Essential Oils vs Fragrance Oils

Author - Christelle Baxter

Not everybody is familiar with the difference between Essential Oil and Fragrance Oil. However, once you know, you won’t forget. It’s as simple as natural vs synthetic. 

Essential Oils are oils of the plants that they are being extracted from. Extractions can be taken from the flower, root, bark or peel of the plant; through steam distillation or pressing methods. 

Most have antiseptic properties, which when used correctly will have long lasting benefits such as pain relief or helping with sleep. An example in practise could be a teacher diffusing Eucalyptus in their classroom to encourage student productivity and mood (under the safety guidelines of the school environment). 


Fragrance Oils on the other hand, are “on the nose”. They are manufactured in a lab using synthetic compounds and more than often, petrochemicals (petroleum - based). Thus, creating fragrances such as ‘Vanilla’, ‘Fig’, ‘Cherry Blossom’ and many more. You may recognise these examples from laundry products and/or car air fresheners. Fragrance Oils are used in many products, from home fragrance to cosmetics and perfumery. They are strong to smell, hazardous to your health and cheap to produce, hence their slightly lower price tag. For example, Acetaldehyde is used as a flavour and fragrance ingredient. It produces a fruity odor, but is a probable human carcinogen. 


I like to think the above has taught you something new?


You might be questioning the affects of the two, now that you are aware of their differences. 

This is where Aromatherapy plays an interesting role. ‘Aromatherapy’ is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extractions (essential oils) to promote health and wellbeing. 


Below I have listed just a handful of the many essential oils used in Wild Planet Aromatherapy’s products:


  • Cedarwood. Extracted through steam distillation from the wood. This essential oil has both balancing and soothing properties, beneficial for relieving stress. An ingredient used in fragrance blends: Soft Embers, Warm Hug, Forest Bathing, Escape, Spice Night and Vintage Rose.


  • Petitgrain. Extracted through steam distillation from the twigs and leaves. A fresh, citrus scent with woody undertones. It can help promote hope, calm and positivity. An ingredient in fragrance blend: Orange Blossom. 


  • Verbena. Extracted through steam distillation from the freshly harvested herb. A refreshing lemony scent than can detox and stimulate your mind. An ingredient in fragrance blend: Lemon Verbena.


  • Geranium. Extracted from the leaves. Used extensively in perfumery for it’s slightly sweet and mild fruits undertone, with balancing effects. An ingredient in fragrance blends: Rose Botanica, Vintage Rose, Midsummer and Restore.


Aromatherapy is proven to enhance physical and emotional health, as well as your body, mind and spirit. 

Some of my favourite article reads have been:


Home fragrance is both comforting and welcoming. Whether you burn candles, incense or wax melts, use diffusers or oil burners - Wild Planet Aromatherapy strongly recommends you use essential oils in your living space. You have the choice of so many and the joy to experiment, to suit your needs and lifestyle.

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