What’s the difference between essential oils and fragrances?

Essential oils are commonly confused with fragrance oils because of the terminology used by many companies. The use of aroma or “fragrance” to describe essential oils adds to the misconception that these two products are the same, when they are distinctly different. Essential oils and fragrances share some uses and can have similar purposes, but vary in composition and benefits. When choosing a product you should keep in mind these factors to ensure you are getting your desired benefit.

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How are essential oils made?

The key distinguishing factor of essential oils is that they are harvested from nature. They are created by extracting natural oils from various environments. Essential oils are formed naturally in leaves, wood, herbs, fruit, seeds and more. The oils are withdrawn from different parts of the plant bringing out their natural scent.

There are many essential oil blends that are not 100% pure. To get the best results you will want an essential oil that is pure and not overly processed. Creating a pure essential oil can be executed in a variety of ways depending on the material being used. When extracting oil from a plant the system of steam distillation is commonly used to get the highest quality and purest form of the essential oil. In this process steam vaporizes the plants volatile compounds, which then go through a process of condensation and collection. Substances such as citrus undergo a different process of extraction called cold press. A machine is used to pierce the oil sacs that lie underneath citrus rinds letting them flow out to be collected. After they are collected the fruit is squeezed to release all juices and oils and are then centrifuged to separate the oils from the juices. The method and extraction process varies depending on the substance.

If you are into all natural products essential oils may be the right fit for you! Did you know there are ways to naturally diffuse essential oils also? Try using a non plastic diffuser to ensure you get the purest, cleanest aromatherapy possible. Essential oils are known to cause corrosion in plastic over time which can result in toxic plastic particles being dispersed into the air. To prevent this try Vorda’s natural cypress wood diffuser. By allowing the oil to soak into the wood it will continuously give off its aroma without adding toxins to the air

How are fragrance oils are made?

Fragrance oils are artificially produced. They are not plant based or derived from nature in any respect like essential oils are. Although some fragrances may be infused with essential oils, the majority of the solution is typically artificially created with chemicals. Fragrances are manufactured with synthetic compounds to produce a particular desired scent. You may ask yourself why would people buy an artificial product when there are existing natural ones that can provide the same effect for you? The answer is simply because it is typically cheaper. Being artificially created allows companies to sell fragrance oils for a much cheaper cost in comparison to essential oils.


Diffusers are commonly used for aromatherapy to disperse an aroma easier and faster. Although this is a great way to spread an essential oil aroma it is highly unrecommended for fragrance oils. A diffuser sprays a combination of water and oil as a mist into the air for you to breathe in the benefits. Due to fragrances man made chemical compounds these should not be used in a diffuser simply because they have no benefits. Fragrances should be used for an aroma rather than be inhaled.

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How do the scents of essential oils and fragrances differ?

Although essential oils are natural and have wide ranging benefits, they have aromatic limitations. Many natural substances have a distinct smell they are distinctly known for which makes extracting them into a delightful smell relatively easy. Unfortunately this is not the case for all plants. For example, citrus fruits such as lemons are easily extractable making it a heavily used ingredient in essential oils, but fruits like bananas are unable to be extracted into an essential oil. To get the sweet aroma you would have to use a fragrance that has been created to mirror that particular scent. In this respect fragrances are more versatile in the notion that any mixture or smell can be created. This is where the unnatural artificial aspect becomes an advantage for companies to capitalize on.

How do the benefits of essential oils and fragrances differ?

Essential oils are used in aromatherapy to bring an array of benefits to consumers. By releasing the oil particles into the air it allows you to inhale in the benefits as a natural remedy to an array of problems. The increasing popularity of healing the body and mind has given a rise to the use of essential oils. Their natural combinations promote good health, ease of mind, and positivity. They are commonly used to spread an aroma throughout a room to give off a particular energy or feeling. Fragrance oils do not contain the same compounds as essential oils and therefore do not have the same benefits. Commonly used in beauty products such as soaps and lotions, fragrances provide a delectable aroma to products we use. By creating a particular smell companies can invoke a certain feeling rather than aiding your health.

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Choose your product based on the benefit you hope to receive. If you want a sweet unique crafted smell a fragrance oil might be the one for you. If you are looking for a remedy to destress, relax, and unwind essential oils is the solution for you. Diffuse a couple drops of your chosen oil into your natural diffuser or simply put on some delightful smelling lotion and relish in the aromas.

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