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The Difference Between Fragrance and Essential Oils

Fragrance oils and essential oils serve different functions and have distinct characteristics. In the table below we explore the differences between the two types of scented oils.

Fragrance OilsEssential Oils
Primary PurposeTo provide aroma and scentTo promote health and well-being
Aromatic PropertiesTypically used for their pleasant fragrance and aroma. Often used in perfumes, candles, and home fragrances.Used for their therapeutic properties, such as relaxation, pain relief, stress reduction, and more.
Extraction ProcessObtained through various methods, including steam distillation, cold-press extraction, and solvent extraction.Extracted using methods that preserve the therapeutic compounds, such as steam distillation or cold-press extraction.
Chemical CompositionCan be a combination of natural compounds and synthetic fragrance chemicals. May not always have consistent therapeutic benefits.Composed primarily of natural compounds and chemicals found in plants, with specific therapeutic properties.
Safety and DilutionGenerally safe for external use but may need dilution before applying to the skin. Some may cause skin sensitization or irritation.Must be used with caution, properly diluted, or under the guidance of a qualified aromatherapist. Can be potent and may have contraindications.
Therapeutic BenefitsLimited therapeutic benefits, mainly related to mood and emotions (e.g., relaxation, uplifting).Designed and used specifically for their therapeutic properties, such as pain relief, immune support, stress reduction, and more.
ExamplesLavender, rose, vanilla, jasmine.Lavender (for relaxation), tea tree (for skin issues), eucalyptus (for respiratory relief), peppermint (for headaches).
ApplicationOften used in cosmetic and fragrance products like perfumes, soaps, and candles.Applied in aromatherapy, massage therapy, diffusers, topical applications, and more, for specific health and wellness purposes.
RegulationRegulated primarily as fragrance ingredients and may not have strict quality standards for therapeutic use.Subject to regulations that ensure the purity, quality, and labeling accuracy for therapeutic purposes, depending on the region.
PricePrices can vary widely based on the source and quality but may be more affordable than therapeutic oils.Typically higher in price due to their purity and specific therapeutic benefits.

In summary, fragrance essential oils are primarily used for their pleasant scent and are commonly found in cosmetic and fragrance products, while therapeutic oils are specifically chosen and used for their health and well-being benefits under proper guidance. The choice between them depends on the intended purpose and desired outcomes.

At Aromatherapy Clinic we use only the highest quality, pure and natural essential oils and skincare ingredients. Our suppliers have tested and guarantee the efficiency of each ingredient.

Featured photo by Mareefe

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