Essential oils are made of 100% all natural substances. Essential oils are extracted from different parts of a plant, such as flowers, herbs, or roots. These oils are pure extractions that are obtained through the process of steam distillation or solve extractions and are not cut with a type of carrier oil. Sometimes, depending on the type of plant, the extraction may prove to be very complex. These 100% pure oils are "neat", meaning they have not been processed, diluted or manipulated in any way with solvents or other additives. Essential oils are difficult to reproduce synthetically since they can be made up of 50-500 different naturally occurring chemicals found in the plant and not all of them have been identified.
Also, depending on the season, climate, or growing conditions of a plant, the chemical components of a particular essential oil may vary. Therefore, it is difficult for craft makers to keep their finished products consistent.
Fragrance oils are created in a laboratory. One of the main benefits is that they are non-volatile and generally last longer than essential oils. There are two broad types of fragrance oils:
· Synthetic Fragrance Oils
· Natural Fragrance Oils
There is actually a huge difference between these two types of fragrance oils. Synthetic fragrance oils are artificially created from chemical compounds that do not exist in nature. These are the types of fragrances to avoid when reading a label, especially if you have skin sensitivities. Many times, they are composed of petroleum by-products, making them much cheaper but versatile. Many of the cheaper commercial scented products are created with synthetic fragrances because they are able to retain their aroma for longer periods of time.
Natural Fragrance oils are also made in a lab but are created by isolating natural aromatic components from a complex scent. There is still debate as to whether natural fragrance oils can be considered truly natural. While they are derived from a natural source, they are still created by human science. Our view is where possible, we will stick to essential oils but there are cases where an argument could be made for natural fragrance oils.