Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's The Difference Between Essential Oils & Fragrance Oils

Chamomile a common plant and
essential oil used for its benefits for
stress, anxiety and depression.
Photo courtesy of
Not all scents are created equal! In some ways essential oils and fragrance oils are similar, but the base of these two vary greatly.

Essential Oils- True 100% essential oils are made by distillation of herbs, roots, flowers and resins. They are  not cut with any carrier oils. Essential oils can be expensive but they are potent in medicinal benefits and fragrance. A few of these benefits are tension relief, migraine relief, over all well being, lessening anxiety and many positive skin care benefits. The plants and the essential oils made from them contain allelochemicals (chemicals released into the environment by plants). These chemicals have affects on the human body. depending on the plant these affect can be good or bad. Because of this it important to fully understand each plant and oils used and the affects it has on your body. Essential oils allows you to make scents and products truly all natural and with some wonderful benefits. An allergic reaction to 100% pure essential oils is rare, more people are allergic to the synthetic fragrances that are meant to mimic essential oils.
A few 100% essential oils essential oils from my lotions & potions cupboard 
A few drawbacks from using 100% essential oils.

  •  Some are really expensive! I know the two most expensive I use are Rose Otto(around $64 for 1/8 an oz) and Blue Chamomile (around $20 for .17 oz). 
  • Not all essential oils that have pleasant and sot after scents are good to be in contact with. This can limit what product you can make with them.
  • The potency can vary from batch to batch. Just like any plant materials many factors cause a plant to vary in quality.
Fragrance Oils- Most fragrance oils are synthetic oils. I have seen essential oils that have been cut with base oils sold as flagrance oils as well. The synthetic fragrance oils offer only aromatherapy benefits since they contain no plant ingredients. All the health and medicinal benefits you get from 100% essential oils  aren't there. But you can use scents that aren't found in essential oils. You can also use scents that in essential oils might be harmful to be in contact with. Fragrance oils can be an afford alternative to some of the more expensive essential oils. Fragrance oils that are essential oils cut with base oils are more or less ready to use on your skin or in a oil warmer. Most essential oils are to potent to use directly on your body so being cut with a base oil allows you to directly use it. These cut oils are normally to diluted to use in making products like soap, lotions and creams.

A few drawbacks of synthetic fragrance.

  • Fragrance oils are mainly made of petroleum products like benzene, toluene and formaldehyde. many of which have been linked to cancer, birth defects and nervous system disorders.
  • Some fragrance oils with these petroleum products in them cause allergic reactions, skin conditions (like psoriasis & eczema) and can cause thyroid disorders.
  • Fragrance can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory problem.
My final thoughts 
Two product from my shop The Happy Hippie
and The happy Hippie Solid
 Perfume Balm.
Both made with Organic Hempseed
 oil andPatchouli essential oil! My favorite scent.
With my sensitive skin, allergies and asthma I only use 100% essential oils in my products, on my skin and for my family. The bad out weights the good of fragrance oils in my opinion. Yes there is a big variety of scents in fragrance oils that are not available in essential oils and fragrance oils are in some cases a lot cheaper. But the value of my family, customers and my own health is worth more then the price saved for using synthetic ingredients. Keep an eye on those labels when shopping even some "natural" products are not as natural as you think. Learn what the ingredients are and why they are in the products you use.

Please do remember that not all essential oils are safe. Just like in all of nature some things are beneficial and some things are poisonous. I strongly suggest you always research a new plant, herb or essential oils before experimenting with it. Keep in mind that essential oils are potent and concentrated. They need to be cut with base oils before use on your body. A little goes a long way.  

1 comment:

Hildagarde Carbon said...

This is a very informative and helpful post, Chrissy! I tried some essential oils and I agree that not all of them are safe. I once suffered skin allergies from an oil I had used. After thorough research and study, I’m glad to now be using one that loves my skin and loves my nose. By the way, I use fragrance oils in my oil warmer and never on my skin. :)

~ Hildagarde Carbon ~

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