Essential oils are the nutrients and vitamins extracted from the berries, roots, seeds, and barks of plants that are processed and refined to be made into essential oils. These are called essential oils since their content is essential in keeping the plants healthy, alive and free from disease.
Essential oils are often confused with fragrance oils, but the difference is that essential oils are pure in content. The quality of the processed essential oil is what makes it different from fragrance oil. Essential oils can be used for therapeutic purposes in aromatherapy or as scents for cosmetic purposes. There are about 150 varieties of essential oils that have their own distinct chemical compositions. The effective use of these oils depends on the plant species used and the processes used to extract it. Various varieties of the same oil can have a number of uses.
Chemists and chemical biologists usually determine which variety of an essential oil will be used and for what purpose. The oils can be extracted using various scientific techniques like mechanical extraction, distillation, or with the use of alcohol in extraction depending on the variety of the plant. To make a drop of rose oil, for example, around 30 rose petals are steamed or water distilled. By cold-pressing the rinds of citrus plants, essences are produced.
Essential oils are also effectively used at home in different ways, both for their medicinal and cosmetic qualities. They are used as perfumes for potpourris, sometimes added to beauty preparations, or used in simple baths. They are known to be good for the scalp and skin care, and some oils even have a healing effect on the body. Essential oils can be even used in minor first aid treatment or to help relieve colds, headaches, aching muscles or period pains.
Since essential oils are more expensive than fragrance oils, some fragrances extracted from plants through natural methods are used as fragrant essential oils. These processed essential oils are used as perfumes, body oils and alternative fragrance oils.
What also makes fragrance oils cheaper is the fact that they are usually mixed with other substances like synthetic oils. Depending on the quality of the composition of the fragrance oil, some oils can cause dizziness or headaches because of their impurity and synthetic content. This is why it is important that you know the quality of the oil you are using before applying it to any part of your body.
The more popular fragrant essential oils are usually produced by designer houses and are of better quality since they are extracted from freshly harvested raw materials. These fragrant essential oil types may vary according to their composition and combination. These are some familiar essential oils used for fragrances:
- The most commonly used fragrance essential oils are citronella, lavender and tea-tree oils used in aromatherapy.
- The essence of raw cinnamon is used for massage purposes and for furniture polishing products, linen sprays and scented candles.
- Apple Blossom essential oils are mostly used for body mists, massage oils, perfumes and in making scented candles.
- The combined oils from rose, cherry, lilac and jasmine together with almond make a Sweet Almond fragrant essential oil used in colognes, air or room fresheners, body mists, massage oils, furniture polishers, linen sprays, or for candles.
- For a fresh newly harvested basil scent, Basil fragrant essential oil offers an earthy scent for linen sprays, massage oils, and air fresheners.
- Bergamot on the other hand is a fragrant essential oil extracted from the fusion of a touch of tangerine with other fruity zests. This oil is commonly used for furniture polishers, linen sprays, laundry soaps and softeners, scented candles and carpet cleaning materials.