What are essential oils and why do we use them?

What's the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils. Many people will specifically purchase an item just because it smells great. There is a HUGE difference however, between fragrance oils and essential oils. We only use essential oils in our products as essential oils are 100% plant derived while fragrance oils are produced synthetically in a lab. In this post we'll discuss what essential oils and fragrance oils are, why essential oils are beneficial for your hair and skin and why essential oils may not have that same potent fragrance in products like fragrance oils do. 

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are substances naturally derived from plant materials such as - flowers, seeds, fruit, bark, resin, wood or leaf. The oils are extracted through either steam distillation or solvent extraction. Essential oils are extracted as a pure oil and are not mixed with any other carrier oil. The extraction process is very gentle, so sensitive compounds like essential vitamins and minerals in the oil don't break down and are passed onto the end product. Sometimes this extraction process is very difficult, meaning some essential oils can become very expensive to purchase. The availability of certain essential oils can become compromised due to weather, season or growing conditions, so it's important to do your research when purchasing. 

(Picture: Orange essential oil is extracted from the rind of an orange. We use orange essential oil in our ACV Shampoo Bar)

What are fragrance oils? 

Fragrance oils are artificially crafted scents, manufactured in a lab to mimic a certain natural scent like coffee or strawberries. Usually, fragrance oils are far cheaper than essential oils as they are made by using petrolatum by products, making them last longer and more versatile. Fragrance oils, however, have no beneficial vitamins and minerals like essential oils and can contain up to 3000 different chemical compounds to make one fragrance. 
(Synthetic fragrance oils are manufactured in labs to mimic certain natural scents and can contain up to 3000 different chemical compounds to make one single fragrance)

Benefits of using essential oils in our products

Although more expensive and a little bit harder to source sustainable essential oils in today's current global climate, they vastly outweigh fragrance oils in terms of benefits to hair and skin. Here's some reasons why we only use essential oils in our products:

  • Most people with sensitivities to synthetic fragrances don't have sensitivities to essential oils as they contain less irritating chemicals. 
  • Essential oils contain antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals benefiting hair and skin health 
  • Essential oils have therapeutic benefits to improve mood, concentration and alertness. 


Why are the scent of essential oils not as potent in smell as fragrance oils?

The natural components that make up essential oils like lemons, oranges, eucalyptus and thyme, just to name a few, completely depend on Mother Nature for them to grow. This means, dependent on things like weather, soil quality, time of harvest etc, may produce a different oil at the end, thus creating a weaker/stronger fragrance. Synthetic fragrance oils however, do not lose their smell as they are chemically produced or altered in a lab and not dependent on nature for production. 


We use essential oils in our products for the multiple benefits they produce for hair, skin, mind, body and mood! How special it is to use what Mother Nature so perfectly creates. Our products may not have that overbearing aroma that synthetic fragrances do, but we know our Creed & Colour community is receiving the benefits of high quality, sustainable essential oils, reaping the benefits for skin and hair health. 


Banner Image Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Orange Photo by Xiaolong Wong on Unsplash

Lab Photo by Hans Reniers on Unsplash

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