DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FRAGRANCE OIL AND ESSENTIAL OIL
Which Is Right For You?
Most people buy candles for their fragrance. They may want something light and fruity in the summer, then switch to for spice and earthy smells in the fall. You may have a particular fragrance you enjoy any time of the year. You may be looking for something soothing to help you relax, or something to help energize you through the day. Candle makers use oils to create all these wonderful aromas. By combining the oils to the wax, candles have a great scent throw that everyone can enjoy.
Essential oils and fragrance oils are the two main types of oils used in scenting candles. And because both emit sweet smells, they are often confused for each other. They have some basic differences that you should be aware of if you are planning to make candles with fragrances.
Method of Manufacture: This is the most basic difference between the two. Essential oils are made from the natural extracts from different parts of the plants like flowers, leaves, roots and so on. You can imagine how difficult it is to get substantial amounts of these oils for use in candle making or any other use, for that matter. It is estimated that you need a thousand rose petals crushed to get one drop of rose oil. Also, 200 pounds of lavender flowers will yield approximately one pound of lavender essential oil? Fragrance oils, on the other hand, are manufactured synthetically. Therefore, it is much easier to make the same quantity of oil as compared to essential oils.
Cost: Because it is so difficult to extract essential oils, it is only natural that they will cost more. Fragrance oils are much cheaper in comparison.
Uses: Essential oils are mainly used in aromatherapy. This means that you are trying to treat specific medical problems by exposing the olfactory senses to specific smells. Obviously, because it is for treatment purpose, the purity factor is important and essential oils are the preferred choice. Different essential oils are believed useful in treating different conditions. For example, Rosemary oil and lavender oil are said to have a calming effect on the mind, Lemongrass oil refreshes the mind and Citrus oils are energizing and uplifting. The list is long and, based on the condition, the relevant essential oils are used.
If the purpose of using the oils is purely to spread a pleasant smell around, then the fragrance oils will be perfectly acceptable. They also have the advantage of being much cheaper. The fragrances are usually quite similar to the original essential oils. There are also several fragrances that just can’t be created through essential oils. In addition, it is also easier to control how strong or mild you want the fragrance to be while using these oils. Essential oils are generally much milder in comparison.
In order to be effective, essential oils need to be diffused into the surrounding atmosphere. This can be done in many ways. Candles are a great way to accomplish this. In order to use scented candles for aromatherapy, you will need to add the oil to the wax while it is hot. But, at the same time, you have to make sure that it is not too hot. Otherwise, your precious essential oil is likely to evaporate too fast, and the lingering effect that is required, may not be possible to attain. If you do not have a scented candle, you can still derive the benefit of the essential oil. Light an ordinary candle, wait for a few minutes for the wax from the candle to start melting. Then add a few drops of the essential oil to the melted wax around the candle. You will soon be inhaling the scented air around you!
Ease of Making: Besides being more expensive, using pure essential oils in candles can also involve complex blending procedures to stabilize them at the higher temperatures involved. This is also one of the reasons why fragrance oils are preferred over the natural product, particularly if it is only for the perfume and not for therapy.
How Much Fragrance? This is a matter of individual choice. Some people like it mild whereas others cannot have enough and prefer super strong smells. A moderate strength would be somewhere around 5% but it can vary either way, depending on how you like it. If you are making your own candles, you can control the amount, strength, purity and other factors, which will ultimately influence how strong the smell will be. In case of gel candles, the quantity is relatively less. Also the grade of the gel used, the size of the wick, and the amount of fragrance used in the candle depend on one another in producing the ultimate product.
Whether you choose to use essential oils or fragrance oils, in order to make a good quality candle, the ingredient that goes into it also needs to be of good quality. Cheap imitations will leave you less than satisfied for obvious reasons besides having harmful health effects. It is also important to realize that fragrance oils will not have any health benefits, in spite of having a similar perfume.
So, when it comes to scented candles, both essential oils as well as fragrance oils have their advantages and disadvantages. There is nothing to say that one is better than the other. The biggest factor for your choice should be what is your intended use for the candle. If aromatherapy is your goal, then essential oils are the way to go. If you are just looking for a great fragrance, go for the cheaper and easier to use fragrance oils. The great benefit to making your own candle is the fact that you can create whatever fragrance you want, no matter what the occasion is.