Essential oil is a volatile substance sourced from specific plant parts; the leaf, twig, heartwood, flower petal, peel, rhizome (root), sap (resin), or nut/seed of botanicals. An example of each includes, but is not limited to:
- Leaf - Eucalyptus
- Twig - Black Spruce
- Heartwood - Sandalwood
- Flower Petal - Rose
- Peel - Orange Sweet
- Rhizome (root) - Ginger
- Sap (resin) - Frankincense
- Nut/Seed - Cardamom
Using candles as an example, there are clearly ones with aromatherapy value that contain the ever exciting WOW factor that serves to enchant the complex senses in our olfactory and limbic systems. The same can also be said about bath soap, particularly organic bath soap, whereby synthetic fragrance oil would not be a suitable ingredient and fall outside regulatory requirements for producing an organic product.
Quite simply, the difference between an essential oil and fragrance oil is that fragrance oil is a lab created synthetic that has been formulated to mimic a real aroma while an essential oil is a natural substance. Since a synthetic fragrance is not a natural substance it does not contain therapeutic elements that are naturally present in an essential oil. Synthetic fragrances are laboratory creations from man-made materials such as petrochemicals (petroleum-based chemicals).
You may, or may not, find this information surprising!!! The FDA does not require synthetic fragrance manufacturers to disclose ingredients because their formulas are regarded as "proprietary". These proprietary ingredients commonly include numerous known carcinogens but are protected under the FDA's trade secret law.
Our thoughts here at Lotus Garden Botanicals are (hopefully the same thoughts you may be having) that when we go shopping for aromatherapy items we want them to contain all-natural, pure, premium, aroma-therapeutic essential oil with no synthetic or man-made chemical added for providing fragrance. Check the ingredients listed in the Lotus Garden Botanicals signature line of organic bath soaps, herbal bath blends and Aromatherapy Bath and Body. You will find no synthetic ingredient used in our products, and never will!
Reference: FDA Label Requirements
Jump to Part V: Essential Oil Production