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What's the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils

February 22, 2023 4 min read

What's the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils

The beautifying and healing effects of scented oils have been used for centuries. The cosmetic industry, as well as the healing industry, have recognized the many benefits of using oils. It has been used for beautifying the skin, hair, and nails, as well as for helping with certain health conditions. In fact, one of the critical is using specific oils in skincare. However, not all oils can be equally used, nor will they have the same effects. You’ve probably heard of the existence of scented or fragrance oils, as well as essential oils. But what is the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils? In this article, you will discover the many benefits but also the side effects of using essential and fragrance oils.


Production is the main difference between essential oils and fragrance oils.

The ways we get essential and fragrance oils are, in fact, the main difference between them. Simply put, we can accentuate that the difference lies within the origin of each type of oil. Namely, essential oils are derived from plants, seeds, or other natural sources. Fragrance oils, on the other hand, come from laboratories. Therefore, we can label them as natural and artificial oils.


How do we use them today?

The usage of essential oils can be dated to ancient Arabia, where the first essential oils were distilled. Throughout history, people from different countries discovered their benefits, so using these oils became popular in many countries and specific fields. Nowadays, we can see that the benefits of essential oils are implemented in aromatherapy, cooking, medicine, and the fragrance and cosmetic industry that manufactures high-quality products. You can even add essential oils to skincare products that don’t contain them in order to improve their efficiency and have a better skincare routine.

A woman having a facial with the gua sha and essential oils.

Caption: The usage of essential oils is widespread in aromatherapy, cooking, medicine, and the cosmetic industry.


In contrast, fragrance oils were developed to be used in perfumes, soaps, candles, and other scented products, as well as cosmetic products. Their purpose is to create a strong scent that lasts. They are easier to work with, so many manufacturers opt for fragrance oils rather than essential oils. The latter requires more precise handling since they can evaporate quickly if exposed to specific heat levels.


The benefits of essential oils

Despite their usage in numerous fields, essential oils tend to vary in quality. This is mainly due to external factors, such as how the plants used to make them were raised, stored, and later transported. Therefore, the best idea would be to only use high-quality essential oils. However, they tend to be quite expensive, but they are entirely worth it. Some of the most used essential oils in the industry are:

  • Cinnamon – The sweet and spicy scents combined in cinnamon can evoke beautiful memories in every person since we tend to associate this fragrance with winter, warmth, and holidays.
  • Bergamot – The citrusy scent of bergamot has been known to relieve anxiety and calm the mind.
  • Orange – The warm scent of oranges is used to reduce anxiety and stress. Some individuals claim that it helped them with fighting depression.
  • Peppermint – It is said that the fresh and sharp aroma of peppermint can clear out your sinuses if you put it in hot water and inhale it. Moreover, it can be used to relieve stress as well.
  • Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus is considered a healing plant. It has a rich history in Australia since Aboriginal tribes used it for pain relief, wound healing, and decongestion.

As we have seen, essential oils are famous stress-relievers and are one of the many ways to stay relaxed when dealing with stressful situations like moving stress, work stress, or others. However, keep in mind that low-quality essential oils don’t have these benefits and can even be harmful. Risking allergies or damaging your skin should not be an option when it comes to choosing skincare or other cosmetic products.

 A woman contemplating the difference between essential and fragrance oils.

Caption: Some high-quality essential oils scent are known to be excellent stress relievers and can even assist in dealing with anxiety and depression.


The benefits of fragrance oils

As we mentioned earlier, fragrance oils are manufactured in a laboratory. They are mixed with chemicals in order to elevate their scent and make it long-lasting. However, there are two types of fragrance oils – synthetic and natural. The natural ones can consist of a mixture of essential oils, parts of them, or combined with several raw materials. Since they are partially natural, they can be beneficial in aromatherapy or home usage to relieve stress and anxiety.

On the other hand, synthetic oils don’t exist in nature and are artificially created by combining various chemicals. Sometimes, this is the only way to recreate a scent. For example, there is no natural way to derive essential oils from fruit except citrus fruit. Therefore, most fruity notes can only be obtained by being created in a laboratory. Other notes that we adore in our cosmetic products that can only come from this type of manufacturing are vanilla and chocolate.


Final words

Regardless of which scents you prefer, the alluring fragrance of vanilla or the robust and earthy scent of a natural plant like eucalyptus, we hope you now know the main difference between essential and fragrance oils. Both have many benefits and are widely used in the cosmetic industry, aromatherapy, cooking, and medicine. However, always ensure to use the most quality products of both types of oils. If you ignore the quality, it can have negative effects on the skin. This is why we highly recommend choosing the products you purchase wisely. After all, your well-being is in question, and this is worth spending a little bit more on.



Author by: Jassica Mendez