The main difference between fragrance oil and essential oil is that fragrance oil is a type of synthetic product whereas essential oil is extracted from plants. Furthermore, is it possible to produce fragrance oil in any aroma while essential oils are important in aromatherapy practice to ease muscle pain, menstrual issues, emotional problems, skin problems, arthritis, etc.
Fragrance oil and essential oil are two types of oils with aromatic compounds. However, both terms are sometimes incorrectly used interchangeably.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Fragrance Oil
– Definition, Chemical Compounds, Importance
2. What is Essential Oil
– Definition, Chemical Compounds, Importance
3. What are the Similarities Between Fragrance Oil and Essential Oil
– Outline of Common features
4. What is the Difference Between Fragrance Oil and Essential Oil
– Comparison of Key Differences
Aromatic Compounds, Aromatherapy, Essential Oil, Fragrance Oil, Natural, Perfumes, Synthetic
What is Fragrance Oil
Fragrance oil is a synthetic oil with aromatic compounds similar to that in essential oils. It can mimic the aroma of natural products such as peach, apple, banana, strawberry, and, melon. It can even have the aroma of a hot fudge cake or the smell of the rain. Therefore, the main use of fragrance oils is as perfumes in soap, lotions, and scents. Unfortunately, they do not have any health benefits. Also, fragrance oils are nonvolatile.
Significantly, most fragrance oils contain a small amount of essential oils added to the product. Since a major part of them are synthetic, their shelf life is longer. However, essential oils are difficult to reproduce in the lab since they are complex mixtures of chemical compounds. Usually, a particular essential oil may contain 50-500 different chemical compounds in it.
What is Essential Oil
The essential oil is a naturally-occurring substance extracted from different parts of a plant including stems, bark, leaves, flowers, fruit, wood or resin. Generally, these substances are aromatic compounds that are volatile. The two main methods involved in the extraction process are steam distillation and solvent extraction. Significantly, both extraction methods allow obtaining pure oils. However, based on the type of plant and the type of part used, the extraction process can vary. 100% pure oils are known as ‘neat’ since further processing is not required for them.
Moreover, a particular essential oil has a specific aroma due to the presence of a unique group of chemicals in the oil. However, based on the season, growth conditions, and climate, the chemical composition of the oil can vary. Also, some essential oils such as rose and sandalwood are considerably expensive due to the timely and complex extraction processes. However, the citrus essential oil is not expensive due to the easiness of extraction. Besides, the main use of essential oils is in aromatherapy to reduce muscle pain, emotional stress, menstrual issues, skin problems, and arthritis. Also, they are used in skin and hair softening and moisturizing.
Similarities Between Fragrance Oil and Essential Oil
- Fragrance oil and essential oil are two types of oils with aromatic compounds.
- They come with a particular aroma specific to the mixture of chemicals present in the oil.
- Also, both are used in a wide variety of applications.
- Sometimes, both fragrance oil and essential oil can be used for the same purpose.
Difference Between Fragrance Oil and Essential Oil
Fragrance oil refers to the commercial oils which have a mild aroma of essential oil, or a synthetic chemical which resembles something natural while essential oil refers to the natural oils typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic odor of the plant or other sources from which it is extracted.
Thus, the main difference between fragrance oil and essential oil is that fragrance oil is synthetic while essential oils are naturally extracted from plants.
Moreover, an important difference between fragrance oil and essential oil is that the fragrance oil contains chemical compounds which can be synthesized in the laboratory while the chemical compounds in essential oils are more complex and they cannot be reproduced in the lab.
Fragrance oils contain defined types of chemicals while chemical compounds in an essential oil vary based on the season, climate, and growing conditions.
Furthermore, fragrance oils can be produced with any aroma while essential oils have generally a specific aroma. Thus, this is another difference between fragrance oil and essential oil.
Besides, fragrance oils are not volatile while essential oils are volatile.
Also, one other difference between fragrance oil and essential oil is that fragrance oils are used to produce perfumes while essential oils are used in aromatherapy.
Moreover, fragrance oils have a longer shelf life while essential oils have a comparatively short shelf life.
Price is yet another difference between fragrance oil and essential oil. Fragrance oils are much cheaper while the price of essential oils varies depending on the type, availability, and season.
Fragrance oil is a synthetic oil with aromatic compounds similar to the compounds in essential oils. They come is a variety of aromas since any type of fragrance oil can be synthesized inside the lab. Fragrance oils are mainly used in perfumes. On the other hand, essential oil is a natural oil extracted from different parts of plants. Based on the extraction process, season, and growth conditions, their prices can vary. Generally, essential oils are the key factor in aromatherapy. Therefore, the main difference between fragrance oil and essential oil is the origin, types of chemicals present, and uses.
1. “Fragrance oil packaging design” By DaViDa~ (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Pure Jasmine and Rose Oil Absolute- Perfume – All Natural Aromatherapy Essential Oils ~ Rose and Jasmine Perfume ~ Bridesmaids Gift Ideas” By Naomi King (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr