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Fragrance Oil vs. Essential Oils

We are accustomed to smells, and although they are a big part of our everyday lives, we regularly take this sensory element for granted.

We’re interested in knowing more about fragrance oils, introducing them in our environments, and their effects on improving our lives. We seem to have a need to have a still moment and separate ourselves from our fast-paced everyday rhythm.

Fragrance oils and essential oils are part of that wellness journey that we crave so much, but how do they work?

Despite aiming for the same goals, there are a few key differences between these two. The first big difference is that fragrance oils are human-made and essential oils come from a natural source.

Fragrance oils are synthetic fragrances that replicate with incredible accuracy the deliciousness of natural aromas but up-scaling their intensity. You probably are familiar with them because fragrance oils are used in body creams, face creams, lotions, cosmetics, hygiene products, candles, soaps, massage oils, car air fresheners, and more. Because chemicals create them, there are endless possibilities in creating original, specific blends to seduce our senses. Synthetic only means that these scents are created by experts, they are completely safe to use, and provide endless benefits and can be used in different ways.

On the other hand, we have essential oils that come from aromatic plant matter that can be found in the actual flowers to roots, and it varies according to each plant species. The scents are extracted through different processes, and one of the most popular is distilling to get the original, organic source. Because these oil types are not diluted or mixed with anything else, the pureness of the final product is a rich, long-lasting scent ready to be used in diffusers, candles, oils in a roll-on for topic application, and other products.

The production process also differs. You can imagine that making a fragrance oil is somewhat more accessible than making essential oil basically because you don’t have to deal with nature’s timing, seasonal changes, and organic alterations to get to the source material to make the oil.

Fragrance oils can be made throughout the year by trained noses that understand the difficult art of blending chemicals. The goal of blending different elements is to achieve a high note, a middle note, and a base note. And no, we’re not talking about music, but the fragrance that’s being made. Recreating a natural scent requires a skillful connoisseur that spends years trying to perfect the difficult process of developing a scent from scratch.

Essential oils, on the other hand, are also harder to achieve but for different reasons. Plants require different scenarios to exist, grow, and bloom so we can access their natural aromatic principles. Limited resources due to climate, seasonal changes, and nature itself add a cape of difficulty when extracting a natural, essential oil. On top of all the difficulties mentioned before, many international regulations and laws mark a tough road to produce and market essential oils. The harder it becomes to produce essential oil, the more desired and the more expensive it becomes.

Benefit of scented oils (Scented oils is a way of not specifying on either one of the oils, just referring to oils, in general, that have scents)

Luscious, fresh, sweet scents. No matter what kind of aromas you enjoy the most, there’s a massive benefit in introducing aromatic oils into your everyday life. We don’t say it lightly. Some studies are focused on understanding the effects of essential oils as a form of alternative medicine, such as aromatherapy.

Benefit of scented oils

Because of recent trends that include essential oils and aromatherapy in the treatment of different health conditions, scientific research has put its focus on finding the effectiveness of these claims. For example, a study found out that mice significantly improved their locomotor activity after inhaling rosemary essential oil.

There are numerous benefits of using oils with aromas as a therapeutic option, and perhaps the most extensive use and application of scented oils are in relaxing activities that aim to reduce stress and to help with the overall psychological state. Lack of sleep, located pain, anxiety, aromatherapy bases in plant aromas claim to improve or eliminate these symptoms.

From diffusers, candles, creams, home sprays, bed-sheets sprays, you name it. There are tons of different options for people to choose from to engage with aromatic oils' calming effects.

It’s worth noting that oils for medicinal purposes are related to essential oils, not fragrance oils.

Fragrance oils contribute to a warmer estate of your surroundings, provide pleasurable senses, and activates a mood of relaxation, and they are capable of quickly get rid of strong smells of all sorts while improving overall ambiance.

These medicinal benefits of essential oils can be traced back to Egypt, 4500 B.C., where the use of natural plants and herbs was commonly applied to treat sickness and as a luxury item. Other cultures like Chinese and Indian have a long history of using a different types of oils, infusions, and aromas for medicinal matters. Cinnamon,  ginger, and sandalwood are a few of the most used natural elements.

Nowadays, these traditions and elements that have been used for centuries are being simplified for everybody. 

Two types of oils, two options

The battle between fragrance and essential oils is not a battle at all. Like most things in life, they have pros and cons. The fact that fragrance oils use chemicals to replicate a scent doesn’t mean essential oils don't have chemicals, they do, but they’re naturally inside the plants. The fact that only essential oils are shown to have healing effects on certain ailments doesn’t mean you can’t use fragrance oils in a diffuser to eliminate unwanted odors or as a complement for your home.

Choosing between one or the other ultimately resides on: 

  • What you’re using the scented oil for
  • Strength, duration, and richness of the smell you’re looking for
  • If you are introducing these scents as an alternative medicine

Whatever you’re motives are, aromas complement and enhance the most simple experiences and elevates the regular daily tasks.

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