What is the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils?

It seems that there is a lot of questions about the difference. And I think all oils are used in incense anyway, right?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Essential Oils are the natural oils that may be used as fragrances (but not all of them have a strong fragrance).

    Fragrance Oils may be natural Essential Oils, or they may be synthetic.

    That's the main difference.

    Source(s): I'm a Product Specialist for a vitamin company
  • 1 decade ago

    Essential oils are made by distilling plant parts, either the leaf, twig, root or flower. Citrus oils, sometimes called EOs, are actually made by squeezing the rind until the fragrant oil is collected.

    Fragrance oils are made from petroleum extracts, from coal tar, in a laboratory. Sometimes a bit of EO is added for depth of scent.

    Some incenses use EOs, some use FOs. If it's a fruity or "theme" scent like raspberry, rain, china musk, peach, it's probably a FO. EOs are more expensive than FOs, and their use in incense is limited. You'd have to ask the manufacturer if they use only EOs. EOs are used in home fragrance usually by having a tea light "burner" or an air diffuser with a pad that gets a few drops of the oil placed on it and the air blows the fragrance out into the room. This gives a very clear, clean scent with no smokey scent.

    EOs never turn into fragrance oils, two completely different things. You should only buy EOs from trusted suppliers that list common name, botanical name, country of origin, and other important information, like safety data, or have the extra information like safety data on their website. Don't trust most of the health food store EOs, they've sat on the shelf a long time under poor storage conditions. You can find out more about good supplies at the groups listed.

  • 1 decade ago

    Pure essential oils are natural and some are even edible. Fragrance oils are made of petrolatum a close brother of petroleum and both are very unsafe. Fragrance oils were created to fake the smell of certain items. Like strawberry, you can squeeze it as much as you want but you won't get the scent of a strawberry so they have fake fragrance oils. All perfume you buy has fragrance oil in it and t may say it has the scent of natural jasmine but it's really a chemical/synthetic makeup of the scent.


    If you have anymore questions email me.

    Hope this helps!!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Essential oil IS the plant. In other words, the plant is processed and oil is extracted. Fragrance oil is more like perfume. Essential oils have lots of beneficial properties, including being antibacterial. Either can be used in incense - its just a difference in quality. (Essential oils would make better incense, IMO)

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  • 1 decade ago

    Essential oils are derivatives of plant material, not synthetic. Fragrance oils are synthetic chemical compounds created to mimic a smell. Essential oils are almost never labeled as fragrance oils, simply because one can charge more for an essential oil than for a fragrance oil.

    Some incense is made with essential oils, but most are made with fragrance oils. Fragrance oils tend to resist fading in long-term storage and are not as sensitive to heat and cold.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think Anda answered it best, but Essential Oils can turn into Fragrance Oils if they are kept too long, the older they are the less benefits they hold, then just becoming a scent.

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