Perfume vs Essential Oil – What’s the Difference

Perfume Vs Essential Oil

Aromatherapy has become increasingly popular in recent years. The beautiful complexity of the essential oils used is what draws people to try out such holistic healing treatments.

Even though sales of essential oils have increased, many of us are still confused about the difference between perfume and essential oil. As more people turn to aromatherapy, the confusion between essential oils and natural perfumes grows.

But what would happen if you decided to put your favorite perfume into a diffuser instead of essential oil? Or if you decided to wear a few drops of essential oil on you rather than a spritz of perfume?

Our short guide will explain the differences between these two, so you can make more informed choices as to when to use each one.

What Is Perfume?

Perfumes or fragrance oils are produced using man-made oils. They have been created so that their chemical compounds imitate scents that occur naturally. As they’ve been developed in a laboratory, none produce natural scents.

Yet there are two categories of fragrance oils used in the production of perfumes. These are known as natural and synthetic fragrance oils.

But just what are those?

Synthetic Fragrance Oil

These get created using artificial chemical components that nature is unable to produce. Most of the commercial beauty products you buy today are made using synthetic oils. They do this to retain their smell for longer than natural fragrance oil.

Some of these personal care products are composed of various synthetic chemicals, so you need to be careful when using them. This is especially important for anyone who suffers from sensitive skin issues.

It’s important to read the label on skincare products before you make your purchase.

Natural Fragrance Oil

Don’t be fooled by the name, these have still been made in a laboratory. They called “natural” fragrance oils because they’re made through the isolation of certain fragrance components found in a complex scent.

The kinds of natural products from which natural perfumes are made include lemons, vanilla beans, and roses. Products with those types of scents typically use natural fragrance oils.

This oil is a better option for people with sensitive skin. It’s also suitable for those who may suffer from an allergic reaction when wearing perfumes containing synthetic oils.

Perfume Vs Essential Oil

Now that we explained a little about what perfume is, we are going to delve more into the differences between perfumes and essential oils.

Perfume vs Essential Oil Blend – What You Need to Know

The main difference is that perfumes are made in laboratories using synthetic ingredients.

As for essential oils, these get produced using only natural ingredients. This difference comes from the components from which each perfume or essential oil is composed of. Also, it relates to where the ingredients used in them get sourced from.

Is Wearing Essential Oils the Same as Wearing Perfume?

Many suggest that they don’t need to wear perfume, instead, they just wear essential oils. Many believe that wearing essential oils such as those made using rose petals is the same as wearing perfume.

But this isn’t the case. We explain why below.

Is Natural Perfume the Same as Essential Oils?

Yes and no. Most natural perfumes are made using citrus oils, coconut oil, oil from the ylang-ylang plant, and oils extracted from roses. But they may also include other fragrance ingredients produced in a laboratory setting.

Are Popular Fragrance Oils Stronger than Essential Oils?

The short answer to this is no. Remember, essential oils are made from highly concentrated organic compounds. These substances are potent, and that is why they need to be diluted before applying to your skin in order to avoid any skin irritation.

As for perfumes, these aren’t any stronger than essential oils. But instead have been formulated using synthetic chemicals, to give them a stronger scent or prolong their shelf life. They’re also designed so that their scent is long-lasting once they get applied to your skin.

Isn’t the Scent from Natural Perfume the Same as That of Essential Oil Perfume?

When you combine the scents produced by plants, something unique takes place. They become the sum of each other’s parts.

One seed could contain up to 25 different types of essential oil and extracts within it. Combining several other oils or extracts with another and adding some alcohol to the mix is what makes the difference.

Over time the floral scents within the various extracts and oils will connect to others. It creates some of those beautiful natural perfumes that we love to wear.

Does the Scent of Perfume Last Longer?

The way your perfume is made and the materials used to create your signature scent helps it to last longer. However, the powerful scent produced by any fragrance will become less pronounced over time.

But an essential oil will begin to lose its scent as soon as it comes into contact with your skin. This is because the natural extracts used in making these items will start to break down once they come in contact with your skin and air.

Eventually, the essential oil’s natural fragrances will disappear altogether. You will then be left with the smell from the carrier oil, which typically is neither noticeable nor beautiful.

So now you can see from above why so many women choose to wear perfume rather than essential oils.

Perfume Vs Essential Oil

You may still have some questions that you need to answer with regards to perfume vs. essential oils. We’re going to answer some of the most common ones below:


Is It Possible to Mix Perfume Fragrance Oils with Essential Ones?

Some women may wish to create their own signature scent by combining their favorite perfume with essential oils.

But you shouldn’t do this.

We advise against mixing them together as you won’t know how the essential oils will react when mixed with your perfume. This could result in adverse health issues, skin irritation, or even burns.

However, you can happily use various essential oils together. They do it all the time when you visit any aromatherapy practice.

Is It Safe to Apply Essential Oils Directly on My Skin?

Applying essential oils directly onto your skin is something you should never do. Just a tiny drop of one could cause an adverse reaction. To avoid any skin irritation, you must combine essential oils with a carrier oil.

Can I Put Perfume in a Diffuser?

We would advise you not to put perfume into any diffusers that you would typically use for essential oils. If you do, you will be exposing yourself to artificial fragrances that could be bad for your health. Especially if you suffer from sensitive skin issues or asthma.

Which Has More Health Benefits?

You’ll find that the perfume you wear doesn’t offer the same kind of health benefits that you will get from essential oils. Remember, any fragrance you like to wear was designed purely to mimic a particular natural scent. The problem is that when producing any kind of perfume, the certain components found in the plant that provide these potential health benefits are lost.

A Difference in Price

Generally, you find essential oils are a lot more expensive than perfume when compared by volume.

But What Makes It More Expensive?

  • The time of year when available
  • How readily available they are
  • The costs involved to grow, harvest, and distill the plants

NOTE: It takes a large amount of plant material to produce a small amount of essential oil.

For example, it takes around 1,000 rose petals to create a single drop of rose oil. Whereas citrus fruit essential oils tend to be cheaper since extracting the oil out of them is easier.

Does My Perfume Contain Natural Ingredients?

When buying any perfume, you should always look closely at what they contain. Just because the box says it contains natural ingredients doesn’t always mean it does.

Often, you will find that the perfume you want to wear is a mixture of fragrance oils. This can be problematic if you have sensitive skin because they are synthetic compounds. As soon as they come into contact with your skin and dry out, they can lead to irritation. This could then lead to other potentially serious skin issues.

Final Thoughts

We hope you now have a better understanding of what the difference is between perfume and essential oils.

There is something extraordinary about using products made from natural ingredients. We’ve written this guide to help you choose the right kinds of products that use perfume or essential oils in them.

Please let us know what you think about this guide on perfume vs essential oils by leaving us a comment below. Let us know about your experiences using either and which one you prefer.


More Posts

Get A FREE Magazine "Everything You Need to Know About Fragrance Notes"

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about new articles