oils from Mokshalifestyle.com. I am not sure what would be the shipping charges to UK but you can get them here in a few days only.

      Delete
  5. I buy my oils on the spot to avoid further troubles. So, I do recommend that you do so if possible. To eye your buyings on the spot is the best thing, even better than a trusted online shop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really wish I had the option to do that dear. These oils were a rare thing to procure till a few years ago and I am so glad at least they are available now, even though it be only online. Abroad you do get them in physical stores too, but here I don't know of any. May be I will run such a store one day with all organic and herbal products and procedures too :) Making a wish! ;)

      Delete
  6. OMG! Just read this and scared as I placed a huge order at Soulflower. They were really good a few years ago but dunno now. It's weird because jojoba is an oil that is added to cosmetic products as a preservative. I shudder to think if jojoba has gone rancid what about other stuff?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Shivangi, you must have received your order by now. My phone line was dead for almost 2 weeks so I couldn't reply to your comment earlier. As I have mentioned, the orders I have directly placed with Soulflower were all fine. It is my personal opinion that they seem to be clearing out old stock through their business partners. That ways they can save their own ass and let the business partner's reputation suffer, cheap but that's what I have experienced twice by now. If you have bought directly from them, you should be fine. You can also check out mokshalifestyle.com for future purchases of oils,. They are international sellers. You can see their details under the 'Online Shopping' tab above this page. I had bought another small set of Soulflower oils through Jabong and that too was very bad, had to get a refund. The Jojoba oil is extremely thick and greasy and smells like a 5 yrs old oil. I don't feel like touching it, wasted 250 bucks over it!

      Delete
  7. Hi
    I have been researching essential oils for a while now. I have been trying to float my own brand of essential oils. Now the best part about essential oils is that they are highly mixable and mixing them makes them even more potent. This is what most of the retailers like soulflower do. Now the price of pure unmixed essential oils varies because of the place that you source your raw material from. So say, lavender grows naturally in North India, but is also cultivated in south India. The quality of essential oil sourced from North India would be better and hence demand a higher price. Same way if your raw material is organic pesticides free, you can again demand a higher price. None of the essential oils which say they are concentrated can ever NOT be concentrated, because they can easily be sued. So if you have concentrated written on the bottle, then you with the right stuff. With Soulflower I think, they are trying to make a brand and therefore they charge higher prices. But do also see aroma magics bottle size. Soulflower I think has 15ml whereas most companies have 10ml.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's such an insightful and rich comment Karnesh. Thanks for taking out time and explaining in detail. I will have to recheck the label on Soulflower bottles to see for any mention of 'Concentrated'. For Aroma Magic it says 100% lavender oil and I rechecked both Aroma Magic and soulflower provide 15ml packs of Essential oils. But yes, Aroma Magic's lavender oil does not really burn into the skin even though it claims to be 100% pure. But it still works well.

      I checked out your site and really liked the collection of organic stuff you have. Would love to purchase something in the future. Do let me know when you launch your own brand of oils.

      Delete

Comments will be visible once I approve them manually.

Anonymous comments are not encouraged. So either use a profile or the Name/URL option to comment (can leave the URL box blank). For personal consultation, you can email me as mentioned in the Blog Policy.

In Google Chrome, you can tick mark the 'Notify Me' box in the bottom right to get notified when I reply to your comment (usually in 1-4 days).