We welcome you to check out the articles that we have posted on our site to show you some information regarding fragrance and essential oils.
Perfume and fragrances have been around for many years and have continued to enjoy popularity. However, there continues to be confusion among many as to what the proper terminology is when it comes to this subject. It never hurts to gain more knowledge about the topic, especially if you love fragrances and want to know as much as you can about them.
The trouble many have when it comes to perfume in general is that they get the terms “perfume” and “perfume oils” mixed up. Perfume itself is a mixture of alcohol and concentrated oils. Perfume is widely distributed in large department stores and boutique stores across the world. The way they are developed, created and sold is slightly different than that of perfume oils.
We all know what perfume is but what about perfume oils? The thing about perfume oils is that they can be made of either fragrance oils or essential oils. However, fragrance oils tend to be more favorable because of its ability to capture the true aroma. Perfume oils have a much higher concentration (up to ten times more) than the perfumes found in department stores. Having a higher concentration allows the scent to last much longer. While perfumes contain alcohol for different scents, perfume oils contain what are called “carrier oils” such as grapeseed oil or jojoba oil instead of alcohol. With regular perfumes, the alcohol tends to evaporate over time, which can cause your high-priced perfume to smell differently and even stale. On the other hand, perfume oils have scents that stay at full force over longer periods of time. This makes it easier for you to wear your favorite scent for months, maybe even a year or so.
If you’re thinking about trying perfume oils, you’ve got a lot of places to look. Many websites online are dedicated to selling perfume oils – some even offer the opportunity to make your own perfume oil, which is then mixed by the company and shipped to your home. There are also specialty stores that sell perfume oils.
Put three capfuls of fragrance oils into a nice warm bath with bubbles. It helps you feel calm, relaxed and smell great.
Mix a few drops of essential oil with warm water and you’ve got your own perfume.
Mix fragrance oil with melted beeswax and olive oil and put it in the fridge – you end up with lip balm.
Dip a toothpick into a bottle of essential oil and hold the toothpick over a small tealight candle. Let the essential oil drip onto the candle and repeat a couple of times. When you light the candle a scent will spread throughout the room.
Sniff essential oils to feel calm and relaxed. This especially helps before an exciting event or before a big test.
Write a letter to your loved ones, and then dampen your fingers with an essential oil you think they would prefer. Spread the oil lightly over the paper so when they unfold it a scent will immediately greet their nostrils. Another way is to spread essential oil inside an envelope.
Mix essential oil with glycerin, cornstarch and sodium bicarbonate and pack into a mould for your own fizzy bath bombs.
There are many other ways to use fragrance oils. Experiment with your own ideas.
Q: What exactly is a fragrance oil made out of? I went to buy some today and noticed there was no ingredients listed.
A: Fragrance Oils do not have full ingredient disclosure; they fall under ‘Trade Secret’ status with the FDA and so simply putting “Fragrance” on an ingredient list will suffice.
|Asking about the difference between pure essential oils and fragrance oils is a little like asking what the difference is between natural and synthetic products. Both may have their uses and drawbacks. Synthetic products can be cheaper to produce and more convenient (for example polyester fabric) but may have drawbacks such as added chemicals and environmental hazard. Natural products might be better quality (for example wool) but harder to obtain in large quantities and not as palatable to the consumer.
What Are Essential Oils?
Aromatherapy essential oils are naturally occurring substances found in different parts of plants – the blossom, fruit, leaf, stem, bark, wood or resin. Through a complicated and often expensive process of steam distillation or solvent extraction, both hydrosol and essential oils are produced. Each essential oil is comprised of between 50 to 500 different naturally occurring chemicals, which can have both positive and negative effects. For example, cinnamon essential oil is known for its antiseptic and astringent properties yet it is highly irritating to the skin and caution must be taken.
In aromatherapy pure essential oils are used in a way to positively affect physical, emotional and mental health. They enter the body through the skin (via massage or bath) or the olfactory system (via a diffuser or humidifier). Essential oils may be used to enhance mood, to relieve symptoms such as pain, fatigue or inflammation, or be used to kill germs.
What Are Fragrance Oils?
Fragrance oils, aromatic oils or perfume oils as they are sometimes called, are manufactured scents. They are artificially created fragrances and they contain artificial substances. They are specifically designed to mimic the scent of a natural product (such as coffee fragrance oil) or are created to invoke a feeling (for example “spring rain”). The range of scents is enormous and fragrance oils are quite inexpensive.
What Are Fragrance Oils Used For?
Fragrance oils are used primarily in the manufacture of perfumes, cosmetics and flavorings. They are also used by soap and candle makers to enhance the smell of their product. While some essential oils can also be used by soap and candle makers, they are not as commonly used for these purposes due to cost and a more complex blending procedure.
Lavender Essential Oil vs Lavender Fragrance Oil
While scientists can duplicate the fragrance of essential oils, they have so far been unable to duplicate the benefits. Using Lavender as an example, there are many Lavender fragrance oils on the market. They all smell like lavender, consistently smell the same and are long lasting. They are great for fragrancing soaps, perfumes, cosmetics and candles but they have no other benefit.
Lavender essential oil, on the other hand, offers the fresh aroma of Lavender plus a great deal of healing properties that may help with symptoms such as coughs, insomnia, hyperactivity, arthritis, muscle aches, rheumatism, acne, sunburn, wounds, insect bites, burns and irritability.
How to Use Lavender Essential Oil
To enjoy the healing benefits of lavender essential oil there are many ways you can use it. Add it to a spray bottle or diffuser and cleanse the home or office. Add it to a bath to relax and unwind. Use it on a compress for bruises, aching muscles and sore joints. Add it to skincare products, shampoo and body lotions.
Both essential oils and fragrance oils have their uses. Use essential oils for their healing and therapeutic benefits and use fragrance oils for perfuming purposes.
© Green Valley Aromatherapy. Green Valley Aromatherapy is a wholesale and retail supplier of pure essential oils and aromatherapy products.www.57aromas.com.
Finding Your Fragrance Oil Scent
Fragrance scents are made up of natural as well as synthetic ingredients. Getting scents from flowers into liquid form is a science that uses techniques like distillation (as in distilling alcohol) and enfleurage (a process that transfers aromas from flowers and other botanicals to neutral oils). Concentrating fragrances is an art as well as a science, and the essences used in fragrance production are usually super concentrated. Fragrances can actually be made up of dozens of ingredients — sometimes as many as a hundred or more. Some of the ingredients are stabilizers, fixatives or carrier oils designed to make scents last longer once they’re applied to the skin.
Fragrances contain essential oils, but not all essential oils are appropriate as personal fragrances. Think of a prepared fragrance as a rich stew of ingredients designed to smell wonderful. An essential oil is a single note scent in that stew, like lavender, lemon verbena, tea rose or cloves. Essential oils are the building blocks of fragrance, and even though you may not want to dab pine essence behind your ears for your next date, a minute amount of pine, rosemary or sandalwood essential oil mixed with flowery or citrusy oils could yield the perfect scent — instead of leaving you smelling like a Christmas tree.
Occasionally, essential oils come pre-blended, especially for craft applications like making potpourri or candles. These blended fragrances are very concentrated though, and they’re not typically used as personal fragrances.
Essential oils form the basis of most perfumes and colognes, and the perfume industry places fragrances in five basic categories: floral, woody, oriental or exotic, fernlike and fresh. Your fragrance preferences probably fall into one of these broad categories, and if you like, say, a woodsy fragrance, it’s a good bet that other woodsy fragrances will appeal to you, too. You probably won’t be able to pick out all the ingredients in a prepared fragrance, but knowing what fragrance category you like will make it easier for you to discuss the available options with a fragrance expert or find fragrances that have names that correspond with a particular category. Fragrance retailers are pretty savvy when naming their products; you can sometimes get an idea of the category of a scent just by its cute or colorful name.
Your favorite natural fragrance oil or other preparation will change over time, too. Temperature variations and the effects of evaporation alter some of the ingredients in prepared fragrances. Perfume experts know this and build fragrances to compensate for the way scents develop and dissipate. Most fragrances have an initial scent, a secondary scent and a base scent that begins to emerge after an hour or so. The fragrance notes you smell at the cosmetics counter may be very different from the ones you end up wearing after a couple of hours. They should still smell pleasing — at least that’s what the perfume manufacturer intends. To play it safe, test personal fragrances before you buy them by applying a sample spritz to a pulse point like your wrist and wearing it for at least an hour before deciding if you like it or not. If it still smells nice to you, you’ll probably continue to like it under most circumstances. Fragrances can be unpredictable, though. They can change subtly based on factors like temperature, humidity, altitude, skin acidity and even whether or not you’re a smoker or are taking medication.
By all means, find a scent you love and adopt it as your very own. Think if it as an adventure, though. Just when you think your scent is totally predictable, you’ll discover it has an unexpected, subtle nuance you’ve never detected before. That’s one of the great pleasures — and risks — of wearing fragrances.
What is the difference between fragrance oils and essential oils – especially as they relate to candle making and soap making?
Well…if you’re a candle maker or soap maker who uses them interchangeably – who makes candles and makes soaps that just smell good (to you and others,) regardless of whether it’s natural or not, then there’s probably not much difference at all. As long as it’s a quality fragrance or essential oil, and has been tested to be safe in the application you’re using it for.
But if you’re dedicated to making only natural soaps and natural candles, then there is all the difference in the world! Few topics in soap making and candle making have engendered so much discussion, debate and controversy as fragrance oils vs. essential oils in candle and soap making.
But let’s start with the basics:
What is a fragrance oil?
A fragrance oil is a mix of various chemical components, some natural (from plants or even animals), and som
e synthetic. They are carefully formulated and/or blended to the exact specifications of a perfumer whose goal is to design a scent. “The perfumer is effectively an artist who is trained in depth on the concepts of fragrance aesthetics and who is capable of conveying abstract concepts and moods with their fragrance compositions.” —Wikipedia – “Perfumer”Sometimes they are formulated to smell like something occurring in nature (e.g. lavender, pine, bluebonnets, strawberries), or sometimes they are formulated to smell like an entirely new creation or concept (e.g. spring rain, love spell, winter wonderland.)
There are literally thousands of various compounds that each have their own scent…that blended together create a fragrance oil. Some fragrance oils contain essential oils as part of the natural components or constituents. Some do not. Some contain synthetically made constituents of essential oils. To help thin the various compounds, and to help create some uniformity of strength across fragrance oils, they are usually
diluted with a “diluent.”
Whether the constituents of the fragrance oil are safe on your skin will determine whether or not a fragrance oil is “skin safe” for soap, lotions or other cosmetic applications. Fragrance oils, and especially the constituents that make up fragrance oils, are guided by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) which generates, evaluates and distributes scientific data on the safety assessment of fragrance raw
materials found in perfumes, cosmetics, shampoos, creams, detergents, air fresheners, candles and other personal and household products. Perfumers and fragrance oil blenders are also guided by IFRA, the International Fragrance Association, which is the official representative body of the fragrance industry worldwide. Its main purpose is to ensure the safety of fragrance materials through a dedicated science program. They focus on fragrance safety both as it relates to the consumer and to the environment.
The DuPont Corporation used to use “Better Living Through Chemistry” as their slogan. Think of fragrance oils as “Better smelling through chemistry.” Just like chemistry has created many wonderful and safe things that make our world better, easier and more pleasant – chemistry has created many wonderful-smelling things that are a part of our everyday lives.
However, not everyone believes in “Better Living Through Chemistry”…especially as it relates to chemicals in our soaps and candles.
What if you want it natural?
What is an essential oil? Much of the renaissance of soap and candle making in the 20th Century was due to people wanting to get back to more natural ways. Whether out of fear of cancer or other health problems, wanting less chemicals in our environment, or just a desire for a simpler existence, people began wanting the things around them to be more natural. From the food they eat to the soap they bathe with, some people want nothing in or on their bodies but the pure basics. These are the warriors for the use of essential oils in candles and soap.
Julia Lawless, in her book The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oilsstates, “When we peel and orange, walk through a rose garden or run a sprig of lavender between our fingers, we are all aware of the special scent of that plant. But what exactly is it th
at we can smell? Generally speaking, it is essential oils that give spices and herbs their specific scent and flavour, flowers and fruit their perfume.”
That about sums it up. Essential oils are natural oils that contain the “essence” of a plant. They are the liquid or resin that is distilled, pressed or extracted from different parts of the plant – leaves, flowers, bark, berries, root, needles, seeds, beans, peel, cones, wood, stalks etc. Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation, though some oils are gotten through other processes like expression or solvent extraction.
Sometimes the oil can come from different parts of the plant – a few plants (like an orange tree) contain several different essential oils in different parts. Orange essential oil is derived from the fruit, neroli from the flower blossoms and petitgrain from the leaves.
It takes many, usually hundreds of, pounds of plant material to make a pound of essential oil. It takes about 200 pounds of lavender to make a pound of lavender essential oil. It takes over 2000 pounds of rose petals to make a pound of rose essential oil. (That’s why it’s SO expensive!)
Essential oils can be used in making soap and making candles – as well as in making many other fragrant items like room sprays, lotions, bath salts and oils, balms etc. They are also, of course, the foundation for the whole practice of aromatherapy.
For the most part, they can be used in about the same concentrations, and used in the same ways as fragrance oils. Remember, many fragrance oils contain essential oils as part of their blends.
Some people may be concerned about the safety of essential oils – and rightly so. Essential oils are powerful organic chemicals. But the same care should be taken whether using fragrance or essential oils in your candles and soap. Chemicals are chemicals whether they’re created in a lab, or created in nature. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe to put in or on your body.
So which is better?
I love essential oils. I also love fragrance oils. I use both of them in my soaps and candles. I do not believe that either one is inherently better than the other. They both have their proper uses, cautions and advantages. Like with all things, it is up to us c
andle makers and soap makers to learn all we can so that we can make educated choices about the products we make.