May
08

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?


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Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?

A few of our customers have had the following question on their mind; Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil? So, we decided to explain each one to be able to compare them better. Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils have a variety of different scents that are able to set the perfect mood regardless of whether you need some relaxing aromatherapy or a jazzy pick me up scent.

While both are great for adding scents to you body products or homemade candles, they have a few key differences. This forces us to categorize them differently. Personally, I use and love both types of scented oils. I find that each is perfect for certain recipes. Essential Oils have a more pure, true scent that I love for facial products, while fragrance oils are more fun and unique, which is irresistible in lotions and soaps. So, let’s talk about what makes them each perfectly unique!

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Fragrance OilsIs There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils are a blend of many scents that work together to create a fantastic aroma. A purfumist will create three distinct parts for a single fragrance oil. These scented oils have top notes, middle notes, and base notes. So, they will have each of these layers crafted to perfectly complement one another to make an unforgettable scent.

First, the top notes are the most volatile notes. So, these are the first notes to evaporate and reach your nose, which will provide you with the initial burst of scent. The top notes can be things like citrus oils and light, aromatic ingredients. Next, we have the middle notes of the fragrance oil and the heart of your aroma. These notes are noticeable throughout most of the fragrance oil’s life time and creates what is called the “fragrance signature”. It is typical to have notes like floral, spice or fruit tones in this layer. Lastly, we have the base notes that are the longest lasting scents of the scented oil. These notes provide rich, deep scents that last long after the top notes and middle notes have evaporated. This layer may contain notes like are musk, vanilla, resins and woods. These bursting layers blend together perfectly to create a fragrance oil that smells fantastic from beginning to end!

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Are Fragrance Oils Bad For You?Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Are Fragrance Oils Bad For You?

Fragrance Oils aren’t bad for you. In fact, there are fragrance oils that contain essential oils in them. For example, our Rosemary Fragrance Oil contains high levels of the rosemary essential oil. The only difference between the two is that the fragrance oil contains notes of camphoraceous eucalyptus and coriander along with the essential oil to round our the cool, crisp herbal aroma. These wonderfully herbal notes were created synthetically to enrich the overall scent of our fragrance oil and without these notes the fragrance oil wouldn’t be as delightfully complex.

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Using Fragrance Oils for Bath and BodyIs There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Using Fragrance Oils for Bath and Body

One great way to use a complex fragrance oil is creating bath and body products that will nourish the body and leave you smelling fantastic. We used the Chocolate Raspberry Chocolate Drizzle Fragrance Oil to create our Chocolate Raspberry Drizzle Rolled Soap Recipe and it was absolutely delicious. So, you just determine how much fragrance oil can be used in your recipe and get to crafting. You can easily figure out which fragrance oils can be used on the body and their usage rate by checking the Fragrance Oil IFRA Certificate. Also, you can find our personal suggestion for usage rates in the written portion on the same page. When we determine our recommend usage rate, we take into consideration the integrity of the product. So, what do I mean by that?  Some fragrance oils have very high usage rates.  So, let’s say you are looking at a fragrance oil and the IFRA Certificate said you could go as high as 50% fragrance oil when using that particular scented oil.  If we were to say we recommend 50% in your soap, you will end up with come very mushy soap.  So, when we make these recommendations, we test to determine how much you can use and still have a beautifully well made finished product. However, you can make this judgement for yourself and test them in your own products.

Typically, you can’t use fragrance oils that have a high concentration of spice notes in large amounts. In fact, some are not safe for bath and body products. But, this is also the case with spice essential oils, like Star Anise, as well. It just means that these types of scents are more likely to irritate the skin, so it is recommended to be cautious with these scents.

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Using Fragrance Oils in Scented CandlesIs There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Using Fragrance Oils in Scented Candles

Candle making is the perfect way to use any fragrance oil. You can use all of the Natures Garden fragrance oils to create homemade candles. While you can use all of our fragrance oils in diy candles, there are some that we would highly recommend using. Our Top Candle Scents  are some of the strongest fragrance oils for candles and are sure to pick up the mood in a room. One of these strong room scenting fragrances was used to create our Spring Smelly Jelly Recipe. In this recipe the scent of a freshly blooming lilac bush from the Lilac Fragrance Oil was a strong, pure aroma that was irresistible.

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Fragrance Oils Can Be CheaperIs There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Fragrance Oils Can Be Cheaper

In addition to being a more complex alternative to essential oils, fragrance oils are often cheaper than essential oils. Sometimes an essential oil is just way too expensive for daily use, so we are able to turn to a fragrance oil for an alternative. First, you can take an essential oil and combine it with other notes. This way you will still enjoy the scent of the essential oil, but you will need slightly less of the essential oil.

Another option for perfumes is creating a scent that smells just like the essential oil. This is perfect for the essential oils that would be extremely expensive. One example of this is Moonlight Tuberose Fragrance Oil. While the Tuberose Essential Oil is extremely expensive, it is possible to create a fragrance oil that contains the scent of Tuberose for much cheaper. So, you are able enjoy the aroma in this complex scent in your homemade recipes all the time!

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Essential OilsIs There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Essential Oils

Essential oils are created by extracting the essence of natural elements. These elements can be flowers, spices, woods, or even herbs. So, a single essential oil will have the pure scent of the natural element it came from. So, you won’t have too much complexity in the aroma of your essential oils. For example, in Cinnamon Leaf Ceylon Essential Oil you only have the scent of Cinnamon and in Apple Jack Peel the cinnamon is used as a middle note among many other scents. This means you can have the herbal scent of Lavender Essential Oil or the citrus scent of Tangerine California Essential Oil, but you won’t have any of the top notes or base notes to support your scent. While you can mix a few of these essential oils together to create an essential oil blend, these blends are not as complex as many fragrance oils. This means that essential oils are perfect for creating homemade products with a simple, elegant aroma.

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Are Essential Oils Natural?Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Are Essential Oils Natural?

Since essential oils are taken from natural elements and not created synthetically, they are natural. Most often, essential oils are extracted by a process called steam distillation. This involves putting the flower, plant, or herb into a still containing pressurized steam. Eventually, the cell walls burst and release the essence of this natural element. After, this essence is shocked with cool water. This mixture of essential oil and water will separate over time, which allows manufacturers to harvest the essential oil. Many believe that this method is the best to produce high quality essential oil. If you would like to learn about any of the other methods for extracting essential oils, then check out our Essential Oil Class!

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Can You Use Essential Oils to Make Soap?Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Can You Use Essential Oils to Make Soap?

You absolutely can use essential oils for soap making! In fact, you can use most essential oils on the skin. So, we can include these essential oils in recipes for soap, lotion, and any other kind of bath and body product you want to create, too. We have used both the Lavandin Grosso Pure Essential Oil and the Patchouli Essential Oil to create the herbal Patchouli Infused Hair Conditioner Recipe.

You just need to make sure that you check the  IFRA Certificate for your essential oil to see what the usage rate is for your recipe. The PDF for the certificate is a blue color. The PDF certificate like is on the right side of the page of the essential oil that you are looking at. Just like fragrance oils, you can only use essential oils  in certain percentage rates. For example, you can only use Star Anise Essential Oil at a 0.1% rate for all bath and body recipes. Also, you can use the Bergamot Italian Rectified Essential Oil at a 5% rate for body products like soap and lotion, but only a 2% rate for nails or hair care products.

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil? : Can You Add Essential Oils to a Candle?Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil? : Can You Add Essential Oils to a Candle?

You can use Essential Oils to create some fantastic natural candles! While these candles won’t have the complex top notes or lingering base notes, essential oils are perfect for those that enjoy pure scents. We recommend using soy wax though.  Essential oils will not blend with paraffin waxes. If you have a favorite natural essential oil, then you will absolutely love a soy candle made with it. You just have to be cautious of a few things. First, you need to add your scent at a temperature below its flash point. Otherwise, the scent may evaporate immediately. You can find the flash point on the IFRA Certificate for each essential oil, which is on the page for each essential oil.  You will need to test to determine the proper amount of essential oil to use.  Each essential oil will be different.

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: How Much Do Essential Oils Cost?

While essential oils are made from natural elements, we are a bit limited in what can be used to become an essential oil. This is because some plants contain such small amounts of essence that it can take up to a hundred pounds to create a single ounce of one an essential oil. This can lead to some essential oils being extremely expensive, like the pure Tuberose essential oil. While some can cost quite a bit, not every essential oil is super expensive. You can find about twenty seven different essential oils on the Natures Garden website at reasonable priced.

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Luxurious Essential Oils

While Natures Garden doesn’t carry any extravagant essential oils, there are some oils out there that get pretty high in price. It was really interesting to see the essential oils on the list and how expensive they can be. If you are curious in learning  about more of these expensive essential oils, then check out the Top 10 Most Expensive Essential Oils in the World by Most Luxurious List.

Is There a Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?: Talk to Us

We hope that you have enjoyed this scent blog and have learned something about the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils. We know that it can be confusing when you are just learning as they are both do similar things, but the differences are fairly simple once you learn them. If you have anymore questions or just want to share you experiences, then reach out to us on social media. The Natures Garden Facebook page is one place that is great for communicating with us and the other craft makers. Also, you can find us on Twitter and on Instagram with @ngscents. Have fun with your favorite scented oils and we hope to talk all about them with you soon!

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