There are no absolute right or wrong answers to this question. Certainly, one of the least accurate ways of appreciating an essential oil is a quick sniff from a previously closed container. A much better method involves transferring a tiny quantity of the oil to a smelling strip or even a small glass container that is open to the air. Remember, you can only smell molecules that vaporize, and this process occurs at different rates for each compound in the essential oil. Therefore, you should prepare yourself to smell the most volatile molecules first, followed over time by less and less volatile compounds. The character of the odor may seem more lively or vibrant early on, subsiding into warmer, richer, and less intense scents as time passes. The casual one-time quick sniff will definitely not allow you to appreciate fully the qualities of any essential oil. Also, it’s helpful to respect your olfactory limitations: overwhelming the nose with an excessive dose of essential oil vapors will impair your ability to get an accurate overall sense of an oil’s true character.