Essential Oils v. Fragrance Oils

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Essential Oil v. Fragrance Oils

We often hear that a certain product was made with essential oils or fragrance oils, but we do not really know what that means. In this article we will look at the differences and how that affects the candle making business.

Essential Oils
Essential oils are a concentrated liquid form of a plant, otherwise known as the “oil of” the plant. When the oils are extracted from a plant it is through a process called distillation. What is distillation? Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in their volatilities in a boiling mixture. In other words, the plants are put in a distillation apparatus and as the water is heated the steam passes through the plant material, therefore vaporizing the compounds. The vapors then flow through a coil where they are then condensed back to a liquid and collected in a vessel. Some plants that are used in essential oils are basil, eucalyptus, lemon, lavender, cedar, celery, ginger and myrrh. A large amount of these plants are needed to make a small amount of oil, for example 30 rose petals are needed to make one drop of oil.

Fragrance Oils
Fragrance oils are artificially created fragrances. They can also be natural essential oils that have been diluted with a carrier like mineral oil or vegetable oil. There is a wider variety of fragrance oils such as bubblegum, little black dress, cranberry, and frosted cupcakes.

In the candle business most makers will use fragrance oils because they are cheaper and come in a wider variety. If you are looking to make an all natural candle then you might want to consider using essential oils. Just remember that when using as essential oil you will be limited in scents and the cost is much higher. For a half ounce of essential oil it is three times the amount of a three ounce container of fragrance oil. Whether you choose to use essential oils or fragrances oils make sure you test any and all oils as some oils need a larger amount in order to have a great scent throw. And some essential oils were not meant to be burned in candles so make sure to do your homework.

Happy Candle Making!

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