Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils

Posted by Purrfect Sunday on

Scents can be like a comforting hug. They can evoke feelings and remind you of your favorite flower or even someone in your life. What if we told you that certain types of products that you may be using contain oils that are not safe? Hold up...what?! Essential oils and fragrance oils may seem like they are one in the same, but that is not the case. We’re here to guide you through their differences so you know which one is the safest option. Let’s get started!


Essential Oils

Essential oils are pure plant extracts that are made from steaming distilled or cold pressed roots, flowers, peel, seeds, bark leaves, herbs, or other parts of a plant. During this process, the components are heated until a gas is released and then condensing the gas back into a liquid. This is all done to ensure that the sensitive compounds do not break down. Essential oils can be used for flavoring, scenting, and even healing applications for aromatherapy – which is the healing practice of using essential oils to enhance your physical and psychological well-being.

While most may think that aromatherapy is only used as a stress reliever, think again! Essential oils have many uses in aromatherapy which include: easing one’s skin problems, muscle pain, and migraine relief. They can even soften your hair and moisturize your skin. We love a versatile product! These oils can be applied directly to your skin or through diffusers and humidifiers. The fun thing about using something like a diffuser is that you can create your own mixes for whatever mood your feeling!

Essential oils are not cut with any type of carrier oil and are considered “neat”. What does that mean exactly? This means that the oil has not been processed, diluted, or manipulated with any additives or solvents. It’s au-natural vibes only with essential oils!

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Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils may sound nice, but unfortunately the name is misleading. Fragrance oils are created in a laboratory and contain synthetic chemicals. While their labels may say “pikake oil” or “plumeria oil”, don’t be deceived! Since this is a synthetic oil, it is not derived from an actual plumeria flower. Other misleading words to lookout for include: “natural”, “perfume”, “parfum”, “FO”, and “fragrance”.

When it comes to fragrance oils, there are two varieties: natural and synthetic. Natural fragrance oils are made in a lab, but are assembled by isolating natural aromatic components from a complex scent. While there may be an argument that natural fragrance oils can be considered truly natural, at the end of the day, they are created by human science.

Switching gears to synthetic fragrance oils, this is something that you want to try and avoid at all costs. It is created artificially from chemical compounds that do not exist in nature - essentially toxic chemicals. This type of oil can be found in cheap commercial products because they are able to hold their aroma for a longer period of time.

If you have sensitive skin, be careful! Synthetic fragrance oils are composed of petroleum by-products. In a study conducted by the ­EPA, they reported that synthetic fragrances were shown to cause "possible mutagenic and genotoxic effects”. How scary is that? Always be sure to carefully read your labels!


So, Which One Is Better?

When it comes down to it, essential oils are your best friend! Fragrance oils may be cheaper, but that is because they do not have to go through the extraction process like essential oils do. Essential oils vary depending on the time of year, the type of oil, and the availability of the product. Since the plant has to grow, harvest, and be distilled to create the essential oil, the extraction process is often expensive. In the long run, essential oils are worth the investment because you are getting a safe and quality product. 

As for health benefits, fragrance oils can have various side effects like dizziness, headaches, skin irritation, among others. While some essential oils may not work for everyone, it is still the better option. Before using any essential oils, be sure to check out some helpful tips on how to properly use them - especially if it is your first time. Safety first!

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Feeling like an expert on all things essential and fragrance oils? We hope you enjoyed learning about the differences between them! As always, be sure to follow us on our socials, check out our website, and subscribe to our newsletter to see what’s up over here at Purrfect Sunday. See you next time!


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