Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils

Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils

March 26, 2018

In a world where ingredients matter, products are plentiful and labels can be confusing, we want to level the playing field on the difference between Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils once and for all. Breaking it down simply, Essential Oils are naturally occurring (plant-based), whereas Fragrance Oils are synthetic (manufactured).


Here at Prep U, we occasionally wear a polyester, but we don’t put anything synthetic in our products. Our belief is that simple is good, and a limited and all natural ingredients list is better for our families, our health and our environment. With that frame of reference, let’s look at some of the uses of home team vs the poser.


Fragrance Oils

Also known as aromatic oils or perfume oils, fragrance oils are manufactured and artificial scents meant to mimic substances found in nature (or anywhere else - think pumpkin spice candles). Oftentimes produced to evoke a feeling, these are the scents found in hyper-masculine personal care products with names like “Rip Tide Axe Throwing Flirt Machine”.


These compounds are chemically synthesized in labs by chemists and can often be comprised of more than 200 different chemicals (like phthalates, a plasticizer). Manufacturers lean this way to maximize profits, as including synthetic fragrances are significantly cheaper to use in products from candles to cosmetics. We’ll take the strong silent type, thanks though.


Essential Oils

These are the good guys, the varsity team. Entering the body through the skin or the olfactory system, essential oils are the highly concentrated version of the natural oils found in plants. Concentration happens through a process called distillation, most commonly by steam or water, where various parts of the plants are used, including the roots, flowers, stems, leaves, or bark.


Essential oils have benefits ranging from bacteria-fighting to muscle ache relief. In creating our blends, we select essential oils that are gentle for use directly on skin, and provide a soothing, natural and refreshing scent. Using essential oils in our products provides parents the peace of mind to know and understand what they are putting on their child’s skin and to avoid any ambiguity, allergy or irritant from using a product with synthetic fragrance.


When choosing products for yourself, your sons, or your families, we say going all natural is, well, essential.