Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils and why I choose essential oils whenever possible.
First, Let me say this. I am not scientifically inclined, and I don't want to get into a deep scientific discussion about the make-up of both Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils. If you want to know more about that, I am sure there is something out on Google that will give you all the details on the chemistry of it all. I am here to talk about the practical application I have chosen for my family and me.
Second, I think there can be a place for both essential oils and fragrances. It's a personal decision that you need to make for yourself and your family. As an example – our household is full of essential oils, and we utilize them in every room of our home. We love them, we use them and they are much preferred over anything else. So, with that being said, you know right out of the gate that I am naturally, going to be far more inclined to use an essential oil before ever considering a fragrance.
Lastly, I am not completely opposed to fragrance oils and I will explain what I mean by that a little later.
What Are Fragrances (or Flavorings)?
The fragrance oils I am talking about here are the fragrances found in perfumes, candles, wax tarts, air cleaning sprays, cleaning supplies, even some foods have flavorings that smell and taste similar to something else we may enjoy. These fragrances, in most cases, are artificially created in some way. As an example, you will never find a bubblegum scent in nature. It's a scent that is manufactured to smell like something you will enjoy. Who remembers the Jolly Rancher candies? As a kid, I loved the watermelon flavor. It made my mouth water just thinking about it. Is that the real taste of a watermelon? No. The scent is exaggerated and created in a lab.
We can purchase candles that smell just like an Apple Pie! Is there real apple pie in the candle – No. The reaction you get when you smell it though is very similar to your reaction if an actual pie were sitting there in front of you, right now. YUM! Air freshening sprays are the same, but their scent is often about something else you associate with good feelings, such as “Day at the Beach,” or “Fresh Cotton” – so in that way, fragrance can be a very positive thing. Fragrance can bring up past memories, and that is certainly a good feeling. So that's the positive spin – good feelings when you smell something positive from your past. I suppose there are scents that could make you feel bad as well, but I sincerely hope that is something we experience less often.
My personal view is the memories of something positive is what you gain from a fragrance. Those good, long ago memories pop into your head. Who doesn't enjoy that here and there?
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are a natural part of plants, resins, barks and more. You can actually learn about our Seed to Seal program if you'd like to know how they are grown and harvested to create our essential oils. They are pure, natural scents, with the added benefits of supporting the many systems of the body. Often, these scents, similar to fragrances can still bring up some good memories, at least in my mind. Since I have been using them now for going on my fifth year, we have new memories with essential oils.
How Do You Use Fragrances?
Typically you don't purchase a bottle of fragrance – they add fragrance to other items such as perfume, body sprays, room sprays, candles and the like so you purchase and use the fragranced product.
How Do You Use Essential Oils?
Essential Oils can smell wonderful and quite honestly, some of them are not all that nice. 🙂 The stronger scented Essential Oils are typically your more supportive types of oils. For me, there is nothing better than opening up a bottle of Lemon Essential Oil and smelling the bright scent of lemon rind wafting out of the bottle. So clean, so vibrant. Far better than the lemon fragrance that smells like candy. In the morning, I put one drop of Peppermint Essential Oil in the palm of my hand. I cup my hands over my nose and mouth and breathe it in – ahhhh – wakes me up better than a cup of coffee. (I will put a drop of Peppermint in my coffee too!) You can add them to an unscented lotion and/or create your own lotions, lip balms, bath salts, and so much more. I clean with them. The really wonderful thing is a small bottle of essential oil lasts a long time and when you make some of your own products, they can actually save you money over the long term. I even make a few perfumes that I can enjoy any time I like.
Some people say but I really like the smell of “Apple Pie” in the fall filling the air in my home. I get it, I used to use candles and tarts and all the smelly things. Now, I use a diffuser, and I create similar scents by utilizing the different oils we offer. A little Christmas Spirit Essential Oil smells just as wonderful to me, as any candle I have ever owned. Diffusers are wonderful things – you fill them with water, a few drops of oil, turn them on and they will humidify your air as well as put the essential oils into the air which will benefit not only the smell of your home, it also supports your body systems all at the same time. Some diffusers we now offer have a candle flicker setting, so you can still have your scent and ambiance too!
Candles and tarts can put chemicals into the air that aren't good for you, and the wicks aren't always healthy either. Then, add the open flame, and kids or pets, it's really a dangerous proposition. We really are so much safer using a diffuser. The diffuser automatically turns off after a certain amount of time too.
What About Animals –
Others have heard that essential oils aren't good for animals, in particular, cats. First, I believe the fragrances are worse for them and for us. They are usually super strong and you can't adjust the scent much as it's already in the product you are using. While I don't put essential oils on my cat, I do diffuse essential oils, I just always make sure there is a way out of any room that has a diffuser going so my cat can get away if needed. Trust me, if it bothers them, they will leave. I make sure I don't diffuse any oils that can cause issues for cats, such as Melaleuca (Tea Tree). I utilize that oil, but I use it in ways that won't upset our cat. My dog LOVES some of our oils, and with proper dilution with carrier oils, I have used some of them on her as needed.
My Reality –
Our home is very close to 100% converted to essential oils. However, I will be completely honest with you. When I go out on a date, I have a perfume I use. It's as natural as possible. However, they do mix essential oils and some fragrance to get the scent they were aiming for. I like it, I use it BUT – I don't spray it on my body. I spray it on my clothing or even my purse and I use maybe two spritzes. Spraying just enough so I can enjoy it, but it doesn't overwhelm. Remembering that my laundry soap, my hair care, my make-up, my lip color, my lotion, my soap, my skin care and my supplements are ALL essential oil based. The other chemical thing I do and won't change – color my hair. No apologies, it makes me happy and I do it.
In Closing –
We all have to make choices. For my family and I, we choose to use essential oils everywhere. We feel better using them, and we love them. The more I learned as I started studying, the more I realized how many chemicals we assault our bodies with every single day. I have changed over as much as possible. I continue to find new ways to be more natural, but there are some things I just have to keep doing to keep myself happy overall. For me, that's what works.
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*Always keep in mind with any oil, for animals or humans – less is more and always dilute with a carrier oil of your choice the first time you are using a new oil.*
What is your feeling on using fragrance vs essential oils?