Fragrance Oils vs Essential Oils in Candles : Everything You Need to Know
Walking into your home after a long day at work and smelling your favourite scent — whether it’s sweet cinnamon, beautiful lavender, or rich vanilla, is what can make your day perfect. Whatever the smell is, we all have lit a scented candle for it. And when it comes to scented candles, the possibilities are just endless. There are so many beautiful scents and fragrance oils that you can choose from – in fact, the options can sometimes be overwhelming.
The scent in candles can be added either using fragrance oils or essential oils. To most of us, both are just great options to scent up our home. But what many of us don’t know is that fragrance oils and essential oils are actually very different and have different effects and benefits. That brings us to the topic of much discussion, debate and controversy – fragrance oils vs essential oils in candles.
What are Fragrance Oils?
Fragrance oils are artificially created in a laboratory using artificial substances. The base is usually a petroleum by-product and can include chemical components like solvents, phthalates, stabilizers, preservatives, and dyes. They are basically designed to either mimic the scent of something that occurs in nature like coffee, rose, lavender, vanilla, strawberries, or a concept or emotion like a winter wonderland or spring rain. The list of scents that can be produced using fragrance oils is endless.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are unadulterated and pure natural oils that contain the essence of a plant. They are volatile plant extracts produced using steam distillation, cold-press, or extraction from different parts of the plant - fruit, blossom, leaves, peels, cones, stem, bark, wood, or resin. The whole process requires just water, heat, and pressure and absolutely no chemical solvents.
Fragrance Oils or Essential Oils – Which One Do I Choose?
When you buy scented candles online, you might be wondering which one you should opt for. Is it okay to pick just about anything that smells nice or to look for candles that are 100% natural (like coconut wax candles)?
Let’s break this down and help you understand why natural is the way to go and why Innerfyre believes in the same.
Transparency – Know What’s in Your Essential Oil
When it comes to fragrance oils, the manufacturers have absolutely no obligation to tell you what exactly is in their fragrance – you would be surprised to know it’s actually proprietary information. So even if you are aware of the different fragrance notes, you have basically little or no idea of the aroma profiles, chemicals, or solvents used in the fragrance. Are fragrance oils harmful? This can be especially tricky for people with sensitivity or allergy problems.
But when it comes to essential oils, you know exactly what you are buying. Essential oils used whether, in candles, soaps or perfumes have to be listed individually. So, let’s suppose you are buying lavender-scented candles, you would know whether it has just lavender essential oil or has a blend of any other oil. Transparency!
Aromatherapy with Candles
Aromatherapy with candles made using 100% pure essential oils can help transform the space we live in. Research shows that essential oils can affect our emotional state, mood, and promote health and well-being. They are known to ease depressive symptoms, muscle pain, skin problems, improve sleep quality and help reduce stress.
Nature is complex and the essential oils we derive from nature are made of components that are both natural and chemical. Essential oils are simply more than just scents. When essential oils are inhaled using aromatherapy candles, what you get are natural compounds with a range of benefits for both your body and mind.
For example, take a lavender-scented candle made using 100% pure lavender essential oil. When you lit the candle, what you get is the fresh aroma of lavender and a range of healing properties that can help with cough, insomnia, muscle ache, irritability, and many more. Each essential oil has its own benefits so choose an aromatherapy candle depending on your concern. You get aromatherapy candles for stress relief, anxiety, sleep deprivation or use aromatherapy with candles to create the mood/emotion you want.
So, go ahead, light that wick, and settle in your favourite corner - let the wonders of aromatherapy candles waft through the air and do their magic!
Are There Any Therapeutic Benefits for Fragrance Oils?
Fragrance oils are synthetic and designed to just mimic natural scents and that’s why they don’t really provide any therapeutic or health benefits. Aromatherapy with candles involves much more than just exposing an individual to pleasant scents. It involves introducing natural compounds in the body by intaking essential oils through inhalation. These natural compounds are simply missing from fragrance oils. That’s exactly why it’s impossible for you to get any health benefit from fragrance oils, which should be a big consideration in your decision between fragrance oils vs essential oils in candles.
Essential Oils are More Expensive Than Fragrance Oils
Indeed, fragrance oils are far, far cheaper than essential oils. And that’s simply because fragrance oils are made in a laboratory using synthetic ingredients and don’t have to face issues with regards to the weather or harvest. Whereas essential oils are made using an intense distillation process. The whole process of extracting essential oils is quite expensive and then there are added reasons like the season, harvest and availability. That’s why sandalwood and rose essential oils are more expensive as compared to rosemary or green tea.
But what we need to remember is when it comes to essential oils, what we are getting is a completely natural product. The price you are paying is not just for the scent, but also for the numerous health benefits that come with it.
Are Fragrance Oils Harmful?
Every single fragrance, whether natural or synthetic, is made of chemical compounds. That means, even when you burn a candle using 100% essential oil, they do release chemicals. But what matters is whether the chemical compounds released are natural or artificial and what effect does that have? Does it have aromatherapy benefits or is potentially toxic?
Fragrance oils are known to be made using petroleum by-products and release chemical compounds in the air when burnt. These airborne molecules can be inhaled and can enter our body. They release dioxin, which is known as an endocrine disruptor and causes serious health problems. Other harmful ingredients are phthalates, parabens and synthetic musks. Synthetic fragrances oils also contain allergens and neurotoxins that can affect the immune system. There are different studies on these by-products, and some of the known effects include endocrine disruption, allergic reactions, and some are even carcinogenic.
Fragrance Oils vs Essential Oils in Candles
With the above information, we hope that the next time you buy candles online, you will go for the ones that are natural and beneficial for you – candles scented with 100% essential oils!
At Innerfyre, all our aromatherapy candles are made using 100% pure essential oils and are customised to your personality type as well as the mood you wish to create. So, go ahead and select the one that best suits you!