Essential oils are not really oils but the essence of plants that have been steam distilled or expressed (squeezed). They come straight from plants and pure oils have had nothing added to them. Fragrance Oils on the other hand are man made. They are made up of a conglomeration of different chemicals that can include natural scents and/or oils but do not, in and of themselves, come directly from any one plant.
Essential Oils, when used properly through diffusion or physical application, can benefit one’s mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well being. For example, just putting a drop or two of lemon essential in a diffuser can help lift someone who is feeling blue. Helichrysum mixed with rosehip seed oil can help heal scars. A little bit of lavender oil, can help one to become calm, ease a headache, sooth a burn and even to sleep. For major head colds, eucalyptus can help one to breathe and to relieve the stuffy head that one gets with the cold.
Fragrance oils are not made nor used to aid anyone’s health, although the smell can bring a smile to your face by smelling good, remind you of a memory and even causing members of the opposite sex to take a second sniff.
One benefit to using essential oils over fragrance oils is that while both can and do cause allergies, it is the man made fragrances that pose the greater risk. Many people, who have become allergic to assorted chemicals in their every day environment, will find it very difficult to smell perfumes, candles, or body products such as deodorant without having some sort of allergic reaction.
However, many of these same people will find that they tolerate the natural essential oils much easier. They can wear the perfumes with out going into anaphylactic shock, use soap without breaking out into hives and enjoy the romance of a lovely smelling candle without the sneezing, watering eyes and dripping nose that a non-natural fragrance can cause.
The downside to essential oils is that they can cost a lot more money than fragrance oils. A decent Lavender essential oil (Lavendula Angustifolia) will cost around $25.00 an ounce with retailers who aren’t trying to gouge your eyes out and youll find prices with Multi-level Marketing companies even higher. Lavender fragrance oil for 10 ounces will cost about half the price of a decent bottle of essential oil. The upside to using the natural oils when making bath salts, creams etc. is that instead of using several ounces, you will only need a very few drops of the essential oils and of course your products will be much better for you and your skin.
Essential oils can be used to clean your house, wash your clothes, clean and moisturize your body. They have been used (VERY sparingly) on food to improve taste, to relieve symptoms of a cold, help clear up athletes foot and to heal “boo-boos.” Fragrance oils cannot do any of that. They smell good, and can make nice smelling candles, and perfumes, but in no way can they measure up to the therapeutic value of a lovely, natural essential oil.