Fragrance Oils vs Essential Oils
. . . are Fragrance oils the same as Essential Oils?
Fragrance oils vs essential oils, they are not the same, other than they both give off aromas. With companies and corporations knowing that their customer base is looking to adding a little bit of nature back into their lives, the marketing wizardry has been kicked up a notch.
If you are purchasing a brand name or store brand product that implies these botanically extracted oils are added, be cautious. One of the reasons that these natural oils are not used in abundance is that they do have an expiry date, and may smell not as fresh after several months. This would be why they are not in products with long shelf lives.
So how do you know the difference between fragrance oils vs essential oils? For me, if it is a corporation selling the product, I am already suspicious. As a practicing Aromatherapist, there are a few naturally derived oils that I guarantee you will not see in your laundry detergent. One is Rose essential oil, this one is extremely pricey. I calculated that if I were to replace a rose fragrance oil in a rose soap with the same amount of the true botanical oil, that bar of rose soap would cost $80.00! With true Jasmine, you could double that cost.
Nor will you see Sandalwood, Lotus, Vanilla or Neroli. Lavender is an inexpensive extracted oil, the fragrance oil actually costs more than the real oil, but the deterioration of the scent would be the real reason for not using it. I heard a customer ask a soapmaker if her Musk soap bar was natural. She replied that the base was all vegetable, but the scent was a fragrance, and added that apparently the real musk scent, from the glands of a musk ox, weren't so appealing.
True essential oils are from plants, the bark, seeds, needles, peels, flowers, rinds, leaves. And can be costly to obtain, the rose essential oil is a good example. Fragrance oils are from a cess-pool of chemicals created in a laboratory, with no flower in sight, and very cheap and inexpensive.
The therapeutic benefits from natural extracted oils have been documented for centuries, and scientifically proven for decades. I have used a blend of these pure and unadulterated oils and plant tinctures for years for headaches. These pure plant based oils (and unfortunately fragrance oils) are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream.
Knowing which are fragrance oils vs essential oils has been a process of learning remembering which is which. Some of the fragrance-only scents are green apple, strawberry, blueberry, etc as there are no natural equivalents.
Aspirin is a good example of taking a natural treatment, white willow bark, and creating a synthetic version. Synthetic versions of products tend to be cheaper to create, and produce an expected effect. Two aspirins will get rid of your headache, but how much willow bark, and does it have the same strength all year?
I use these botanically based oils for household cleaning, relaxing baths, colds, disinfecting cuts, air freshening, skin rejuvenating, ionizing the air, lifting my spirits, relieving pain and repelling bugs. For fun, I create my own perfume oils, just the scent that I need to compliment my day.
In the Natural Soap Making eBook, there is a list of these plant based oils and their therapeutic benefits. These natural scents make the best scented soaps ever!