Saturday, August 8, 2009

Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils

What's the difference between an essential oil and a fragrance oil?

An essential oil is a natural liquid that is distilled, typically by steam distillation, from the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, bark, or other parts of a plant. The distillation process allows the “essence” of the plant and its therapeutic qualities to remain intact. Essential oils are highly concentrated and should be used sparingly. They are used for both their aroma and their medicinal qualities. For example, Lavender is a calming, floral scent that is also good for psoriasis and eczema. They are sometimes very pricey, depending on how they are extracted and how much of the herbs or botanicals are needed. Not all plants are conducive to steam distillation and not all plant "essences" are worth collecting.

Fragrance oils are artificially created or contain synthetic substances and do not offer the therapeutic benefits that essential oils do. You can find a much wider range of scents since these fragrances are made in a lab, such as pumpkin pie and ocean breeze. They also tend to be more economical, which is why many store products contain fragrances rather than essential oils.

Our personal philosophy is that natural, skin-safe, therapeutic essential oils are best, and that is what we use in our products, but we also believe that the consumer should make their own choices based on their preferences, concerns, and convenience. Besides, there are some yummy fragrances out that that cannot be produced using essential oils.

What are your thoughts? Do you prefer to use products with essential oils or fragrance oils? Post your comment.

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