Essential Oil Vs. Fragrance Oil

Working in the perfume industry has opened my eyes to the complexities that go into creating a perfume.  Before it was simply a wonderful smelling addition to my newest outfit. I didn’t ask any questions, I just spritzed on my favorite celebrity perfume every morning hoping it would last throughout the day. Now, as I have become a certified perfumer, I have learned the essential components of a good perfume, the various types of perfume, and how, when, and where to wear to where your perfume. This particular post will focus on the components of a perfume, specifically essential oils and fragrance oils.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are naturally occurring substances found in different parts of plants—the blossom, leaf, roots, stem, bark, wood, fruit, or resin. Through the expensive and complicated process of steam distillation or extraction, essential oils are produced. Essential oils are comprised of anywhere from 50 to 500 different naturally occurring chemicals. The common and most important word when talking about essential oils is natural. However, natural doesn’t always mean good, essential oils can have both positive and negative effects. For example cinnamon is an essential oil that is often used as an antiseptic, however, it can be highly irritating to the skin and must be used with caution. Essential oils are used to positively affect emotional, physical, and mental health. They enter the body through the skin (via perfume or pure oil) or through the olfactory system (via a diffuser or humidifier). Essential oils have many purposes: they can be used to enhance mood, treat pain or inflammation, or to kill germs. At Tijon Fragrance Lab and Boutique, we offer over 100 essential oils. These can be purchased individually or used in your perfume creation process.

Common Essential Oils

  • Chamomile
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Mandarin
  • Patchouli
  • Peppermint

Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils are manufactured scents made in a lab. They are artificially created and contain artificial substances. They are specifically made to mimic the scent of something found in nature (such as coffee fragrance oil) or are created to evoke a feeling (such as “April rain”). There is a wide range of fragrance oils available and they are quite inexpensive. Fragrance oils are used primarily in the manufacture of perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics. Fragrance oils are often used in place of essential oils as a result of cost and availability. For this reason, naturally occurring oils also have a fragrance oil (such as lavender fragrance oil).

Common Fragrance Oils

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Coconut
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Vanilla
  • Cucumber
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Ocean Rain

Come in to Tijon Parfumerie & Boutique and experience our selection of over 300 oils (both essential and fragrance). We are located on the lovely island of St. Martin in Grand Case. If you have any questions, e-mail us at