Fragrance Oil vs Essential Oil - Whole Home Scenting


Learn the Difference: Fragrance Oil vs Essential Oil

Navigating the world of oils is daunting for a beginner. While the popularity of fragrance and essential oils might be growing, so is the confusion between them. Everyone has scent preferences based on their taste and history with fragrance. If you want your house to smell like a home, there is a wide array of scents to choose from. Part of this choice is between natural and synthetic fragrance oil vs essential oil.

Both offer a pleasant scent, and both have benefits, but certain differences could affect your decision.

The Art of Fragrance and Essential Oils

The art of fragrance and essential oils.

Essential oils and fragrance oils have two different beginnings. Essential oils were used by ancient civilizations, dating back to 2000 B.C. India, China, and Egypt have the first recorded usage of essential oils.

Fragrance oils, on the other hand, have more modern beginnings. Fragrance used to be derived from natural sources, such as sandalwood and the musk ox. However, in the late 1800s, synthetic fragrance changed the playing field. Fragrance was no longer reserved for the wealthy class.

Fragrance oils

Fragrance oils are human-made compounds that include natural and synthetic ingredients. In the laboratory, natural elements and chemical aromas are combined to create specific scents. There are two categories of fragrance oils. Synthetic oils have chemicals and natural ingredients, whereas natural fragrance oils use raw products from nature. Both are created in a lab, but natural fragrances smell more like things in nature due to the substances used.

There are thousands of different possible fragrance combinations. The most common fragrance categories include:

  • Woody
  • Floral
  • Fresh
  • Green
  • Fruity

Categories help fragrance lovers find a fragrance that aligns with their taste.

Essential Oils

Nowadays, essential oils are prevalent. Odds are, you already have some idea of what they are and what they are used for. Essential oils are the essence of plants contained in highly concentrated extracts.

These oils can be extracted from rose petals, citrus fruits, barks, leaves, and more. They can be taken through distillation or cold pressing. Then, the aromatic chemicals are combined with a carrier oil.

Some of the most common essential oils include:

  • Peppermint
  • Sandalwood
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Jasmine

There are over 90 varieties commonly used.

The Emphasis on Safety: Fragrance Oil vs Essential Oil

No matter the product, safe usage is a number one priority in all households. Both fragrance oil and essential oil can be used safely, but it’s important to understand the risks and how to mitigate them.

Fragrance Oils

Synthetic products sometimes have a bad reputation, but it isn’t deserved. Synthetic is not synonymous with unsafe. However, because fragrance oils are human-made, you should take precautions when choosing an oil. Do not choose oils with phthalates, parabens, or toxins, as research shows that these chemicals may be harmful.

To avoid harmful chemicals, check the ingredient list when you choose a fragrance oil for your home. Many varieties can be safe for all people, including those who suffer from allergies, and the oils can be diluted for those who have sensitive skin.

Essential Oils

Essential oils come straight from nature, and because of it, most people think that they are harmless. While these oils do contain health benefits, they are very concentrated substances and so can be unsafe. Proper use of essential oils can prevent safety hazards. Dilution can make them safer and less irritating to those with sensitivities.

Essential oils can affect several different aspects of your health, including hormones and gut bacteria. Some essential oils can also be harmful if you are pregnant, so it is best to check which ones pose a danger to you, your family, or your furry friends in advance.

The Benefits: Fragrance Oil vs Essential Oil

How fragrance and essential oils can benefit you.

Once you know how to safely use fragrance and essential oil, you can focus on the advantages of their use. While fragrance oils and essential oils have similar benefits when it comes to freshening your home’s scent, there are a few advantages that separate them.

Fragrance Oils

These oils can provide a lived-in smell that you can tailor to your taste or the season. For instance, choose citrus and floral for spring and summer and woodsy scents for fall and winter. A nostalgic fragrance for your living room may remind you of your childhood and make the living spaces feel more like home. Different combinations of fragrances can alter your mood and help you focus.

The major benefit of fragrance oil is the amount of choice that you have. There are more options and more combinations than essential oil options.

Essential Oils

Many people turn to essential oils for their health benefits. These natural extracts may alleviate symptoms from stress and anxiety, sleep and insomnia, headaches and migraines, and inflammation. To use essential oils correctly, find one that only includes aromatic plant compounds. Reputable brands are more likely to use high-quality oils.

Essential oils don’t have to be used solely for health benefits; they also work wonderfully to freshen up your home. As well, certain oils such as citronella can repel mosquitoes during summer barbecues.

The Uses of Fragrance and Essential Oils

How to use fragrance and essential oils to make home scenting products.

Fragrance and essential oils can be used for many of the same purposes. For instance, you may have an essential or fragrance oil-based room spray, household cleanser, or soap.

Candle making is one of the common projects that lovers of fragrance may undertake. Precise measurements of oil are added to the melted wax. Per pound of wax, you should only use about an ounce of oil. Candles are a common way to change the scent of individual rooms. An even safer and more effective alternative to candles is a diffuser or air freshener system for your home.

What are the smells associated with your home? The right scents may enhance your mood and create a comfortable, cozy environment in your home. Knowing the difference between essential and fragrance oils can help you make the right choice for you. If you are ready to learn more about fragrance oil vs essential oil or want to learn about fragrance system installation, we’re here to answer your questions. Contact us or visit our website at

Photo credit: Castorly Stock (candle next to a bath), Andrea Piaquadio (happy man in a red sweater), Mareefe (essential oil bottle behind leaf)
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Don't Fragrance Your Home Until You've Eliminated These Five Common Odor Areas.

In 5 easy steps, we show you how to get your home ready for scenting, so you can be confident it smells the way you want.

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