You may have noticed that we call our essential oils, "magickal essential oils." This is because, to Kestra, essential oils contain the magick of the essence of the plant. The qualities of the part of the plant that is being used are carefully extracted and placed in an oil form, as intact as possible. These magickal essential oils contain the spirit as well as the properties of the plant, and can be used almost in place of the plant for many herbal uses.
You may have wondered why the price of an essential oil can seem so high as compared with fragrance oils, or other oils that are not clearly marked as "essential oils." There is a good reason for that. The process of creating an essential oil is very complicated, and takes quite a bit of plant material to make. As an example, a single drop of rose essential oil takes 30 petals. That's a lot of rose in your 15 ml bottle. The parts of the plant that make it useful to us, such as its nutrients and vitamins, can be so easily damaged by improper processing, that one must truly know what they are doing to draw them out an into the oil. On the other hand, a fragrance oil needs only to smell good :-).
Fragrance oils are generally mixed with other synthetic oils and other substances in order to get that wonderful smell people are looking for. If you wish only to make a concoction smell good, such as making your own soaps or lotions that don't really "do" anything for you but smell great, then a fragrance oil is a wonderful thing to buy and use. If, however, you would like the protective qualities of a cassia bark, or the medicinal properties of eucalyptus, you need not only an essential oil, but the best and purest form of essential oil you can afford.
You will find that some of the Enchanted Works product line of Essential Oils contains more than one type of the same plant's oil. You may also notice that these essential oils are priced differently. This is because of either the purity of the resulting essential oil, or the fact that the essential oil comes from a more rare species of the plant, or the fact that the essential oil comes from a different PART of the plant. Some people insist on, for example, only cinnamon BARK oil, while others prefer cinnamon leaf. The same idea pertains to clove leaf oil and clove bud oil. Sometimes it is merely personal preference, and other times, it is essential to have that specific species or that specefic plant part. We will do our best to accomodate you if you desire something we don't normally carry.
Be aware also that fragrance oils may contain synthetics that you may be allergic to. While it is possible that you may be allergic to the essential oils as well, depending on your general allergic profile (for example, if you have hay fever, you may be allergic to chamomile and its essential oil), it is easier to guess based on the far fewer ingredients in the essential oil than in the fragrance oil.
Essential oils are also, in general, FAR stronger than fragrance oils. A little goes a LONG way. If you are burning the oil, a drop or two is more than enough. When Kestra makes her lotions and creams, just a few drops of each type of essential oil is plenty for 2 cups of lotion. It is very easy to overwhelm a mixture with too much. On the other hand, if you are seeking only to scent a generic lotion, add fragrance oil until it smells good :-) Much easier.
Generic warning: Essential oils, since they ARE so much stronger, can be dangerous. Do NOT put them directly on skin unless you know exactly what you are doing. Use a carrier oil, or a carrier cream or lotion. If in doubt, check it out. Google for the oil and take a look at how it is used before you slather yourself in cinnamon bark and wind up with serious burns.
And remember... "all natural" does not mean "safe for you." Hemlock is natural. Poison Ivy is natural. I would likely choose the Poison Ivy fragrance oil rather than the essential oil :-). The FDA allows people to call MANY things natural if they only contain some aspect of natural plant. They do not regulate how the essence of that plant is removed. Check the ingredients carefully.
Enchanted Works strives to label our products accurately whether it be a fragrance oil or an essential oil. If you find that we have missed something, please go to this feedback link and let us know. We want to be accurate at all times. If you would like to see our offering of oils, you can either navigate to it via the bar on the left, or use this handy link.