What is the Mystery Behind Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils in Bath Products

Aroma is something most consumers look for in a bath soap. Who doesn’t find themselves fawning over a favorite fragrance in the soap dish?

Soapmakers are frequently asked whether they use essential oils or fragrance oils to create unique aromas. We at Manos Soap Co. is no exception. Before we answer this question, let’s look at the difference between these two common ingredients in handcrafted soaps.

Essential oils are extracted directly from a plant through either a cold press or steam distillation process whereas fragrance oils are man-made. Familiar essential oils such as lavender, rose, tea tree can either stand alone or be blended together to produce a unique fragrance.

However, not all plants produce essential oils, so when a soap maker or a perfume atelier wants a specific aroma for a bath soap, he or she may opt for a synthetic man-made fragrance such as espresso, apple or peppermint. Fragrance oils can also be combined to create unique and memorable scents, but we try to have minimal fragrance oil as much as possible to keep everything natural.

While essential oils such as tea tree have benefits beyond just smelling good such as astringent and anti-inflammation qualities, fragrance oils are added to provide scent, but can also provide calming, energizing or de-stressing benefits!

Below is a quick reference guide to explain our essential oil and fragrance oils process further.    



Contains No Fragrance Oil:

Goat Milk Soap Bar: Has no fragrance oil.

Epsom Salt Soap Bar: Essential Oils of Eucalyptus, a natural antiseptic, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and Orange Bitter Essential Oil. Contains no fragrance oil. 

Eucalyptus Lavender Soap Bar: Eucalyptus Essential Oil,  a natural antiseptic, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, Lavender Essential Oil, a natural exfoliant and no fragrance oil.

Cashmere Soap Bar: Has Liquid Cashmere Oil, but has no fragrance oil. 

Charcoal Himalayan Pink Sea Salt Soap Bar: Tea Tree Essential Oil for anti-fungal and antibacterial properties and contains no fragrance oil.

Citronella Pet Soap Bar: Contains no fragrance oil. 

French Rose Clay Soap Bar: Lemongrass Essential Oil for antiseptic and astringent properties, Tea Tree Essential Oil for anti-fungal and antibacterial properties and contains no fragrance oil

Olive Oil Soap Bar: Contains no fragrance oil.

Patchouli Soap Bar: Patchouli Essential Oil for skin healing benefits, Lemongrass Essential Oil for antiseptic and astringent properties and contains no fragrance oil. 

Contains Fragrance Oil:

Coffee Seed Soap Bar: Contains Espresso Fragrance Oil. 

CBD Soap Bar: Contains Cannabis (Cannabis Sativa) Fragrance Oil.

Oatmeal Milk, Honey Soap Bar: Contains Oatmeal, Milk and Honey Fragrance Oil.

Sandalwood Soap Bar: Contains Sandalwood & Amber Fragrance Oils and  Tobacco Vanilla Fragrance Oil.

So, to answer your question, Manos Soap Co. utilizes both essential oils and fragrance oils in our handcrafted soap bars. We make the decision to use one or the other or even both, depending on what scent we desire to infuse into the soap and what benefit we want to coax from the bar.