Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils - What Are they and are they the same?

It’s easy to confuse essential oils and fragrance oils and to use the terms interchangeably. But as you’ll come to find out, there are significant differences between the two. 

So, what are essential and fragrance oils and how are they different? 

Cadaroma fragrance oils

Put simply, essential oils are natural and derived from plants while fragrance oils are man-made and essentially, a chemical potion pretending to be natural. 

Essential oils are made up of plant extracts and retain all the natural benefits plus the smell and flavor of the plants from which they are made. In summary, essential oils are 100% natural. 

Fragrance oils, on the other hand, are made in a lab. They are commercial in nature and what you’ll usually find in luxury perfumes. They’re also more toxic as you can expect and unsuitable for aromatherapy. 

Think of fragrance oils as artificial additives. 

Are fragrance oils totally toxic? 

Not completely. There are two types of fragrance oils with one being more dangerous. Let’s look at them and how they’re made. 

Natural Fragrance Oils

photo showing different types of essential oils and fragrance oils

It must be weird seeing natural in there after all that has been explained so far. But just hang tight, you'll understand why soon. Natural fragrance oils are made in a lab, yes. But they’re not composed entirely of man-made ingredients. They’re based on natural scents (like flowers) and made by isolating natural aromatic compounds from a complex scent. They’re essentially a cocktail of scented chemicals and some natural ingredients including essential oils and resins. 

Synthetic Fragrance Oils

As you rightly guessed, these are straight-up made from chemical substances that don’t exist in nature. If you’re picturing a scientist in a lab coat having a eureka moment of copying nature, you’re spot on. These completely unnatural oils are usually made up of petroleum waste. 

Fragrance oils are everywhere. They’re what you’ll find in commercial products such as hand sanitizers, scented candles, shampoo, soap, toilet paper, room fresheners, plastic toys and much more. People with sensitive skin are likely to react negatively to these if directly applied to the body. 

You need to pay attention to labels of products claiming to be essential oils when you’re buying. They’re most likely fragrance oils passing as essential oils. 

So, which type of fragrance oil should you use? 

fragrance oils by Cadaroma

For aromatherapy purposes, synthetic fragrance oils are a no-go. Only get essential oils to enjoy the full, natural benefits of aromatherapy. For a soothing, pleasant smell in your space however, our scented oils, which are natural fragrance oils are a great choice. They also work beautifully with our stylish Aroma Oil Diffuser.

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