What’s the Difference, Anyway?

While many people, companies and blogs use the terms fragrance oils and essential oils interchangeably, they are, in fact, different things. Put simply, the difference is that essential oils are distilled or extracted from natural items and fragrance oils are generally synthetic scent creations. Both types of oils can be used for many of the same purposes. However, these fundamental differences mean that each type is generally better suited to some uses than the other. For instance, essential oils may have added benefits when used in aromatherapy. On the other hand, fragrance oils are often skin-safe while some essential oils can cause skin irritation, which typically makes fragrance oils a better choice for many applications where there will be extensive or prolonged skin contact.

Fragrance Oils

What are fragrance oils?
Fragrance oils, which are sometimes called aromatic oils or perfume oils, are generally synthetically created aroma compounds designed to mimic many different scents. These fragrances can include everything from almond to zucchini bread. In some instances, fragrance oils are made from essential oils that have been diluted with a carrier like mineral oil, vegetable oil or propylene glycol. Check out our infographic on the Top 10 Uses for Fragrance Oils.

What are some benefits of fragrance oils?
One of the greatest benefits of using fragrance oils is that they come in an incredibly wide variety of scents and scent combinations. In fact, because they aren’t created from natural items, it is possible to create almost any aroma in a fragrance oil. They also tend to be more economical than essential oils.

Essential Oils

What are essential oils?
Essential oils are naturally occurring substances that are distilled or extracted from blossoms, leaves, stems, fruits, bark, wood, and resin. This is done through complicated and often expensive processes. They are often difficult and expensive to obtain in large quantities and are limited in the number of scents and scent combinations available.

What are some benefits of essential oils?
Essential oils are often thought to have additional benefits beyond their aroma. They are frequently used in homeopathic remedies and for aromatherapy uses. Because they are so highly concentrated, essential oils tend to have stronger, longer-lasting aroma than some fragrance oils, and you get more scent per ounce.

The two main differences it boils down to is cost and application. These two factors will play the biggest part in whether you want fragrance oils or essential oils.

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