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Fragrance Oils vs. Essential Oils in Candles: What You Need to Know

  • 4 min read

When discussing the difference between fragrance oil vs essential oil, it’s normal for safety concerns to be brought up. But safety isn’t the only thing that you have to consider when making a choice. To give you a better idea, we’ll discuss the main differences between the two. But before we do, let’s start with the basics first.

pipette dropping fragrance oil

What Is Fragrance Oil?

Fragrance oils are oils that are created and manufactured in a lab, and often contain essential oils. If you ask, “is fragrance oil the same as essential oil?” then the answer is no. Pure, unadulterated essential oils are only derived from natural materials with no other additions. This is one of their key differences.

Are Fragrance Oils Safe?

Just because fragrance oils are manufactured and not harvested, doesn’t mean that they’re not safe. If anything, the fact that they’re manufactured actually ensures they are safe for use. In laboratories, there are strict quality control guidelines being followed. This means that when you use fragrance oils for candles or things like soaps or perfumes, you are using something that has been cleared for safe human use.

What About Essential Oils?

Essential oils are naturally produced and collected. However, this does not make them necessarily safe for human use, as the type of use (apply on skin, ingestion, body wash or inhalation) and the concentration needs to be given consideration as well. Essential oils, whilst derived from natural origins are extremely concentrated and not in a form that you experience in nature. Have you ever tried to squeeze a lavender flower to extract some oil?

woman holding a fragrance oil bottle

Which Is the Better Option Cost Wise?

The processes required to plant, grow, maintain, harvest, and distil essential oils are expensive. The cost will eventually be included in the price of the oils once they are available for sale. This is why, if you noticed, essential oils are significantly pricier than fragrance oils. Since fragrance oils are created in laboratories, they can be created in bulk batches and greater consistency which is usually reflected in the end cost once sold on the market.

Some formulations may allow fragrance oils to be stored in containers that aren’t as costly as those used for sensitive essential oils. This is one other way that fragrance oils make it possible for candlemakers and other ‘scentrepreneurs’ to earn more without sacrificing the quality of their products.

How About Quality?

Truthfully, unless you are a fragrance connoisseur, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the two. There is one clear advantage of opting for fragrance oil, though. Essential oils can be inconsistent in terms of quality. A slight change in the growing conditions, harvesting, processing, packaging, handling, or storage can affect the potency and how the essential oils will smell. This isn’t the same with fragrance oils.

Since fragrance oils are laboratory made, they can be created to withstand these external changes. This means you will get the same quality you have learned to love every. single. time. What’s more, fragrance oils can be designed to last long, so you don’t have to worry about it fading sooner than you want it to. It can also be designed to bring out complex scents and characteristics that are otherwise left untapped in essential oils.

candles with wooden wick ready to make

Which Oil Is Better for Candle Making?

Using fragrance oils in candle making is a common practice nowadays. Being that they’re made in a lab, they can be modified to produce the most intoxicating scents as they are heated. They can also be crafted to last longer. Can you use essential oils in candles? Yes, you can! However, since these oils are naturally obtained, you will have to work with their innate properties. That means if an essential oil’s scent takes time to diffuse even with heat, you will have to accept that it’s always gonna be that way. People often become disappointed with the performance of essential oils. However, they do have a place in a natural range of products.

As for the value for money, fragrance oils take the lead. It takes a significantly large amount of oil to be able to successfully scent a single candle, and this may negatively affect the performance of the candle. If you’re doing it with costly essential oils and you’re planning on selling your candles, there’s a good chance that your net income will be marginal at best. You won’t face the same problem with fragrance oils. In fact, you can use a substantial amount of it to make several candles and still not spend as much as you would if you were using essential oils.

Where to Buy Fragrance Oils?

There are several sellers of both fragrance oils and essential oils on the market. Make sure you buy your stock from trusted companies. There are reputable fragrance wholesale suppliers like Flaire that can easily cater to your needs. And since we’ve been working with fragrance oils for a while now, you can rest assured that you’re working with people who know exactly what they’re doing.

Alternatively, you can visit our store to check out our wide selection of fragrances for use in candles, soaps, and more. Our fragrance specialists are more than happy to answer all queries regarding our products and how they can be best used in conjunction with yours. If you’re investing in scented products, we guarantee that you will not be disappointed with what we have to offer.

Making a Decision

There are people who prefer essential oils. Purists who like the idea of organic oils are more likely to lean towards using essential oils for making their candles. However, it’s not for everyone. Especially if you plan on selling scented candles, using essential oils can make it harder to break even cost-wise. If you want to increase your ROI, you’re better off using essential oils.

Some people might say that using fragrance oils instead of essential oils is a downgrade when it comes to quality, and we’re happy to say that there’s no truth in that. There are hundreds if not thousands of premium fragrance oil options that are so good you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. If you’re after profit but still want to offer your clients the quality they deserve, then fragrance oil is the way to go.

To learn more about fragrance oils and how you can start utilizing them for your candle making business, contact our knowledgeable Flaire team today.