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Essential Oils vs Fragrance Oils.

Here at Suckinglemons we use a mix of both fragrance oils and essential oils in our soaps (and no they are not the same thing), but they both do a great job of making our soaps smell amazing!

Essential oils themselves are completely natural, and while there is no regulation on that term, I consider it as being made 100% from plants. There are many pros to using essential oils, and only a few cons in my opinion. One of the major benefits of essential oils is that they contain therapeutic properties! When dealing with aromatherapy essential oils are your go to as you cannot get any healing benefits from fragrance oils. 

For example: patchouli essential oil is said to help alleviate depression.

Essential oils being the actual essence of a plant have a way of stimulating smell receptors in our noses which then signals our brains emotional control center to produce different positive effects. While the results of aromatherapy are overall inconclusive, many swear by it and have benefited from this kind of plant medicine. 

Essential oils also carry the same skin healing benefits as their original plant. Tea tree oil for example is commonly used to treat acne. Lemons are known for their brightening properties, and lemon essential oil contains that same quality to help brighten skin.

Essential oils are widely considered safe, though there can be allergic reactions as with any other product you use. 

The cons with essential oils are that though they are natural, they use a lot of plant matter to make a small amount of oil. Therefore it's a natural resource to use for our health, but it's not all that sustainable. It takes approximately 3 pounds of lavender to produce 15 ml of essential oil. Even more incredible is that it takes about twenty-two pounds of rose petals to make one 5 ml bottle of rose essential oil. (These quantity amounts are from two lead essential oil retailers Doterra, and Youngliving.) The pounds of plants used to create such a small amount of oil speaks to the concentration of essential oils. Dilution is to be taken seriously when using on skin or in skin products, as well as understanding of which oils can and cannot be used due to certain health factors as well.

The other smaller con with essential oils is that there is a limit to different smell combinations as there is no grape essential oil even though it's a plant. There are also no complex scents likes apple cinnamon essential oil, nor cotton candy, and pumpkin spice latte. Scents like these don't exist in nature and that's where fragrance oils come into play. 

Fragrance oils are synthetic. They are completely made in a lab and while some use naturally occurring compounds in addition to other man made ones to create different scents -- rosemary essential oil is not the same as rosemary fragrance oil. Being man made alone is considered a con for many, though I take the lessened environmental impact into consideration. 

One of the other cons of fragrance oils is the addition of phthalates. 

"Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more durable. They are often called plasticizers. Some phthalates are used to help dissolve other materials. Phthalates are in hundreds of products, such as vinyl flooring, lubricating oils, and personal-care products (soaps, shampoos, hair sprays)" CDC 2021.

There is a health concern due to our exposure to phthalates as it's an endocrine disruptor.

This turns many off of fragrance oils, myself included -- which is why at Suckinglemons we only use quality phthalate-free fragrance oils in our soaps.

With fragrance oils we can create fun scents reminiscent of holidays and good times for all age groups.

Ultimately, everyone has a preference, but either way we have something for everyone here at Suckinglemons. Seasonal drops include different fragrances, and we always have a rotation of essential oil soaps that are all 100% vegan as well. 

Hopefully some of this knowledge helps you choose which soap type is best for you and your needs.


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