Essential oils vs Fragrance oil

Essential oil vs Fragrance oil?

Initially when setting up our business we wanted to go with essential oils, as we like most presumed this to be the natural, eco friendly option.
Upon further research, we begun to question that assumption. Essential oils are extracted through one of several processes (distillation, expression, solvent extraction, sfumatura, absolute oil extraction, resin tapping, wax embedding, and cold pressing). Many of these require the use of a lot of natural resources to create a small amount of fragrance oil (in a world full of hunger, with clean water at a premium in many areas, taking up so much land and water to grow and harvest 10,000 pounds of roses for a mere one pound of rose oil is not exactly eco-friendly). This while natural, seems rather unsustainable.

Although these essential oils are all-natural because they are extracted directly from the plant, they are not automatically good for you, or sustainable for the earth—it’s important to remember that they, too, are chemical compounds and should be treated with care.

Tea-tree oil, for example, is treated as hazardous waste if a spill of it happens.

There is also the question of mixing essential oils. Say you wanted to mix Bergamot, Clary Sage and Rose essential oils. You can mix the essential oils yourself, but if you intend to sell your candles, then by UK law you need CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging) and SDS (Safety Data Sheet) documentation detailing the safety of that particular mix. This is a further outlay since a third-party is required to test the mixes and create the required documentation. And since many third-parties only create documentation for essential oils they sell, this limits your options.

According to aromatherapist Mindy Green, founder of Green Scentsations and author of books like Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, "It often takes hundreds of pounds of plant material to make 1 pound of essential oil.” For instance, it takes around 50 pounds of eucalyptus to create 1 pound of eucalyptus oil, around 250 pounds of lavender for 1 pound of lavender oil, and a whopping 10,000 pounds of roses for 1 pound or rose oil.

Whoa. That is a lot of roses. And if you want a good rose scented candle that smells like the real deal, you probably don't want to pay the price tag that would be on a candle made just from those roses.

For the reasons listed above, we chose to go the fragrance oil route. This helped in a few ways… we could buy fragrance oils ready mixed from the fragrance house that we work closely with, and they all come provided with the relevant CLP/SDS for creating warning labels and complying with UK law. Documentation is generally provided for fragrance loads of 10% and 25% and since most fragrance loads for candles seem to fall into the 5-9% range then the 10% documentation covers all those variations. The 25% seems to be more for diffusers where a greater percentage of fragrance oil is often used.

Fragrance oils are safer (since they’ve been fully tested), cheaper, more eco friendly (don’t use up natural resources) and they are stronger – meaning you can use less percentage in your candles while getting the same cold/hot throw. This also reduces the chances of sweating – too much oil can cause oil to seep out and settle on the surface of candles, and mushrooming wicks (wicks soaking up excess oil).

Further, although fragrance oils tend to get a bad rap because they’re not “natural,” the good ones are thoroughly tested and scientifically approved to be safe for use not just in candles, but also in topical bath & body products like soaps and lotions. In fact, in some instances, fragrance oils are even safer in candles than essential oils!

We hope this assures you that you that when you shop with The Cornish Scent company that you are indeed getting sustainable, vegan friendly products with no risks to your health.   At The Cornish Scent Company not only do we want to give you the best scented products we want you to know that all products are throughly researched and tested too before being available to buy. 

Speak soon 

Sarah x