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Difference Between Fragrance Oils and Essential Oils: Complete Guide | Fragrance Oils vs Essential Oils 

Disclaimer - The information provided in this blog, including any linked materials herein, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. For accurate and personalized recommendations, please consult with your specialists.


If you are new to the world of oil, there is high chance that you will find yourself stuck in choosing the right oil for you, and mainly to know the difference between these oils. There is a wide range of variety of oils available in the market.

There are natural oils and synthetic oils, and if you are someone that does not know the difference between these oils, then surely you will feel lost and confused as to which one is good and most appropriate for your needs and preferences. 

But we are here for you; we will help you dig deeper into the oil world and gain a much deeper understanding of oils and choose what's best for you. In this article, detailed differences between essential oil and fragrance oil have been discussed to help you choose the right and most appropriate oil depending on your needs and requirements. 

Fragrance Oil Vs Essential Oil | Tabular Difference Between Essential and Fragrance Oils


Fragrance Oils Essential oils
Ingredients Synthetic Natural
Origin Fragrant parts of the plant and artificial ingredients Fragrant parts of plants
Expiry 6 months - 1 year 2 - 10 years
Price Affordable Expensive
Examples Pumpkin spice, cherry blossom, etc. Peppermint, lavender, lime, orange, frankincense, etc.

Understanding Fragrance Oils?

What are Fragrance Oils?

Fragrance oils, also known as aroma oils or perfume oils, are created artificially or synthetically through chemical processes. These oils are specifically formulated to mimic various fragrances, such as floral, fruity, or musky aromas. Unlike essential oils, fragrance oils do not possess any natural properties.

Composition and Manufacturing Process

Fragrance oils are carefully formulated using a blend of synthetic chemicals with the intention of capturing a desired scent. Through a meticulous manufacturing process, these chemicals are skillfully combined to create a distinct fragrance profile. The ultimate goal is to ensure consistency in both scent and longevity, resulting in a finely crafted fragrance oil.

Applications and Uses

Fragrance oils play a vital role in the fragrance industry, finding widespread application in the creation of perfumes, colognes, candles, soaps, and cosmetics. Leveraging their synthetic composition, they offer an expansive array of scents that may be challenging to achieve naturally. With their remarkable versatility, fragrance oils can be tailored to suit diverse preferences and target specific markets.

Understanding Essential Oils

What are Essential Oils?

According to the study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 2015 essential oils are concentrated plant extracts derived from various parts of plants like flowers, bark, stem, fruit, etc. These oils capture the natural aromatic compounds found in plants and possess distinct properties.

Extraction and Production

Study reveals that essential oils undergo extraction using a variety of methods, such as steam distillation, cold-press extraction, and solvent extraction. These methods are carefully selected to maximize the concentration of beneficial compounds based on the specific plant material.

As a result, the extracted oils are pure and preserve the distinct qualities of their botanical origins. This is precisely why essential oils are commonly referred to as natural oils, known for their safety and absence of chemicals.

Diverse Applications and Benefits

There are many benefits of essential oils, as essential oils are derived from natural ingredients that are rich in many vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Due to their natural composition, essential oils offer a wide range of applications and benefits. They are commonly used in aromatherapy, skincare, haircare, natural cleaning products, etc.

Each essential oil possesses unique properties and benefits. Lavender and chamomile oil is known for their natural calming properties; peppermint and eucalyptus oils are known for their refreshing properties; orange oil, lime oil and other citrus essential oils are known for their energizing and mood-uplifting properties, etc. 

Essential Oil Grades

What are the Main Differences Between Fragrance Oils and Essential Oils?

This difference can be studied in detail based on certain common factors that have been discussed below:

1. Composition and Source

This is a major fundamental difference between the two, which are fragrance oils and essential oils. The composition and source of fragrance oils are entirely synthetic, and it is crafted with the help of chemical processes. Whereas in the case of essential oils, they are derived from plants and are crafted using processes that help keep the natural aromatic compounds of the oil within them. 

2. Aromatherapeutic Properties

Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy as it helps promote relaxation and rest; on the other hand, fragrance oils mainly focus on scents. Essential oils have their own natural scents that are long-lasting and pleasing. Essential oils have properties that help promote overall health and wellness.

It helps find a balance emotionally, physically, as well as mentally. Essential oils promote calmness and create a relaxing ambiance and tranquil experience. On the other hand, fragrance oils lack all these benefits and features and can merely be used for their pleasant scent. 

3. Customization and Consistency

When it comes to customizing scent, then fragrance oils are more versatile, as the manufacturers can create many different fragrances for different scent profiles with the help of artificial scents and chemical processes. Essential oils are also very rich and diverse, but they can hardly be customized to make varied scents of essential oils. A major reason behind this is the growing conditions as well as the harvesting methods of the plants. 

4. Safety Considerations

Fragrance oils contain synthetic chemicals and, thus, might cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some cases. On the other hand, essential oils are natural and safe, but they are highly potent and concentrated and thus need to be diluted before application to avoid any chances of skin irritation. It is important in both cases, that is, essential oils or fragrance oils, to buy the oils from reputable sources to ensure the quality and safety of the products. 

5. Price and Availability 

When it comes to price, fragrance oils are budget friendly and much more affordable as compared to essential oils. A major reason behind this is the use of synthetic chemicals in fragrance oils, whereas restricting the use of natural products in the case of essential oils forms the basis for major price differences. Also, the process of essential oil extraction is expensive as compared to fragrance oils, and this reflects on the price of essential oils. 

Fragrance oils are usually found easily in retail stores as compared to essential oils, as they are widely used in many commercial products. When it comes to essential oils, they are mainly found in speciality stores or from some reputable sources. 

Difference Between Essential Oils & Fragrance Oils

How to Choose the Right Oil for Your Needs?

I believe you have gained the required facts and details related to both fragrance oils and essential oils and now you are in a position to make the right choice for you. Still confused?? Not an issue, this section will further help you in choosing the right oil for your specific needs and requirements. 

1. Purpose and Intent of Use

Base your decision on the purpose for which you require the oil. Like for example, if you wish to make scented candles, soaps, or perfumes and want to focus mainly on the fragrance part, then fragrance oils are the right choice for you as it offers a variety of scents at an affordable price.

But if you want to enjoy the other benefits along with fragrance, like you want to improve your skincare routine or hair care routine, then you can go for essential oils as they are natural, safe, and free from chemicals. Essential oils are great for your overall health and wellness. 

2. Safety Considerations

Essential oils are used in an appropriate manner and, with proper care, are generally safe for topical application. But this is not the case with fragrance oils as fragrance oils are manufactured with synthetic chemicals that might cause harm to your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin, or can cause trouble if you are allergic to certain chemicals or artificial ingredients.

Essential oils, if used after dilution with any carrier oil, are generally considered safe for topical application. Though, it is recommended by healthcare professionals to always perform a patch test before applying anything to your skin. You can also add a few drops of both oils in a diffuser and enjoy its scent without applying it to your skin. Diffusing the oils is considered the most safe use of oils. 

3. Personal Choice and Preferences

If you are a person that likes natural products and wants authentic aroma, then you should go for essential oils. On the other hand, if you want to explore different and unique scents that are not naturally found, then fragrance oil is the one for you, as it offers an extensive range of scents that are not naturally found in essential oils. 

4. Eco-friendliness

This is an important factor that is gaining wide relevance these days as people are becoming more responsible towards the environment and emphasising sustainable development. So, if you prioritize environmental sustainability and prefer selecting natural products, then essential oil is your go-to product. Fragrance oils are artificially created, are synthetic in nature, and also use chemical processes; thus are not at par with essential oils when it comes to environmental sustainability. 

These are some of the pointers that you can consider while making a purchase, but in the end, it all depends on your personal preferences and choices, requirements, as well as budget. I would suggest emphasizing factors like benefits, safety considerations, as well as intended use while making a purchase decision. 

Tips for Choosing Right Essential Oils


This article aimed to study the key differences between fragrance oils vs essential oil in detail so that you can easily bifurcate between the two oils and choose what is good for you. The main difference between fragrance oils and essential oils is that fragrance oils are created in labs, whereas essential oils are made using natural ingredients.

Fragrance oils are synthetic in nature and made chemically; on the other hand, essential oils are extracted from direct natural plant sources. This is the reason essential oils are more expensive than fragrance oils. Essential oils are considered more safe for use as compared to fragrance oils, as essential oils contain a high amount of natural ingredients. 

Essential oils are pure natural fragrance oils, whereas fragrance oils are synthetically created. Some of the popular essential oils include lavender essential oil, tea tree oil, chamomile oil, frankincense oil, lime oil, etc. Synthetic fragrance oils include French vanilla, peppermint patty, apple cinnamon, etc. Fragrance oils are generally used in making soap and candles.

You can also use essential oils in candle making. Essential oils can be used in making perfumes and soaps as well. Being a natural product, essential oils can also help improve your skin health in addition to a great scent. Always keep in mind to purchase pure essential oils to ensure their quality and authenticity.

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