Candle making is an art that combines many disciplines. As you refine your craft, you may feel like a chemist, a chef, a designer and a perfumier all in one. It's this latter skill that can really make or break your work. Producing a pleasant scent is absolutely key, and you'll need to master your scent oils to do so. One of many things you'll want to consider is whether to stock your candle making supply with essential oils, fragrance oils, or both. So how exactly do the two measure up?
Natural or Synthetic
The fundamental difference between the two is their origin. Essential oils are distilled down from real plant parts. Nothing is added to alter or strengthen the scent, and they are a pure reflection of the source material. In contrast, fragrance oils are mixed for the express purpose of creating a scent. They are sometimes crafted using natural elements, but they often also contain synthetic ingredients. Individual mixtures will differ. As such, if it's important to you or your customers that you use all-natural products in your candles, essential oils are your safest bet. Of course, this doesn't rule fragrance oils out! You'll just need to check their contents individually.
As essential oils only come from the natural plant and do not contain any enhancements or additives, they have much subtler scents than fragrance oils. To match that scent intensity, you will need to use significantly more essential oils in your mixture. Of course, the opposite is also true. Fragrance oils are potent enough that you won't need to use much to achieve a powerful result. A little goes a long way!
Ingredient Shelf Life
How long your scents are likely to last will vary, and you should be sure to check individual labels if this is important to you. However, as a rule of thumb, you can expect essential oils to last a good deal longer than fragrance oils. As such, if you're buying a scent you won't use often, it may be wise to opt for essential oil. This difference only stands in oil form, though. Once they're mixed and set into a candle, both essential and fragrance oils will stay at their best for around a year.
This is only the tip of the iceberg; personal preference is just as important as any other factor. However, knowing about these key differences should help you as you choose one or the other — or perhaps even a blend of both, for the best of both worlds. Contact candle making supply services to learn more.