Fragrance Oil is not created equal – there are different blends to suit different applications. The most common two types are:
Candle Fragrance Oil
This is equivalent to our ENHANCED OIL. Candle oil, or enhanced oil as we prefer to call it, is blended with a small amount of emulsifier and fragrance enhancer which allows the fragrance oil to combine with wax and other bases that do not include the ability to hold fragrance oil in its pure form. Without using proper Candle Oil, or our enhanced oil, Candles will suffer fragrance bleed, where the fragrance has not combined with the wax leading to an unstable candle. Be aware – some distributors market their candle oil as PURE & UNCUT Candle Oil, but this is a devious misconception. They probably market this way because they haven’t cut it themselves, but it creates some confusion where customers think they need PURE fragrance oil for their candles and then find it has issues when they buy the correctly named pure fragrance oil from a more competent supplier.
General-Use Fragrance Oil
This is equivalent to our pure oil. This is fragrance oil it is strongest form, which is dictated by the exposure limits and safe usage limits of the various aromatic compounds contained within. Therefore this oil contains more fragrance than the candle or enhanced oils, but it wont readily combine with wax. This is used for adding to bases that can take pure fragrance oil, including many cosmetic bases which already have the emulsifiers in their formula.
The general rule is you use enhanced if you know your product or application needs good compatibility, and you can use pure if you know compatibility wont be an issue. Using enhanced does have benefits over pure even in applications where it is possible to use pure oil. This is because the enhanced oil also enhances the fragrance diffusion effect, and is cheaper than the pure oil for similar scent-throw performance.
The most common question I get from our customers is,
“What is the difference between the pure fragrance oil and the enhanced?”
To explain this, first of all you need to know what a fragrance oil actually is.
The fragrance oil consists of two main ingredients, a carrier liquid and fragrance compounds. The fragrance compounds are hydrocarbon compounds from a mixture of synthetic and natural sources, each one has its own smell and blending them together in combinations will replicate other smells.
Now, there’s a very good reason that you don’t use just pure, 100% fragrance compounds in your fragrance oils, and that’s because they’re almost all dangerous, hazardous or toxic in large amounts and they have to be diluted down to safe working levels. Just like vinegar is 5% acetic acid, at 5% you can put it on your chips, drink it from the bottle and even get it on your skin, if you try doing that with 95% acetic acid, you’ll be in hospital. This means some fragrances, that are high in one especially hazardous ingredient, must be diluted down, in its entirety, to be safe. So, our pure oils are as high in concentration of fragrance compounds as they can be and still be safe, they’re either certified by the IFRA to say that they’re safe, or the ingredients in them are certified by the IFRA.
Our enhanced oils are different, they only contain 60% of the ‘pure’ fragrance oil blends where the other 40% is our special mixture of emulsifiers and fragrance enhancers. These ingredients are what give the F-JAS oils the edge over most oils because the emulsifiers help them to be applicable in more applications, letting them mix, partially or fully, with water, soy wax and paraffin wax but the important part is the fragrance enhancers. These fragrance enhancers work in a very simple way, they help the fragrance compounds get from the oil, or the application they’ve been added too (such as a wax melt) into the air and across the room to your nose, where they need to be, in order to be of any use. It’s not increasing the concentration of the fragrance compounds, but making what little fragrance there is, more effective at getting to where you can smell them.
The largest benefit to the customer is the reduction of cost, the fragrance enhancers and emulsifiers are much cheaper than the fragrance oils and have the effect of watering them down, but without effecting the performance. In a lot of cases most people say that the enhanced oils actually smell stronger when they are given the pure and enhanced, side by side and they don’t know which one’s which. However, when you tell someone “this is the pure” then they will squint and say “yes, that smells stronger”. It’s all down to perception, originally the ‘enhanced’ and ‘pure’ were called ‘standard’ and ‘extra strength’ which is why the part numbers for the pure are still FOES (Fragrance oil, extra strength) but this naming convention was far too misleading for our customers and they believed we were charging extra for something that didn’t smell as strong.
So why even have the pure oils? Well, we have the pure oils because that’s what people look for, when they search on google, ebay or amazon, they look for ‘pure fragrance oil’ we know this because of the keyword data we obtain from google, amazon and ebay. Now you might think this is misleading our customers, but it’s not, they really are pure and they really are the strongest they can be, but when they open the bottle and take a sniff, a lot of the time they’re left underwhelmed. This underwhelming is normally caused by our competitors who like to add VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to their oil to make them evaporate quicker and burn themselves into your nose. The problem with these VOC fragrances, is that they have a very small amount of fragrance oil in them and subsequently the smell won’t last as long or they end up with a very soapy/detergent smell. We also keep the pure oils around for people who want to use them in fragrance machines, nebulisers and for bar soap where the additional emulsifiers can make the soap soft. We do tell our customers, ‘please, don’t use the pure oils for wax, use the enhanced, they’re better, they’re cheaper and more effective’ but people don’t listen, they’re too used to being lied to and sold inferior products that they naturally mistrust you.
There are two situations that normally happen when someone buys fragrance from us the first time. The first, is that the customer buys the pure oil, despite having asked me for advice on which one to use, they get it, they try it and will normally like it. I will then suggest to them to use the enhanced oil again, or they will order enhanced by mistake and realise that they were better and cheaper and most importantly, I wasn’t lying to them!
The second situation is when they listen to me, they buy the enhanced oil, they get it, they use it, but deep down in the back of their mind they think that I’ve cheated them and that I’ve sold them the lesser of two products or they’re striving to get a more intense fragrance. This is the point at which they message me and say that the oil didn’t mix with their wax and would like to try a ‘free’ sample of the pure oil.
Look, I know you do it… I’ve been doing this long enough to know what works, what doesn’t and when someone is lying to me, but more importantly I understand why you’re lying to me, because you have been lied to by people like me every step of the way. And you will always get that free sample of oil from me because I know that when you test the two oils, side by side, you are going to agree that I’m telling you the truth, I really, don’t want to be selling you the overpriced Pure oil, I want you to have the best product that we can supply.