Essential Oils vs Synthetic Fragrance – which will you choose?

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For many years before we created The Melt Pool, we used essential oils in our daily lives and of course we still do.

As well as lighting candles, we use essential oils to fragrance our home by adding them to oil burners and mist diffusers....and during my pregnancies and labours, I used essential oils to create a sense of wellbeing and calm.

At The Melt Pool, we strongly believe in using only oils that are 100% natural. It seems crazy that in today's world, we artificially create smells and scents that we can find readily in nature. Whilst at The Melt Pool, we always use natural essential oils to scent our candles, the vast majority of candle companies use synthetic scents to fragrance their candles.

Let's take some time to understand the difference between essential oils and synthetic fragrances (often referred to as fragrance oils).

An essential oil is quite simply a natural oil, typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic smell of the plant or source from which it is extracted. During the distillation process, the plant material is placed upon a grid inside the still. Once inside, the still is sealed, and, depending upon the method, steam or water/steam slowly breaks through the plant material to remove its constituents and the essential oil is then collected. 

synthetic fragrance or fragrance oil is primarily made from petrochemicals which are derived from petroleum via intensive processing methods. They attempt to replicate the smell of a specific plant or collection of. A report by the National Academy of Sciences reports that 95 percent of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum and include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxins and synthesisers capable of causing major health concerns and allergic reactions. Some fragrance oils do contain a small amount of essential oils as well as the petrochemicals, however, the fact that they also contain synthetic chemicals makes them off limits for the high standards we set at The Melt Pool.

So why do lots of candle companies use synthetics? The simple answer is is cheaper to scent a candle with the synthetic scents, and those scents tend to have a stronger odour. In addition to being hazardous to your health, without the complex chemical components of the unadulterated natural essential oils, the aromatherapeutic effects are not present.

How do I know what I’m buying? Some candle companies will blend a small amount of essential oils with synthetic fragrances in an attempt to cut costs and create a stronger, longer lasting odour. "Made with pure essential oils" often translates to an ingredient list with a small percentage of essential oils and a majority of the scent coming from a number of petrochemicals. Unless they claim to only use pure essential oils, there is a good chance that instead of a 100% natural candle, you are buying a chemical cocktail that is anything but healthy.

The Melt Pool is committed to providing you with the cleanest burning candle on the market. With cotton wicks and dyes, we only ever use 100% natural oils.

When you light a candle and the scent is released into the air, the materials that the scent is made from are also released into the air that you breathe.

So for us, there was never any question as to how we would scent our candles and home fragrance could only ever be with natural oils and never with synthetic/fragrance oils.


Very best wishes



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  1. Nesstate Flora

    Informative post keep doing more blogs and thanks for sharing

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