Fragrance Oils Vs Essential Oils

Most of us may not be able to deny the fact that at least some of the cosmetics, soaps or house cleaning products we choose, are selected solely on the basis of its aroma. Humans are naturally tuned to satisfy their olfactory senses and this tendency is rightly taken care of by the manufacturers of the these products. There are numerous such products, which come in a wide range of fragrances. Do you know the materials, which are used to impart these whole lot of scents? Let us find out.

Scented Products

Fragrances are used in a wide range of products, which include candles, incense sticks, soaps, perfumes, etc. Almost all people are attracted towards scented products, which are the most sought after ones, when compared to products, which lack fragrance. The only exception is those products, which are made for allergic people and are labeled as non-scented, non-colored. However, the market is flooded with thousands of scented products and their popularity is also gaining momentum.

These products can be classified as products scented with fragrance oils and products scented with essential oils. Products, which come under the first category contain fragrance oils, which impart the particular scent in that product, whereas, the second category contains essential oils, which are added for fragrance. It may also happen that both essential oil and fragrance oil are used in a single product. Even though, essential oils have become so popular and are used in a variety of products, most people are still ignorant of the basic difference between essential oils and fragrance oils. We shall now look at the various aspects of fragrance oils vs essential oils.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are pure natural plant essences, that are extracted from various parts of the plants, like, flowers, petals, roots, bark, leaves, stems, etc. For example, essential oil of rose is extracted from its petals, patchouli essential oil is extracted from the leaves of patchouli plant. Essential oils are not oils, in the true sense, but are the natural chemicals found in the plants, which are extracted as aromatic and volatile essences.

There are various methods to extract essential oils, like, CO2 extraction, cold pressing and stem distillation, but, steam distillation is the most important among them. These products are pure and do not contain any color or other ingredients, like carrier oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated and have to be diluted several times before using. The fragrance of essential oils are retained even after diluting several times. These oils are very expensive owing to the fact that large quantities of raw materials are required to make small amounts of essential oils. For example, a drop of rose oil is extracted from thirty petals and 1000 pounds of jasmine flowers are used to make one pound of essential oil. Read more on essential oil uses.

What are Fragrance Oils?

Essential oils are very expensive and some scents do not have any essential oil (like banana). Hence, the chemical compounds in plants were analyzed and were reproduced in the form of synthetic compounds (man-made), which smell like the plant product or the essential oil they represent. Most of the fragrance oils (otherwise known as perfume oils) are made this way and are synthetic in nature.

Fragrance oils can be natural, partly natural and partly artificial or fully artificial. If the product contains essential oil mixed with carrier oils at varying strengths, it can be called natural. The second category contains products, which have both essential oils and artificial fragrances (chemical compounds that mimic essential oils). Those products which contain only synthetic or artificial fragrances can be referred to as fully artificial. Most of the fragrance oils often contain several components, which produce a different fragrance, when blended. Even essential oils can be part of fragrance oils. It has been observed that many perfumes contain more than hundred components. In short, most of the fragrance oils are a mixture of aroma chemicals, some of which can cause fragrance allergies in people.

Fragrance Oils Vs Essential Oils

Studies show that there are around 150 types of essential oils available today, whereas aroma chemicals, which are used to make fragrance oils are more than 500 in number. The basic difference between fragrance oils and essential oils is that while, the latter is purely natural, the former can be considered as partly natural (if it contains essential oil) or fully artificial (if only aroma chemicals are used). The following are some of the differences between essential oils and fragrance oils.
  • Essential oils are natural products, which have therapeutic effects and are used in aromatherapy. Fragrance oils do not have any such health benefits.
  • Essential oils are volatile and their scent dissipates with evaporation, whereas, fragrance oils are not as volatile and retains the fragrance much longer. A drop of pure liquid essential oil, when placed on a paper, will evaporate and leave an oil spot. Fragrance oils do not leave any oil spots on paper.
  • Essential oils have a limitation of fragrance, whereas, no limitation is there for artificial fragrance, which comes in a very wide range, like, baked bread or baby powder fragrance.
  • As compared to the prices of essential oils, most of the fragrance oils are cheaper. Some of the essential oils (like lemon) are cheaper than its fragrance oil counterparts.
  • Fragrance oils may cause skin irritation, as they are chemicals, which are made artificially. But, pure essential oils, in diluted forms (not the contaminated ones) do not cause any side effect, unless you are allergic to it. Essential oils must be used in a proper way to avoid any possible side effects.
Now, you know the difference between fragrance oils and essential oils, you can choose the right one, which is best suited for you. The debate regarding fragrance oils vs essential oils is still going on, as health experts have many speculations about the possible side effects of fragrance oils, which are artificially made chemicals. Even pure essential oils may cause side effects in some people. However, essential oils are safer than fragrance oils. Environmental concerns are attached to both products. While, use of some essential oils, like, sandalwood and rosewood can be considered as environmentally irresponsible, some chemicals used in fragrance oils are also not good for the environment. So, it is very important to choose the right one and use it properly. It is equally important to go for trusted manufacturers, while buying these products.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...