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Essential oils vs. fragrance oils

The difference between essential and fragrance oil

In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between essential oils and fragrance oils. How are they made and used and which one is better?

You most certainly noticed that some of the scented products you use include essential or fragrance oil. You may be wondering what’s the difference and if one is more beneficial than the other. Let’s have a look.

Essential oils

woman smelling flower

Essential oils are 100% natural. They’re pure extracts derived from plants, usually by distillation or cold press. People commonly use them in aromatherapy because of the healing effects ascribed to them. To produce even the smallest amount of essential oil requires an enormous amount of plants. Can you imagine that you need about 1.000 rose petals to make just one drop of rose essential oil? It takes 113kg of lavender to make less than 500ml of essential oil and 1.500 lemons to make 500ml of essential lemon oil. These are huge amounts! Now, you can easily understand why essential oils are so expensive.

Fragrance oils

girl smelling a flower

Fragrance oils are synthetic fragrances created in a lab. They’re often based on essential oils and natural ingredients mixed with added chemical compounds. They’re cheaper in production. They can imitate any fragrance from our surroundings, which means that there’s a broad offer of possible scents. Fragrance oils are common ingredients of daily products like shampoos, creams, lotions, scented candles, air refreshers, and perfumes.

Essential oil vs. fragrance oil

girl smelling a peach

So, are essential oils better because they’re 100% natural? Are fragrance oils bad for you because they’re made in a lab? Essential oils are luxurious products. Because they require plenty of plants to make very small amounts of oil, they can be pretty expensive. They have healing qualities and can be a remedy for some health or mental complaints, and people use them for relaxation, improving skin condition, sleeping problems, etc. However, they still can be harmful: they can cause allergies, irritate skin and lungs, and because of the strong concentration of plant compounds with strong medical working, you should not use them in case of some health conditions (always check with your doctor first). They’re also not always safe for children and can be poisonous to dogs and other pets.

Additionally, essential oils have a weaker scent throw and are not always the best solution for scented products like for example candles. Fragrance oils smell stronger and longer.

woman smelling a flower

Fragrance oils can be produced at a lower cost. Are they bad for our health? Not necessarily. Of course, the producers of essential oils will do their best to make people buy their oils so they try to disregard fragrance oils. But that’s business. Most synthetic oils are perfectly safe, especially because you can apply them only in small amounts (a typical scented candle contains between 3% and 10% of fragrance).

The number of scents that you can produce 100% naturally is small. Not all plants produce scents that can be extracted in a natural way. As far as you can get a natural scent from rose or lavender, you can’t get it from blueberry or a pumpkin. Think about the daily products you use, like a room spray or your favorite bottle of perfume. It’s highly improbable that they contain only essential oils. Or all the fancy scents of the scented candles you saw in the shop. You don’t really think that the Blueberry Muffin or Bubble Gum are natural scents, do you?

What kind of oils we use in Candle Time?

In our candles, we use a mix of essential and fragrance oils. We choose essential oils whenever it’s possible. We usually place the information in the description when the fragrance is 100% natural. In other cases, we use natural fragrance oils, which means that they’re based in a large part on essential oils and natural ingredients, with some synthetic compounds where necessary. We control all our fragrances to be vegan and cruelty-free (not animal tested). Moreover, all of them have an IFRA certificate, which means we are certain that they go with safety and environmental measures.

If you have any questions concerning the fragrances used in particular candles you can always message us via our contact form.

Would you like to learn about the psychological benefits of fragrances? Read our article here.