Understanding Essential Oils and Others Similar: The Enlightenment

Welcome all ye who love to smell good fragrances and enjoy the healthy benefits and useful uses of them. It will probably be obvious that I lean toward the natural therapeutic side of the spectrum of oils.

I’ve comes today to discuss something about oils that has been brought to my attention. The fact that people often think they are all the same.

So to start with, there are four main types of oils: fragrance oils, natural essential oils, carrier oils, and aromatherapy oils. I’m going to explain the differences to the best of my ability in hopes of helping someone that does not know and would like to know of the different types of oils that are available because a lot of people are not aware there are any differences and hopefully by the end of my rantings the choices will be made clearer for all who want to know .

The Scoop On Fragrance Oils

What are fragrance oils?

Fragrance oils are synthetic. They can be made from petroleum or natural materials; usually a combination of synthetically made aroma chemicals, resins, and some essential oils. Many of the natural components of fragrance oils are extracted through the same methods used for essential oils.

Warming scented fragrance oils are sometimes known as warming oils. People use them because they are inexpensive to make, are easier to produce, and the fragrance usually lasts longer.

They are good for making your house smell nice but do not have the therapeutic value that essential oils do. The fact that they are synthetic and have no therapeutic value does not mean they are always bad or unsafe to use. In fact, we use them in our everyday life in our soaps, lotions, candles, and in health and beauty products. A lot of them have been proven to be safe and effective and we have used them for years. Then there are other fragrance oils that have been found to have certain chemicals in them that have been linked to cancer, asthma, kidney damage, birth defects, central nervous system disorders, and allergic reactions. These chemicals are the benzene derivatives, aldehydes, toluene and more.

The Scoop On Essential Oils

What are essential oils?

All natural essential oils are pure and natural and come from the plant seed, flower, root, leaves or bark through one of two steam distillations There are several processes people used to create natural essential oils

Some Processes Are:

Steam distillation is where the plant substances are soaked a while then heated materials are carried away in the steam. Another process is where steam is passed through a bed of plant material to be extracted. In both methods, the vapors are carried by the steam to a condenser where water and oil are layered and are separated by decantation. Decantation is a process used to recover the actual oil by slowly pouring without disturbing the sediment on the bottom.distillation process

Cold pressed is done by using a hydraulic press that uses pressure to extract the oils. Because no added heat or oxygen is used, there is no nutrient loss. There is no loss through solvent extraction or enfleurage neither.

Though the enfleurage method is not used much anymore, it is a process that uses cold fat extractions by placing the plant materials in an odorless fat that is at room temperature where the fat absorbs the fragrance. The fat is then dissolved in alcohol. After the alcohol dissolves, a concentrated form of essential oil is left. This oil is called an absolute. This natural essential oil extraction method takes a long time to extract the oils.

The newest natural essential oil extraction method is co2 extraction. This process pumps pressurized carbon dioxide into a container filled with plant substances. The gas then turns the plant substances into liquid. The advantage of the co2 method is that no damage is caused by the heat used in distillation thus producing extremely pure extracts. The steam distillation processes produce pure extractions but the co2 method results in extremely pure and potent extracts.

Important Considerations

Some people can develop allergic reactions to any oil researchers state essential oils can cause agitation.hallucinations and seizures so it is good to try to a test with a small area of your skin inner arm or leg never to your face or neck just to make sure you are not one of the people allergic you could find you are allergic to some but not others or maybe none

It is recommended for most all natural essential oils to be diluted before you use them on your skin as some are highly toxic.

The Scoop On Carrier Oils

What are carrier oils?

Carrier oils are a vegetable oil or a mix of vegetable oils used to “carry” the essential oils onto the skin. They are also called base oils.

They do not have a strong odor nor do they evaporate, and they often have their own therapeutic properties. The reason carrier oils are used is to dilute the essential oils so that they don’t harm your skin. It also makes it easier to apply to the skin.

Some carrier / base oils are grape seed oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, argan oil, moringa oil, apricot kernel oil, castor oil, black seed oil, neem oil, evening primrose oil, rosehip oil, flaxseed oil, wheat germ oil, tamanu oil, and many more I’m sure

The Scoop On Aromatherapy Oils

What are aromatherapy oils?massage therapy

Essential oils become aromatherapy oils once they are mixed with a carrier oil. They are a non-synthetic mixture usually used in massaging onto the body. They are usually only 2 percent natural essential oils and 98 percent a carrier oil.

I prefer 100 percent pure cold pressed because others could have additives that can also harm you if you see organic, cold pressed or non–GMO you can be sure you are getting the best quality carrier oils available oils that still carry their natural properties, when looking on labels of products you are considering if it states fragrance on it, it usually means there are additives The shelf life of oils are limited so store them in a cool dark area.


In conclusion, fragrance oils, natural essential oils, carrier oils, and aromatherapy oils are the four main types of oils. The only similarity between fragrance oils and essential oils is the fact that they smell good. Fragrance oils are not natural, whereas essential oils, carrier oils, and aromatherapy oils are all natural.

The distinction with aromatherapy oils is that they are diluted essential oils.

The differences between all these oils are important to know because if they are not used in the correct ways, they can be harmful or even toxic to us. For example, you don’t want to put a 100% pure essential oil directly onto your skin, an aromatherapy oil is better for this.

You also do not want to put essential oils into a warm air humidifier because the heating process destroys the therapeutic effects of the essential oils, the better choice is to use a diffuser. The diffuser atomizes the essential oils making it easier for people to get the therapeutic effects of the essential oil into the body.

However, you NEVER should use aromatherapy oils nor fragrance oils in a diffuser. Aromatherapy oils can’t be used in a diffuser because the diffuser can’t atomize most of the carrier oils. Fragrance oils should NEVER be used in a diffuser because they have no therapeutic benefit and you don’t want to breathe in the artificial chemicals into your lungs. Not to mention, both aromatherapy oils and fragrance oils can actually destroy the diffuser itself.

I hope I have given you enough information to think about and to be aware of if you decide you want to use these oils.

If you enjoyed this feel free to share and/ or subscribe to my mailing list.


  1. This is such an informative and helpful post. I was totally unaware of the different types of oils and of their uses. I recently got a diffuser and was hoping to get some essential oils for it. Are there any you can recommend for relieving stress?

    1. Amy thanks for your comments and stopping by. Congratulations on your new diffuser, you’re going to love it! And as for your question, I plan on doing a post on that very subject soon! So stay tuned! In the meantime, to help you now, lavender is probably the most common stress relieving calming essential oil.

  2. Andrea says:

    Hi, I love essential oils and diffuse them regularly. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    1. Thanks for your comment and stopping by. Glad to hear that you use them too! Feel free to come stop by any time! 🙂

  3. Lane Onson says:

    A few years ago, essential oils were just a dream to me and used only by people who can afford them. I’m glad they are more widely available to the public and the education that we get as a result.

    Thank you for this article.

    1. Thank you Lane for stopping by! 🙂

  4. This is really useful and makes it easy for newbies to understand and know what to use and when to use it! Thank you.

    1. Thank you Jenny for your comment.Glad to hear it is easy to understand:)

  5. Wow, I really learned a lot from this article. I have heard of the 4 main types of oils, but never really understood the different ways of using them. I look forward to reading your other posts.

    1. Thank you Jenny I am glad my article helped.:)

  6. Now see, I’ve been using oils for years and never really knew the difference between the different types of oils. I’m glad you explained it. I appreciate the article, and I’m definitely getting a diffuser for the essential oils. That seems to be the best way to go.

    Thanks a lot,


    1. Thank you Babs for your comment.I am glad i could help you understand the differences.:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *