Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils - Redoux

Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils

Redoux is built on change. Since our start in 2019, we’ve seen a surge in our community’s dedication to the environment, the wellbeing of all living things, and transparency when it comes to ingredients lists. We have a duty to disclose why and how we create our products, and the impact it has on our world, so that we can continue to reflect and grow as a collective.

These are some of the things we consider when formulating Redoux:

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are volatile plant extracts made from steam distilling or cold-pressing flowers, bark, stems, leaves, peel, roots, seeds, resins, or other parts of a plant.

What are fragrance oils?

Fragrance oils are synthetically made chemical scent compounds. These are found everywhere in modern day products, from cleaning products to personal care items (and even food).

Environmental impact: essential oils

Essential oils are found in plants, which are either farmed in controlled environments or wild harvested. Wild harvested essential oils are from plants that grow indigenous to their location and are harvested in a way that ensures a sustainable continuation of the species.

Sustainable essential oil production is expensive in both labor and raw materials. If you’re purchasing a cheaper option, it’s unlikely to have been sourced by ethical means or to be as pure as it is marketed. Always do your research.

Environmental impact: fragrance oils

Production of historically popular fragrance notes such as civet, musk, ambergris, and castoreum can lead to lasting environmental damage. For example, these notes are derived from animals, and consequences of their production include emitting greenhouse gases, depleting water sources, and contributing to the destruction of ecosystems.

Burning synthetic fragrance oils in candles can be worse than using them in your cosmetics, as the burning candle produces a toxic chemical smoke vapor. The vapor is inhaled and released into the air.

For our Candle 529, we found a fragrance supplier that shares our company values. They create clean fragrance oils that are free from carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and other potentially hazardous chemicals often found in fragrance. We want to create safer scented products you can enjoy with confidence.

Skin benefits/concerns

Poorly made fragrance oils are problematic because any synthetic compounds can potentially dry or irritate the skin. In extreme cases, synthetic fragrance can cause lasting damage and/or skin disorders.

While essential oils can cause skin sensitivity depending on skin type, they are carefully diluted and blended in products to prevent this from happening. Skin sensitivities aside, you can find comfort in knowing that no harmful chemicals enter your bloodstream when using EO-based scents.


When 100% pure essential oils are used in skincare products, you reap the benefits of aromatherapy (depending on the oils being used).

In our Turmeric Botanical Bar, for example, we use a blend of ginger, geranium, and bergamot essential oils. Bergamot essential oil is produced from the rinds of the bergamot orange fruit, providing a citrus scent, which are commonly used for elevating mood and alleviating stress.

Synthetic fragrance is not aromatherapy; it does not yield the same aromatherapeutic results as essential oils do. Since these fragrances are artificially made, they can’t aid natural mental/physical processes as true aromatherapy can.

What’s your go-to essential oil? Do you lean towards energizing or calming scents, or does it depend on the season or time of day?

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