The difference between essential oils and fragrance oils

Plenty of terms and varieties pop up when it comes to fragrant oils. Let’s look into the difference between essential and frangrance oils.

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Essential Oils are volatile plant extracts made from steam distillery or from the cold pressing of flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots, seeds, resins and other parts of the plants. These oils are soluble in vegetable oils, fatty acids and various other constituents, but they do not mix with water.

Healing properties

In order to be characterized as an essential oil, the oil must have been extracted from one single origin and must contain unique healing and medicinal properties. A majority of the essential oils are associated with other benefits as well: being antibacterial, antiseptic…, properties which extend beyond their aromatherapeutic benefits. For those reasons essential oils are used in a variety of cosmetic products.

Fifth element?

The term ‘essential oil‘ goes all the way back to the days of the Middle Ages where alchemists searched for what could be known as the fifth element beyond water, fire, air, and earth. Through distillation came the discovery of essential oils as we know them today. These were readily considered the missing ‘fifth element’ and among the essential components of all living things. Of course essential oils are not really oils. Back then, however, anything that produced a liquid that didn't mix with water was classified as an oil. And so we’ve been stuck with the misleading term essential ‘oil’ ever since.

Life essential!

But what about the term ‘essential’? Calling essential oils the ‘fifth element’ – as defined above – is quite obviously a serious exaggeration. Still they hold rather essential qualities even in today’s alternative medicine. Some – and we do to – even dare to state that their physical and mental benefits are making essential oils essential to everyday life – not only back in the days but today as well.

Chemical substance

Fragrance oils on the other hand are synthetically made. They are chemical scent compounds. They are not found in nature as essential oils are. They irritate and dry the skin and can cause many other potentially serious health problems.

At Yomoï we explicitly and committedly choose to use only essential oils in our products. Because we believe that nature and everything that derives directly from it is a life essential.