Scents: Essential Oils vs Fragrance Oils

One of the most debated topics in the modern personal care industry. All natural or synthetically scented.

Essential oils are (usually) steam distilled condensed gases derived from herbs and plants. They usually have a low yield rate, with some essential oils requiring thousands of pounds of herb to yield just one pound of essential oil. Not only is this extremely costly, it is also subject to harvest results and farming climate in general, which is why essential oil prices are relatively volatile and can swing wildly without warning. Their are far fewer options than fragrance oils, and despite being all natural can still be very aggressive on the body. Some essential oils are even warned against because they can balance hormone levels in pregnant women. Because EO's are distilled, they usually don't stick to the skin very well. They end up evaporating and distributing throughout the bathroom, creating an aromatherapy spa effect.

Fragrance oils are synthetic, which off the bat contributes to it's bad rap. Fragrances are a cocktail of "aroma chemicals", resins, extracts, and sometimes includes essential oils as well. Fragrances are also subject to trade secret laws, which is why the specific contents of fragrance aren't usually listed or provided. Luxury perfumes for example can have north of 500 constituents. That would be some pretty small font on the label. Fragrance is better at sticking to the skin, and is not as volatile as essential oil.

Long story short is 99% of the time, neither EO or FO will irritate skin. Go for EO scented products for the peace of mind, but don't do it for the "skin sensitivity", because that is not guaranteed. We say choose which ever scent you like the most. If you are very concerned about skin sensitivity, seek out completely unscented products.

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