Definitions & Terms Essential Oils Fragrance Oils

Oils, Oils, Oils – What’s in that bottle?

When shopping for essential oils, you will often come across the terms “100 pure”, “all-natural”, “nature identical” or “essential oil blend”.  You may find yourself wondering what these terms mean and which oils you should choose.  Our guide to oils may help you make a decision on which oil is best for your application.

Oils Oils Oils - What's in that bottle? Pure Essential Oils:  Essential oils are created from distilling or extracting the different parts of plants, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin and peels.  These all-natural oils do not contain any synthetic additives.  Essential oils carry biologically active volatile compounds in a very concentrated form.  These compounds exhibit therapeutic benefits when even very small amounts of oils are applied, inhaled or ingested.  Pure essential oils may be mixed with other essential oils to create essential oil blends, which may offer multiple therapeutic benefits, based on the combination of oils.

Nature Identical:  Many types of fragrances or oils, such as those once obtained from the gardenia, carnation and lilac, are now almost exclusively produced synthetically due to the fact that the pure essential oil is cost-prohibitive to produce.  Because these oils have the identical chemical composition as those extracted directly from the plant, these chemical compounds are considered “nature identical”. Nature identical oils often contain fewer ingredients than their natural equivalents.  These oils are purely for fragrance and do not have the healing properties or health benefits of using pure essential oils.   Nature Identical is sometimes abbreviated as (N/NI), which indicates that the oil is a mixture of pure-natural oil with synthetic components.

Absolute: Solvent extraction is often required to obtain the limited and precious oil of certain botanicals, such as jasmine, tuberose, mimosa, and beeswax. These solvent-extracted essential oils are generally referred to as absolutes.  Absolutes are concentrated, highly aromatic, oily mixtures extracted from plants and are usually more concentrated than essential oils.  Absolutes are used extensively in perfumery because the low temperature of the extraction process helps prevent damage to the fragrant compounds and often leaves the oil with a fresher fragrance.

CO2 Extract: When carbon dioxide is used as a solvent to extract the desirable active constituents of a plant, the oil is referred to as a CO2 extract. CO2 extracted oils are as close to the natural representation of the plant that can possibly be achieved.  CO2 extracts are usually thicker than essential oils and often seem to have a more well-rounded aroma.

All-Natural Oil:  An all-natural oil is made strictly from the original plant or its parts. All ingredients and their natural ratio remain unaltered.   Some fragrance oils may be referred to as “all-natural”, which indicates that the fragrance oil contains a combination of pure essential oils, pure resins and/or naturally derived aromatic chemicals.

Fragrance Oil:  Fragrance oils (also known as aromatic oils or perfume oils) are manufactured scents that are diluted in a carrier such as propylene glycol, vegetable oil, or mineral oil.  Fragrance oils may be synthetic, “all-natural” or a combination of synthetic and natural ingredients.  All-natural fragrance oil is one that is made entirely from natural isolates and essential oils.  Fragrance oils do not possess the therapeutic properties of essential oils and are strictly for use as an aromatic ingredient.  Since fragrance oils may contain synthetic ingredients, the fragrance possibilities are infinite, unlike essential or all-natural oils.  Fragrance oils are generally less expensive than essential oils and are often used by artisans to keep production costs low.


At Saffire Blue, we offer an extensive selection of  Pure Essential Oils, Nature Identical Oils, Absolutes,  and Fragrance Oils.  If you have questions about any of our oil products, please feel free to contact us!


0/5 (0 Reviews)

Leave a Comment

Flat Rate Shipping $29.99 and Free shipping for orders over $300 before tax* 

*Not applicable for Canada Post, bulk or case sizes