The Essential Oil Association was formed in 1927 mainly as a discussion group and forum for industry views. However, it was soon recognized that a major part of these discussions revolved around the analytical requirements and quality of the products used throughout the industry. Thus the Scientific Section was organized in 1937 to keep pace with the accelerating progress of the essential oil and aromatic chemical industry. The section was charged with the responsibility to adopt quality standards and specifications to facilitate the buying and selling of various commercial grades of essential oils and aromatic chemicals. The member company laboratories collaboratively proved out the analytical methods for specific gravity, optical rotation, refractive index, acid value, esters, ketones, aldehydes, alcohols, and phenols, and brought a common denominator to the industry.
By 1946, when the EOA Book of Standards and Specifications was first published, data on the physical and chemical constants of most of the essential oils had already been accumulated over a long period of time by the analytical and control laboratories of member firms which were active in the importation, processing, and selling of these articles of commerce.