Pros And Cons Of Essential Oils And Fragrance Oils

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Whether you are making soap or candles, the scent makes a big difference. There are endless possibilities when you are scenting handmade candle or soap. You can choose from a wide range of scents. These many options can be overwhelming. To make sure that you are making the right choice for your recipe, you have to be aware of the differences between fragrance oils for soaps or candles and essential oils.  

So today, you will learn about the pros and cons of both fragrance oils and essential oils.

Essential oils  

People in the 20th century went back to chemical-free and more natural products. It might be because of the fear of health problems such as cancer. From food to soap, people wanted to have only the pure form of everything. This is what leads to the use of essential oils in soaps and candles. These are natural oils containing the “essence” of a plant. Essential oils are extracted from stalks, wood, cones, peel, beans, seeds, needles, root, berries, bark, leaves, flowers and other parts of a plant.         

These oils are usually extracted by distillation. However, processes like solvent extraction or expression are also used in some cases.  

In some plants, different parts are sources of different essential oils. For example, petitgrain comes from the leaves of the orange plant and neroli comes from the flower blossoms of the plant. It is not easy to make essential oils. A pound of essential oil comes from hundreds of pounds of material. For example, to make 1 pound of lavender essential oil, you need 200 pounds of lavender. The same amount of rose essential oil comes from 2000 pounds of rose petals.    

In addition to soaps and candles, essential oils are used for making lotions, sprays, bath oils, balms, and other fragrant items.            

Pros And Cons Of Essential Oils 


  • Essential oils are 100% pure and natural. 
  • You can choose from different trees such as lavender, tea tree, peppermint, etc. 
  • These oils can be used for creating blends for more complexity.  


  • You have fewer options. 
  • You cannot use some of the essential oils in leave-on products. 
  • Some oils can’t be used because of health problems. 
  • The effect of some essential oils fades in cold process soap. 

Fragrance oils

These oils are synthetic oils. Fragrance oil is a mixture of various natural ingredients from animals and plants and aroma chemicals. The natural ingredients may include resins, extracts, and essential oils. Fragrance oils for soap or any other products are carefully blended and/or formulated by a perfumer. Some fragrance oils are made by using up to 40-80 materials. If you are making fragrance oils for luxury perfumes, it might be made with 200-400 materials. 

When it comes to options, more than 200 scents are available to you. These scents come with multiple notes including Coastal Rain, Champagne, and Moonstone. You do not need to rely on natural sources only for fragrance oils. Some fragrance oils are formulated to give the smell of something natural. Some fragrance oils are formulated to bring a new creation or concept into existence.

Pros And Cons Of Fragrance Oils 


  • Fragrance oils come in over 200 varieties. 
  • These oils are more stable than essential oils in cold process soap.   
  • Fragrance oils for soap are safe for your skin. 
  • These oils are also used in making bath bombs, lotions, and other products.


  • These oils are synthetic. 
  • Some of the oils can discolor or accelerate in cold process soap. 

It is your personal preference, whether you should use essential oil or fragrance oil. You can experiment with both.   

Both essential oils and fragrance oils for soap are available online.  

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