Fragrance Oils vs. Essential Oils

What's the difference between fragrance oils and essential oils?

When reading ingredient lists, often you would come across "Fragrance". What does that really mean? Because fragrances are considered trade secrets, full disclosure is not required.  So it can be any combination of chemicals including those derived from petroleum such as phthalates that are hormone disruptors or benzene derivatives that has been linked to cancer and birth defects.

Essential oils, on the other hand, are derived from plants. Either cold pressed or steam distilled, or extracted by alcohol. Essential oils carry healing properties of the plants that they are derived from. The cost of essential oils depend on the type of plant it's derived from. For example, it takes 60,000s roses to make one ounce of rose essential oil. So rose essential oil is much more expensive than sweet orange essential oil, an oil with much higher yield. Just because essential oils come from natural sources, it doesn't mean they are safe for everyone. It's possible to have allergic reactions to essential oils, and you need to be careful when using essential oils during pregnancy. Since essential oils are highly concentrated, any pesticides or herbicides can also be dramatically concentrated. That's why I like to choose certified organic essential oils whenever possible.

Also, because it takes so much plant material, it's important to consider the sustainability of the resources and energy to grow the plants and distill the oils. Certain plants are endangered, such as rosewood and sandalwood. So always make sure that your supplier is using a sustainable source for your essential oils.

So what's your favorite essential oil and what do you use it for? Leave your comments below!

7 comments:

  1. For me, my favorite EO is peppermint! I drop it in water; I dab a little on my wrists for a pick-me-up; and I have even used it as "perfume" behind my ears during the summer when you want to feel fresh! My go-to source is Mountain Rose Herbs, because as you pointed out, it is important to have a certified organic source.

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    1. I love peppermint EO as well! Recently learned that it can be used to ward off spiders and ants! So not only will you smell great, you will also be bug proof! LOL I spray it on my window and door frames, and what do you know? No spider invasions!

      I do love Mountain Rose Herbs. And Aura Cacia is another great source!

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  2. Young Living essential oils are the only eo's I will use for my family and the only ones I will recommend to clients. Highest quality oils on the market, hands down!!!

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    1. Tina, thank you for your comment! The reason I don't recommend Young Living is because they are not certified organic. I know many people have positive experiences with them, but for me and my family, I like to have an independent certification to guarantee no use of pesticides.

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