Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils- What is the Difference?

Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils- What is the Difference?

Difference between essential oils and fragrance oils is probably the most misunderstood thing. Specially in India, where there is not much awareness about aromatherapy, this topic becomes all the more relevant.

Let’s not waste time and jump right into the topic. What exactly is the difference between fragrance oils and essential oils?

To put it in simple words, essential oils are pure, natural, steam distilled oils, extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant. On the other hand, fragrance oils are, synthetically made oils, which may or may not contain natural ingredients.

Fragrance oils are “Nature Like” aromas which has been made in laboratories. This means that using the natural fragrance, it has been duplicated in a lab, so a certain part of it remains natural, but NOT the entire oil. Fragrance oils, are generally used in soaps, candles and other such places where the therapeutic benefit of essential oil is not required. Instead only fragrance is required.

This leads us to our other point. Which is fragrance oils have no therapeutic benefits. They just emit fragrance and nothing else. So if you have heard of cinnamon oil being an astringent and want to take advantage of this in your own concoction, then fragrance oil is NOT for you. Instead use essential oils, which are pure, steam distilled extracts of cinnamon.

Further, some studies also suggest that fragrance oils should not be used in candle making. This is because they contain certain chemicals, which when heated may emit harmful fumes.

More than 80% of the essential oils selling online today are actually fragrance oils. They are cheap, in price and benefits. More than 90% of sellers selling fragrance oils in the name of essential oils don’t even know the difference. So in all probability, they are not lying, they just don’t know the truth themselves.

Also, many of the natural beauty brand listing essential oils in their ingredient list may also actually be using fragrance oils without even knowing about it.

There is just one last thing that we would like to clarify. Fragrance oils may or may not contain natural ingredients means that there are some fragrances which have been replicated in the lab without the use of natural fragrances. There is no layman way of telling which fragrance oil contains natural ingredients and which is all chemical.

At Nature’s Tattva, we are very strict and transparent about the two varieties of oils- Essential and Fragrance. We sell both and have clearly de-marked them into different categories. It is upto the individual buyer to make an informed decision and buy based on their individual requirement. 

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