Image Name Essential Oils vs Fragrance Oils: Important Details You Need To Know

Essential Oils vs Fragrance Oils: Important Details You Need To Know

​Smelling good is a desire that most people have. This is why we like to shower, wash our clothes and the sheets on our beds, and the reason why we indulge in fragrances. The thing is- we work hard for our money and want the best it can buy, so is when it comes to purchasing scents. However, when it comes to oils, we often ponder which one is better to spend our money on, essential or fragrance? Let’s compare and find out.

​Essential Oils ​And Fragrance Oils Comparison ​



Young Living Sacred Frankincense in white background
Rose Fragrance Oil - Premium Grade Scented Oil - 100ml/3.3oz in white background
  • Can be pricey
  • Can come diluted
  • Are natural
  • Can cause rashes if not diluted well
  • Are volatile compounds
  • Has many benefits

  • Can be less expensive
  • Are synthetic
  • Can be manufactured easily because it’s made in a lab
  • Commonly used in soap making
  • Might contain some essential oils
  • Makes you smell good

​Essential Oils

Two tiny essential oil above the knit surface. First bottle at left has a flower inside and the tiny one has none. Blurry image of flower included

​If this is the first story you’ve read from our blog, then you might not be aware that one of our main focuses are extracts pulled from fragrant plants. Holistic solutions are kind of a big deal to us so it would be safe to say that we can be biased when it comes to our scents.

Yet, as a frequent user of essential oils myself, I still use fragrances as well. But there are distinct differences between the two.

​​How Are They Made?

​​Depending on the oil, there is one of two ways in which extracts are taken from their host plant.

Citrus oils are extracted via a process known as cold pressing. Basically, a cylinder filled with spikes is spun, and the citrus rind is sent down in it. While it moves through the cylinder and the spikes pierce the rind, which releases the oils inside. They fall to the bottom and are collected in a glass beaker.

Cold press tank with tube, flowing a yellow substance down to a tank.

Other scents like lavender and frankincense are extracted by steam distillation, which is a complicated process and different depending on the plant. For the most part, a pressure cooker is used with a rack inside that holds the flowers, seeds, stems, or twigs. Some water is put at the bottom and when it starts to boil, the steam rises and moves through the host plant.

Distillation Factory with big tubes, filter and other equipment for distilling ingredients

​Then, through a cylinder, nothing like the one I spoke about with citrus oils, turns the steam back into a liquid, and at the end, there is oil and a water-like substance. The two are separated because water and oil never mix. The water portion is siphoned off, and we have pure essential oil.

What Are They Used For?

Pure extracts from botanical sources have a great many benefits as well as its many uses. Depending on the oil, you can ease headaches, calm your nerves, help yourself focus, get rid of insects, clean your home, wash your hair, and leave you and your rooms smelling fantastic.

6 Different Pictures of Essential Oil Bottle, Soap and Bath Salt.

If you are interested in essential oils, then it is important that you learn to use them correctly. There are three ways in which they are used and that’s through inhalation, by topical application, and ingestion. It is recommended that you should not consume anything, including extracts, without consulting a medical professional. We do not recommend that anyone reading this start putting oils into their foods. This is potentially dangerous, and we don’t want anyone to get hurt. That said, inhalation and topical application are not as hazardous. Let’s take a look at both.


Essential Oil Diffuser with a flower in Gray Background

This simply means to breathe it in, which can be done in a myriad of ways. You can get a diffuser and use the best models on the market. There are terracotta necklaces and even something as simple as a cotton ball can help you release your favorite essence into to the air. If you are feeling anxious or congested, this would be the right direction for you with the aid of the appropriate oil.

Topical Application

Sexy body of a woman applying a lotion on legs, lotion has pink container

This simply means to rub it on your skin. This is a great way to get some of the benefits available. If you have sore muscles or a bug bite, massaging them into the skin is the way to go. But it is very important that you learn to dilute your oils well because they are volatile compounds after all and could possibly cause a rash.

The standard ratio is one tablespoon of carrier substance to two drops of essential oil. If you want to mix scents, then start with five tablespoons of carrier oil and that gives you ten drops of oil to play with. Good carrier substances are coconut oil, jojoba, sweet almond, olive, and some that are made by some companies. Once the blend is mixed, be sure to conduct a spot test on a small patch of skin before applying liberally.

​Fragrance Oils

​When you head to a department store and women are standing around in the cosmetics section just waiting for an opportunity to spray you with something floral, or citrus themed, they are comprised of these types of oils.

​How Are They Made?

Technician loading sample vials in autosampler rack.

These are made completely in a laboratory. They may contain some natural ingredients and even a few extracts but, for the most part, these scents are synthetic. You might think that makes them toxic but the truth is, they are created with safety in mind. While we know that our skin absorbs these chemicals, they are relatively safe.

​What Are They Used For?

Nude Color Perfume Bottle and Color Pink Flower

Smelling good is the main objective of this product, but besides that, there is no health benefit to them whatsoever. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them. I myself admitted to indulging in them from time to time. But if you are looking to relax or keep the bugs away then these are not the products for you.


Depending on what you are looking to do is how you know which of the two are best for you. If you are interested in something more than just a good smelling spray, then you might want to start researching extracts. We have a complete alphabetized list for you here.

It doesn’t hurt to try new things so if you swear by natural oils, maybe you should take a walk to the local department store and take a whiff of their offerings. I have my favorite perfume, and it makes my boyfriend happy when I wear it.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with using both. If you have any questions or comments we would love to hear them in the comments section below. We hope you are enjoying our posts and the information we provide with the intention of helping you achieve a better mind, body, and soul.

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