What is the Difference Between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil?

What is the difference between essential oil and fragrance oil?

It is interesting to know the differences between fragrance oil and essential oil. These two terms are often confused and many people speak of both interchangeably. However, there are important differences that we will cover in this article.

The terms at the beginning of Aromatherapy were simpler and it was called as an essence in general, both fragrance oil itself, and essential oils.

The main difference in the therapeutic properties of essential oils, which go beyond the aromatic effect they may have. In such a way, that the fragrance oil and essential oil are differentiated. Today, based on their properties and compositions, in addition to their methods of obtaining, from the technical point of view.

What is the difference between essential oil and fragrance oil?

Essential oil Fragrance oil
100% natural Unnatural
Preserves the properties It has no properties
Limited range of odors Infinite smells
Lasting odor Very long-lasting smell
High price Economic



What is the difference between essential oil and fragrance oil?

What is fragrance oil?

Fragrance oil is an aromatic product that can be of natural or also synthetic or artificial origin, which fulfills a strictly aroma or perfume function of any element.

It should be understood that fragrance oil does not contain any active ingredient that can confer an additional therapeutic or biological property to the aroma linked to the original product. That is, fragrance oil has the function of aromatizing or perfuming. They can also be called a perfume essence.

What is essential oil?

While an essential oil is a compound of natural origin, non-greasy, volatile, and sparse, which has aromatic elements or perfume essences, but in turn, it contains certain active ingredients that are maintained or preserved after processing from the product. Original and that fulfills a therapeutic function.

Essential oils are insoluble in water. It is soluble in alcohol, fats, waxes, and other vegetable oils.

This can be achieved thanks to specific technical methods where you can obtain an essential oil that has a characteristic or specific aroma and also maintains biological properties in a concentrated form of the natural elements that the original product has in nature.

The two main methods are distillation by water or steam in the case of plants or a dry distillation process in the case of citrus fruits. The essential oils that are available today are obtained through a hydro-distillation process.

Although essential oils can also be obtained through a cold pressure extraction process or by maceration. We also find for nuts such as almonds or peanuts, a process of dissolving in vegetable oils.

Processing by physical or industrial means of the natural product is the most important factor for the conservation of the most important active ingredients in each product.

In the case of essential oils, it is necessary to process a large quantity of the original product in order to obtain a limited quantity of the final fragrant oil. The concentration of active ingredients and aroma normally affects the price of essential oil, which is usually high compared to fragrance oil.

The essential oils can be obtained from plants in different parts: flowers, leaves, wood, roots, resins, fruit peel, etc. Different essential oils can be obtained from the same plant, the classic example is the orange tree, from where they can be obtained from its flowers, from the peel of the fruit and from the fruit itself. Each essential oil has its own name.

At a commercial level, you can find fragrance oil that is sold as essential oils. Thus, care must be taken when selecting one product from another.

The aromas and essences that are used in the industry for flavoring are generally of the fragrance oil type. They have certain particularities that allow their application in this industry and whose purpose is the development of perfume essences for spaces in the home, premises, or institutions that allow activating a process of olfactory memory and relating a product or brand with an individual or particular aroma.

It should be borne in mind that fragrance oil obtained through chemical processes do not generate adverse biological effects, such as allergies and therefore are safer to use in the flavoring industry.

Its chemical composition also allows mixtures in a free and safe way, so that new fragrances can be obtained every time, thanks to its versatility in use. This property is tremendously useful in the diversification of scents and in the manufacturing process of new scents or personalized perfumes. 

How are essential oils used?

They can be used in different ways:

  • As therapeutic products in the field of medicine:
  • Products in the form of an aerosol or vaporizer, where fine particle dispersion of essential oils occurs.
  • By contact, through the skin, associated with products that can penetrate the superficial layers of the epidermis. Not all essential oils have this possibility of use.
  • Orally, where only a few essential oils can be used and under medical prescription.
  • It is used for its relaxing effects for therapeutic massages
  • Dermatological uses of a cosmetic nature
  • Manufacture of some perfumes
  • Aromatize in gastronomy

Conservation of essential oils

Finally, essential oils must always be protected in glass containers and without heat. Essential oils, unlike fragrance oil, are very fragile and lose their action or are neutralized if they are not preserved properly.

Pro-air is a leading company in olfactory marketing and flavoring. It offers to customers a wide experience in designing and consulting personalized fragrances and the creation of aromas in their own laboratory fragrances. They have extensive experience in the use of fragrance oil.


More posts:

20 best long lasting perfume for women 

The 10 Best Men’s Cologne Guide

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top