|An assortment of essential oil bottles surrounded by freshly picked flowers and herbs|
Although essential oils are concentrated and highly aromatic, referring to essential oils as "scents" is rather inaccurate, especially within the scope of holistic aromatherapy. Essential oils offer a broad range of therapeutic properties than span beyond merely "scenting" a product. Many essential oils are anti-bacterial or anti-viral and some essential oils like Roman Chamomile contain constituents that act as a natural sedative. In the field of holistic aromatherapy, essential oils are often selected not only for their particular aroma (i.e. floral, earthy, herbacious, etc.), but also for the specific constituents and therapeutic properties that they possess.
The word "Essential" contains the phonetical sound of "scent," (e+scent+ial) and that may also confuse some individuals. But just like the word "essential" contains more than "scent," so do the oils that they describe.
Fragrance oils are synthetic and don't offer the anti-viral, antibacterial and other array of therapeutic properties that essential oils offer. The purpose of fragrance oils is to add scent to personal care or home fragrancing products.
The term "scent" (i.e. "I just bought several new scents for my candlemaking project") is best left to referring to fragrance oils or perfumes that have no purpose other than to add "scent" to something.
For more information, read the following articles on AromaWeb:
What Are Essential Oils?
What are Absolutes?
What are CO2 Extracts (CO2s)?
What are Carrier Oils?
What are Infused Oils?
What are Resins?
What are Hydrosols?
What are Fragrance Oils?
What is Aromatherapy?
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