Fragrance Oils and Essential Oils

Fragrance Oils and Essential Oils. The same thing?

Fragrance Oils and Essential Oils. Are they the same? This is a question we get often.

Our Penang Island based Australian Co-Founder & Chief Formulator, Dr. Mike Thair, explains.

“I have always found the term “Fragrance Oils” vague. It is also open to misuse.  Importantly, these are synthetic ingredients. These mimic the aroma of natural aromas. Further, they are far cheaper to produce than the natural essential oils. Also, they do not have the supply limitations of natural products due to harvest variations.

Fragrant oils are often sold as “natural.”  In fact, they are synthetic, and made from  petroleum products. For example, these include benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and others.

Issues of Transparency with Fragrance  & Essential Oils

There is only minimal government regulation to check their safety.  Also, there are trade secrets laws. These  allow toxicity testing and ingredient identification to be secret.  Besides, on labels, it is only required to use the word “Parfum.” So, there is no sign of what chemicals actually make up the fragrance.

In the same way, organic products may contain synthetic masking scents. These hide unpleasant smelling ingredients.  In fact, these masking synthetic ingredients are not shown on labeling.

When shopping for natural body care products it is important to study product ingredients.   If labelling is honest, it should distinguish between Synthetic  & Essential Oils. A  product with fragrance should use  the word “fragrance.” Also, the word  “parfum” may be on the ingredients list.

Products with natural essential oils list ingredients using the botanical names. These identify the plant source of the fragrance used. ”

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