What is the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils? Is there a difference? Here I will answer that question for you.
First, what are essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated oils extracted from different kinds of plants. The “essence ” of the plants fragrance. Essential oils have been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. Some common essential oils used for aromatherapy in candles are:
- Lavender- Calming
- Lemongrass-Refreshing, rejuvenating and balancing
- Eucalyptus-Helps with colds, soothes nasal passages
- Citrus-Energizing and uplifting
- Patchouli Oil – Tranquility, and helps promote clear breathing
- Rosemary Oil – Calms apprehension
- Ylang Ylang – Relaxes the mind and seduces the senses
- Bergamot Oil- Energizing oil that balances the mind
These are just a few essential oils for aromatherapy that can be used in candle making. I’ll be honest, I never really got into using essential oils in my soy candle business, but I did use Lemongrass and I definitely didn’t need to use much of it to achieve a strong scent throw! Plus Lemongrass is one of the lower cost essential oils. I may try some different essential oils in the future though.
Use essential oils for your soy candles with no dye for a truly natural soy candle!
What are fragrance oils?
Fragrance oils are oils that are manufactured and artificially created to mimic natural fragrances. There are countless kinds of fragrance oils to choose from and fragrance oils tend to be much less expensive than many essential oils. In my experience even though essential oils tend to be more expensive, you usually use less so for some essential oils, it can actually cost less using essential oils rather than fragrance oils, but you definitely need to test, test, test, to make sure you’re getting the fragrance throw that you’re looking for.
Fragrance oils do not have the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils, so if you are wanting to make aromatherapy candles, you will need to use essential oils.
There are also different grades of fragrance oils by concentration. Usually very cheap fragrance oils are probably more diluted than more expensive kinds and you’ll need to use more to get a good amount of fragrance throw from your soy candles.
So that’s the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils. One is all natural, directly from the plant, and the other is artificially manufactured.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me!
Thank you so much for your wonderful, easy-to-follow videos, and this very informative website. I just started making candles – based on your videos and website to purchase supplies! – and wanted to know how much essential oil to use in 1lb of wax?
I actually left you this same question on youtube, so no need to respond on both.
Thank you again!
Hi!, sorry I didn’t get back to you on the Youtube one! So glad to hear you’re enjoying the videos and info! So, I haven’t worked with essential oils much yet, but now that I’m not so busy selling the candles, I do plan to experiment with them more. I have used Lemongrass essential oil and I used about half of what I would normally use of the fragrance oil. So around 1/2 an ounce per lb of wax. It will definitely vary though. Lemongrass is a pretty strong fragrance anyway so I didn’t have a problem with fragrance throw.
Kayla Miller says
I used ylang ylang essential oil to make a candle and I used probably 2 teaspoons of oil into an 8 ounce candle and got zero scent throw.
I posted another question on why my soy candles have no scent throw.
I would really appreciate any advice.
Essential oils are tough. I’m experimenting with them, too. Oftentimes the scent will burn off if your wax is too hot when you add the essential oil. Then again, I’ve also had fragrance oils that give very little throw as well. 🙁 It’s hard to find the right information. I wish someone near me taught a class on it. lol.
Melissa Barnhart says
I’m wondering the same with the essential oils. Cinnamon and clove together are pretty good and eucalyptus and peppermint (clears sinuses) works well. As for the rest I’ve been wasting money. Im actually trying to find a book about it that’s why I’m online now.
Lynne Thomas says
Hello from KY! I just made my first batch of wax melts following your video instructions and everything turned out perfect. I would like to hear how you get any left over wax out of your pour pot since I don’t think I want the fragrances to mix. Thanks for the great video!
I just started making soy candles with essential oils and really struggling getting a good combination of oils to make a great scent while candle is burning. Can you or anyone please advise me on the best essential oils (individual or combinations) to be used for soy candles that would give a strong smell while burning?
Any advise would be greatly appreciated
Hi Chris, I haven’t done much with essential oils yet. I did try Lemongrass a few times and got a good throw from that one, but I’ve heard from other candle makers time and time again that essential oils don’t normally throw very well.
Thank you so much for your quick reply, really appreciate it.
I will play around with the essential oils and see what I can do. Will order some fragrant oils online and start playing around with them too. Can you perhaps advise from where I can order the fragrance oils from? I really want good quality and strong smell scent for soy candles. Can you also perhaps advise on the best combinations of fragrance oils I could try out? Any further advise would be greatly appreciated ?
Could you perhaps give me a list of your 8 most favorite fragrance oils with the best hot throw and where to purchase them from? Could you also advise on your favorite type of soy wax and where to purchase it from?
I really appreciate your assistance ?
Hallo. I found your list of fragrance oils and respective companies. I ordered a few oils from Candle Cocoon to try out but still waiting on arrival. Can you please advise me on fragrance oil combinations? What oils work well together in creating an even stronger smelling candle?
Can I also add more oil to the candle (8-10%), more than the 6% of the wax as everyone is stating?
Please help. I desperately need some guidance and you help would be greatly appreciated.
I’ve been studying and testing candles suppliers and materials for about 8 months. It’s not a shared and transparent science and no one is really sharing exact recipes. They are hard earned trade secrets. Wicks are a secret. Wax blends are a secret. Temperatures are a secret. Exact oils are a secret. These candle supply companies are making money selling a lot of product to people who are ‘experimenting’. How many times has your favorite lipstick been discontinued? It’s because using a whole tube of lipstick doesn’t make money. You buying a lot of lipsticks in search of a favorite makes a lot of money. So, I’d recommend reading a bunch of material. Read the comments and reviews of each oil, wick and container. You’ll find a lot of information and success by only buying reviewed products. When you are starting out, you can go the mall and smell candles at a yankee store. I personally don’t like the BBW and Yankee scents, they are not my thing. I like more natural scents that make you want to take a deep breath. I’ve been happy with a few oils from Candlescience, but not all. There are fragrances that are definitely ‘types’ which means they mimic BBW or Yankee et al. So many people love these, but not me. Essential oils are a nice idea but right now plants are being used beyond reason, so the quality of the oils has changed a lot due to over harvesting and processing for volume rather than strict methods of old. Sad times to meet the demand and I hope that some companies just say ‘no’, we are limited on availability of our oils to protect their integrity and happiness’. I’ve resigned to put a few drops of essential oil into a blend just for the energy and then also use the FO for throw. I’m finding scents that I like by buying the 1 oz samples and making test candles out of the small 2 oz tins or 2oz containers of some kind. Your taste will vary from others so what you like may not be what a customer would like. If you are starting a business you’ll probably get requests to carry a fragrance, and eventually you’ll be making candles that you know people will buy. I’ve found that the blends I’ve come up with are the most popular with my friends, which is cool because I didn’t tell them which ones out of 47 samples were my blends. I only made 4 and I only really liked two of them so I am getting feedback on my fragrance taste and I am happy to know that what I like is also favored by my friends. So cool! Blending is a talent, an art form and a science. I have many books on essential oils, perfumery, and the art of blending. It’s not easy to learn and you can make horrid concoctions out of great individual scents. This play/research hits all my passion buttons perfectly!!! I’ve been spending time at Candlescience. I am not paid by them and am so new to this so I’m not even a big customer. They have what I want in stock. Their prices are reasonable. It’s a good starting place for information that is honest. They are super awesome fast at delivery and so far, zero errors in my orders and no damage. Their fragrances are all reviewed, so the site is developed and used. I’d advise to go there and branch off for specifics and more info as you become comfortable with the vocabulary and basics. The scents that are hard to find in synthetic form are these. Lilac, Lavender, cedar, patchouli, vetiver, clove, cinnamon, lemon, lemongrass, almond, geranium, tuberose. I’ve ordered a bunch from candlescience, lonestar, and zenith supplies and have not been happy with their versions of these scents, or they are simply not available. You’ll hear the words, soapy, powdery, candy, chemical smell. So, are these the scents that must be assisted with essential oils? Perhaps. Soy is fussy, so adding too much stuff to it will cause problems. Don’t add too much fragrance. Max is 1 oz per lb, and essential oils is probably far less. I use drops and smell it. Also FOs and Essential oils are added differently, higher temps for FOs and lower for EOs. Read read read, then buy. I like the c3 soy wax and 464, they are about the same so just check prices and shipping and go with what’s cheapest. Wicks! Still figuring this out.Soy takes a bit larger wick so often people buy the wrong brand or type. I like eco and htp wicks but just ordered LX sample pack from Lone Star. I also ordered containers and eco 6 wicks to be used in larger double wicked containers. The order was perfect, but took a while to get here. Not a bad transaction though so I’ve placed another order with them because they get high marks for some of their fragrances and their strength. Back to wicks. A wick that is too big for your project will smoke, soot, and blossom, make your candle a dirty mess. So, read the suggested sizes and comments at all the sites. They are not easy to navigate so a good honest candle book would be nice. Soy is fussy about colors so if you don’t need color go with the natural color of soy wax, it’s rich, classy and all season, any decor. I could go on and on… and this is a lot for a response to a blog. If you are really into this you’ll just be a butterfly on the loose, sampling all sorts of blogs, articles and sites. It adds up in the wallet…so keep in mind that if you are doing this, set up a little etsy or facebook sales site with some favorites that sell well and can help to support your research. Sell four tried and true gems! Get some goodies up and moving, then follow your heart and soul so you can make something awesome. Aromatherapy is awesome but go easy on the essential oils.
Stefan Bradley says
It’s good to know that fragrance oils are typically less expensive compared to essential oils. My wife wanted to buy some oils for her sister’s birthday but wasn’t sure if fragrance oils were cheaper. I will be sure to let her know that fragrance oils will likely be the best gift based on their lower price.