I’m sure you’ve definitely heard the term ‘fragrance oil’ and ‘essential oil’, but do you actually know what sets them apart? To many, they’re both just scents that you can use to freshen up your surrounding environment. But what is the difference really?
Fragrance oils are synthetic. They are a mixture composed of aroma chemicals, aromatic resins and sometimes a mixture of essential oils. As compared, these synthetic oils are generally less expensive and widely available.
Essential oils are extracted from herbs, plants and flowers using a steam distillation. The plants are suspended over boiling water and the steam pulls out the oil from the plant. It is then captured and condensed back into water. The essential is then collected as water and essential oil do not mix. It is a tedious and expensive process.
Fragrance oils are commonly used in soaps , body products, detergents and perfumes with the purpose of making them smell good. Unlike essential oil, fragrance oil does not have any therapeutic benefits to them.
Essential oils are known for their therapeutic properties in aromatherapy. For example, studies have shown that inhaling pure lavender oil can help one to relieve stress. Or how people use peppermint to boost energy and aid digestion.
Fragrance oils are generally cheaper than essential oil as they are man-made synthetic oil and there is no need for extraction of the oil from its source. It is easy to manufacture, while producing consistent results.
Essential oils are typically pricey depending on the type of oil and the scarcity of the oil source. It also takes a huge amount of material to produce a small quantity of pure essential oil. Did you know that it requires approximately 242,000 rose petals to product 5ml of pure rose essential oil? The extraction process is much more expensive as compared to fragrance oil.
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