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People often confuse fragrance oils and essential oils “Why? Aren’t they the same thing?” Although both types can be used for the same purpose, they have significant differences.

If you want to know which is safer, healthier, and better to use for your skin and body, well, you have to know the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils. That is what this blog is here for. Let’s roll!

Difference between Fragrance and Essential oils

The difference between essential and fragrance oils comes down to these two words: natural and synthetic, respectively.

Essential oil

Essential oils are plant oils and therefore are true natural fragrances.

One significant fact about essential oils is that they are phthalate-free. Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics and are added to fragrance oil. They are known to cause health issues.

Essential oils are derived from timely harvested plants and herbs; however, not all plants produce oils. They are extracted in different ways, but usually, the raw materials undergo a process of steam distillation that brings up the oil, then bottles it up to its pure perfection.

The natural fragrance extracted from natural ingredients in essential oils does not last long. They have properties that quickly evaporate, so adding a small amount onto your palms will give a temporary therapeutic scent.

Essential oil benefits and risks

Many use essential oils in skincare, aromatherapy, DIY candle making, and handmade soap making. They contain healing properties that give remedies to several health conditions:

  • Calm nerves and ease sore muscles

  • Relieves stress and other emotional problems

  • Uplifts mood and resolves menstrual issues

  • Recover from skin problems like eczema

  • Boost energy and improves digestion

  • and more!

However, essential oils can also cause adverse reactions if not mindfully used, such as:

  • Allergic reactions to sensitive skin when used undiluted

  • Poisoning when ingested

Oil with care <3

Fragrance oil

Compared to essential oils, fragrance oils are made from synthetic compounds.

Scientists use chemical components to easily process and copy a natural scented fragrance which they call "identical nature compounds.” Synthetically-made fragrance oils are usually used in cosmetics and modern perfumes. Although it is possible to create almost any aroma in the fragrance oil chemically, they do not possess the natural healing properties of essential oils.

The synthetic fragrance oils have stronger scents and are long-lasting.

Fragrance oil risks

With the use of artificially made aroma, here are some things to note about fragrance oils:

  • artificially made scents such as apple, blueberry pie, and hot fudge cake

  • used in synthetic perfumes, candles, soaps, and more

  • long-lasting

  • Manufacturers are not required to disclose what chemicals they use in their fragrance

  • It can be a cocktail of up to 3,000+ chemicals

Fragrance oils contain chemicals so there are downsides to them. They are known to cause:

  • Disruption of hormonal activities

  • Fragrance can enter the body through the eyes, lungs, and skin

  • Headaches, allergies, and watery eyes

  • "Organic Fragrance", "Fragrance", "Natural Fragrance" legally has no meaning and doesn't mean chemical-free

  • Issues on respiratory and neurotoxicity

  • Skin, eyes, nose, throat irritation

  • Decrease in memory

  • Nausea and loss of coordination

  • and more!

The price difference between Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils

Essential and fragrance oils are sometimes used for the same purpose. But if you go to a local store and buy some cheap oil, chances are you got a synthetic fragrance at hand. Because price-wise, essential oils are way more expensive.

It is because though they sometimes look and might smell almost the same, these oils are created differently. The creation process in essential oils is more delicate and complex. The plant materials used are seasonal, making their availability sometimes short and limited.

Also, the healing properties that essential oils claim are boundless. It is no wonder that even for a high-priced product, people still choose to go with what’s natural and beneficial.

Fragrance Oils vs Essential Oil: Which is better to use?

Now that we’ve seen the difference between essential and fragrance oils, what is your final verdict? Which is safer, healthier, and better to use?

If you are after the healthy benefits and safer qualities, the essential oil is your best pick. I use them with my family because they are free from chemicals and possess pure natural properties. Although they are a bit pricey, they are a good investment for my family’s health.

How about you? What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment down below, and I’ll be delighted to read about your experience.


The Food and Drug Administration does not evaluate the information presented here. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This blog is for educational purposes only.

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