How to use fragrance oils

The main difference between fragrance oil and essential oil is that fragrance oil is a type of synthetic product whereas essential oil is extracted from plants. Furthermore, is it possible to produce fragrance oil in any aroma while essential oils are important in aromatherapy practice to ease muscle pain, menstrual issues, emotional problems, skin problems, arthritis, etc.

Fragrance oil and essential oil are two types of oils with aromatic compounds. However, both terms are sometimes incorrectly used interchangeably.

Key Areas Covered

Key Terms

Aromatic Compounds, Aromatherapy, Essential Oil, Fragrance Oil, Natural, Perfumes, Synthetic

How to use fragrance oils

What is Fragrance Oil

Fragrance oil is a synthetic oil with aromatic compounds similar to that in essential oils. It can mimic the aroma of natural products such as peach, apple, banana, strawberry, and, melon. It can even have the aroma of a hot fudge cake or the smell of the rain. Therefore, the main use of fragrance oils is as perfumes in soap, lotions, and scents. Unfortunately, they do not have any health benefits. Also, fragrance oils are nonvolatile.

How to use fragrance oils

Figure 1: Fragrance Oil

Significantly, most fragrance oils contain a small amount of essential oils added to the product. Since a major part of them are synthetic, their shelf life is longer. However, essential oils are difficult to reproduce in the lab since they are complex mixtures of chemical compounds. Usually, a particular essential oil may contain 50-500 different chemical compounds in it.

What is Essential Oil

The essential oil is a naturally-occurring substance extracted from different parts of a plant including stems, bark, leaves, flowers, fruit, wood or resin. Generally, these substances are aromatic compounds that are volatile. The two main methods involved in the extraction process are steam distillation and solvent extraction. Significantly, both extraction methods allow obtaining pure oils. However, based on the type of plant and the type of part used, the extraction process can vary. 100% pure oils are known as ‘neat’ since further processing is not required for them.

How to use fragrance oils

Figure 2: Jasmine and Rose Essential Oil

Moreover, a particular essential oil has a specific aroma due to the presence of a unique group of chemicals in the oil. However, based on the season, growth conditions, and climate, the chemical composition of the oil can vary. Also, some essential oils such as rose and sandalwood are considerably expensive due to the timely and complex extraction processes. However, the citrus essential oil is not expensive due to the easiness of extraction. Besides, the main use of essential oils is in aromatherapy to reduce muscle pain, emotional stress, menstrual issues, skin problems, and arthritis. Also, they are used in skin and hair softening and moisturizing.

Similarities Between Fragrance Oil and Essential Oil

  • Fragrance oil and essential oil are two types of oils with aromatic compounds.
  • They come with a particular aroma specific to the mixture of chemicals present in the oil.
  • Also, both are used in a wide variety of applications.
  • Sometimes, both fragrance oil and essential oil can be used for the same purpose.

Difference Between Fragrance Oil and Essential Oil


Fragrance oil refers to the commercial oils which have a mild aroma of essential oil, or a synthetic chemical which resembles something natural while essential oil refers to the natural oils typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic odor of the plant or other sources from which it is extracted.


Thus, the main difference between fragrance oil and essential oil is that fragrance oil is synthetic while essential oils are naturally extracted from plants.

Chemical Compounds

Moreover, an important difference between fragrance oil and essential oil is that the fragrance oil contains chemical compounds which can be synthesized in the laboratory while the chemical compounds in essential oils are more complex and they cannot be reproduced in the lab.


Fragrance oils contain defined types of chemicals while chemical compounds in an essential oil vary based on the season, climate, and growing conditions.


Furthermore, fragrance oils can be produced with any aroma while essential oils have generally a specific aroma. Thus, this is another difference between fragrance oil and essential oil.


Besides, fragrance oils are not volatile while essential oils are volatile.

Also, one other difference between fragrance oil and essential oil is that fragrance oils are used to produce perfumes while essential oils are used in aromatherapy.

Shelf Life

Moreover, fragrance oils have a longer shelf life while essential oils have a comparatively short shelf life.


Price is yet another difference between fragrance oil and essential oil. Fragrance oils are much cheaper while the price of essential oils varies depending on the type, availability, and season.


Fragrance oil is a synthetic oil with aromatic compounds similar to the compounds in essential oils. They come is a variety of aromas since any type of fragrance oil can be synthesized inside the lab. Fragrance oils are mainly used in perfumes. On the other hand, essential oil is a natural oil extracted from different parts of plants. Based on the extraction process, season, and growth conditions, their prices can vary. Generally, essential oils are the key factor in aromatherapy. Therefore, the main difference between fragrance oil and essential oil is the origin, types of chemicals present, and uses.


1. Robbins, Wendy. “What Are Fragrance Oils?” Available Here
2. West, Helen. “What Are Essential Oils, and Do They Work?” Healthline, Available Here

Image Courtesy:

1. “Fragrance oil packaging design” By DaViDa

(CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Pure Jasmine and Rose Oil Absolute- Perfume – All Natural Aromatherapy Essential Oils

Rose and Jasmine Perfume

Bridesmaids Gift Ideas” By Naomi King (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

We are all familiar with atomizers. The spray bottles are closely associated with perfumes of all kinds, but there are more ways than one to apply perfume. Some of the world’s finest scents are perfume oils; learning a thing or two about how to use perfume oils confidently will allow you to experiment with some of the best scents on the market.

You might not even know what perfume oils are, so let’s start by taking a closer look at this branch of the perfume family.

What are perfume oils?

Perfume oils (aka oil-based fragrances) are usually marketed an all-natural type of perfume. They’re usually alcohol-free and they contain an absolute minimum amount (sometimes none at all) of synthetic fragrances.

The oils are themselves extracted from raw, fragrant materials. These materials are the same ones that give alcohol-based perfumes their distinctive aromas. However, because of its oil base (rather than alcohol) and because of how it’s applied, you’ll find that the scent behaves quite differently.

Perfume oils are less overpowering than alcohol-based scents. They also last longer and they are hypoallergenic (a relief for scent lovers with extremely sensitive skin).

Now for the bad news: The oil can leave stains on your clothes, and some people don’t like the feel of oil on their skin. Also, they are costlier to produce, so (no surprise) they will cost you more than alcohol-based perfumes, but you might find the extra cost more than worthwhile.

What is the proper way to wear perfume oils?

We can’t wear perfume oils in the same way that we wear alcohol-based perfumes. But it’s really not that complicated. Here are the keys to wearing perfume oil confidently:

Apply directly onto your skin – Oils can damage and leave stains on your clothes, so keep it away from your fabrics by applying it directly onto your skin. Use the application dabber or rollerball that comes with the bottle, and the oil some time to dry before you slip on your outfit.

Focus on the pulse points – Perfume oils perform at their peak when they are warm. Use your body heat (particularly at your pulse points on the neck and the wrists) to fire up the perfume oil and kick its diffusion into high gear. Other great spots to apply it are in the crook of your elbows or your knees, in your cleavage, or behind the ears.

Use spray bottles or atomizers – Using the applicator will give you a small but concentrated dose of your perfume oil (and you’ll be able to target exactly where you want the smell to be strongest), but you can also use atomizers with perfume oils. Find an empty atomizer, clean it out, and then pour in your perfume oil and use it as you normally would. Remember to follow the rules above: spray it on your skin (not your clothes) and focus on the pulse points.

Layer your fragrance – Perfume oils are generally subtler-smelling stuff than alcohol-based perfumes. If you want a bolder overall scent, you’ll need to maximize your perfume oil with fragrance layering. Use similar scented products like lotions, powders, body washes, and hair/body mists. Be careful: not all great scents smell great when mixed.

Create a scented drawer – Just because you can’t apply perfume directly onto your clothes doesn’t mean you can’t use perfume oil to make your clothes smell as great as your perfumed body. Dab a little perfume oil onto a cloth packet or a cotton pad, let it dry, and then put it in your drawer underneath your clothes. Your clothes will smell subtly fantastic all day.

Apply early – For maximum effect, apply your perfume oil well before you have to leave. A good rule of thumb is 30 minutes or so. This will give the perfume oil more than enough time to mix with your skins natural oils and your body’s natural heat. Give this chemistry a little time to work its magic before you head out.

It really only takes a few applications of perfume oil to get entirely used to using it. It’s a key component in the fragrance lover’s arsenal, and, having tried it once, you might soon find it indispensable. If you’re ready to start looking at your oil-based options, check out our guide here.

Essential oils are a great way to make your home smell great or just help you relax, but did you know that there are many other ways you can use them in your household that can make your life a lot easier.

As a matter of fact, they are an excellent alternative to many chemicals we often use around the house, so by using essential oils in this manner, you are actually creating a healthier environment for your loved ones. See here how you can, for example, get something for your baby.

So, do you have some essential oils just lying around? Here’s how you can put them to good use:


Team from Crafted Beds was always saying that aromatherapy is an amazing way to help you create an evening ritual. Certain essential oils can calm your nervous system, and repeated inhalation at night can help signal your brain that it’s time for rest.

The efficacy of essential oils in promoting sleep has been proven through various studies, making it a good sleep-promoting alternative to over-the-counter medications. If that doesn’t help, you should consider buying a new mattress here.

Remove gum

When chewing gum gets onto your carpet or gets stuck in somebody’s hair, getting rid of it can be a real nightmare. But did you know that the essential oil made of oranges can solve this problem in a flash? All it takes is a drop here and there, and you’ll be all set.

On top of that, you can use this method to remove the sticky stuff that remains when you peel off a label. So, generally speaking, orange essential oil equals no sticky stuff.

Provide first aid

Many essential oils can have a positive overall effect on people’s health, and they are especially popular among pregnant women because they can help get rid of morning sickness or soreness.

However, essential oils made of things such as peppermint or eucalyptus can even be used as an anaesthetic! Amazing, isn’t it? And tea tree oil will help you with bug bites and even sterilize your wounds. No doubt, this is something that’s good to keep around.

Replace air fresheners

Entering a home that smells nice can leave an excellent impression on your guests, and it will make you feel better, too. You can use various essential oils to freshen up your bathroom, hide unpleasant smells in the kitchen or even keep your underwear nice and fresh.

A few drops of the essential oil of your choice in a cotton ball or a tissue will create a mobile and healthy air freshener you can put just about anywhere, but you can also get a soothing aromatherapy candle here, too.

Protect your garden

You don’t have to use chemicals to protect the plants in your garden from all the pests. Just mix in some essential oil with some water and Castile soap and then spray the mixture around. The insects will be gone in a flash, and you will not have used chemicals that can be dangerous to children and pets.

Essential oils can also be used to keep animals like mice and moles away, and peppermint essential oil is particularly good at that.

So, when it comes to essential oils, there’s much more than meets the eye. They are an incredibly useful thing to have around in your home and can improve your quality of living dramatically in a flash.

And they help you relax after a long day. Perfect, right?

Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.

Disclaimer: Psychreg is mainly for information purposes only. Materials on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on this website. Read our full disclaimer here.

How to use fragrance oils

With so many stressors affecting our lives, practicing self-care has never been more important. There are many ways you can take a break and relax, but one of the most popular and low-maintenance methods is through using essential oils. These aromatic liquids are often used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation.

Just as many enjoy lighting candles or incense in their rooms, diffusing essential oil can be a pleasant way of infusing your space with fragrance and potential health benefits from different kinds of plants. Whether you prefer the soothing smell of lavender or the refreshing scent of peppermint, each kind has something to offer.

Scroll down to learn more about how to use essential oils and see some of the best essential oils and diffusers.

What are essential oils?

How to use fragrance oils

As its name suggests, essential oils are liquids extracted from different kinds of flora and contain the “essence” of the plant’s unique fragrance and potential health benefits. They are most often used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation, relieve headaches, and improve sleep quality.

Common Types of Essential Oils

  • Lavender — Floral scent intended to promote relaxation and sleep.
  • Eucalyptus — A leafy scent that is used to treat nasal congestion.
  • Rose — A rich floral scent that can improve mood and reduce anxiety.
  • Cedarwood — Rich woody set intended to promote healthy skin and ease anxiety.
  • Chamomile — A soft, sweet scent that can improve mood and promote relaxation.
  • Tea Tree — A strong medicinal scent that is used to treat the skin and boost immunity.
  • Peppermint — Invigorating mint scent that is used to improve respiratory function and relieve sinus congestion; it can also improve nausea.
  • Orange — A sweet citrus scent that can alleviate anxiety and stress.
  • Lemon — A tart citrus scent that may boost circulation, lymphatic flow, alleviate headaches, and more.
  • Blends — There are numerous blends that combine the scents and properties of different essential oils.

Note: some essential oils are not pet-friendly and may even be toxic to pets, so always make sure to do your own research.

How to Use Essential Oils

How to use fragrance oils

Essential oils are not meant to be ingested. Instead, they are used in other ways which stimulate our senses. The most popular of these is aromatherapy, in which the user inhales the scent of the essential oil to stimulate the limbic system. Other popular ways include topical usage, such as adding essential oil to a bath and repelling pests.


  • Add a few drops of essential oil to a diffuser.
  • Open the bottle of essential oil and take a few deep breaths.
  • Place a couple of drops of essential oil on a cotton pad or ball and let it dissipate.
  • Add a little bit of essential oil to a bowl of hot water. Place your head over the bowl, cover your head with a towel, and inhale the steam.


  • Add a couple of drops to a warm bath.
  • Apply scents to laundry or clothes.
  • Mix oil drops with cosmetics.
  • Apply directly to the skin. (Be cautious of skin irritation or allergic reactions.)

Other uses for essential oils

  • Some oils, like eucalyptus, tea tree, and cedarwood can deter pests such as insects.

Best Essential Oils

Want to try essential oils? If you don’t know what scent you prefer or what benefits you’re searching for, then a kit with several different kinds will allow you to test different kinds.

Essential Oils Discovery Kit (Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree)

How to use fragrance oils

Essential Oil Energizing Set (Orange, Peppermint, Energy Blend)

How to use fragrance oils

Premium Essential Oils Set (Lemongrass, Peppermint, Orange, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree)

How to use fragrance oils

Sinus, Sleep & Immunity Essential Oils

How to use fragrance oils

Essential Oil Set With Wooden Box (Peppermint, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lemon, Sweet Orange, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree)

How to use fragrance oils

Best Diffusers

The easiest and most convenient way to use essential oils is through a diffuser. Just add a couple of drops to water, and the fragrance will be dispersed through the room, creating a pleasant environment for relaxation or work.

Have you ever considered adding essential oils to your laundry? I use oils in all of my homemade cleaning products, so it only makes sense to use them in my laundry as well. Today, I’m sharing a few tips on how to do this and which scents you should try.

Posts may be sponsored. This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

How to use fragrance oils

Table of Contents

Can You Add Essential Oils to Laundry?

As long as you do it right, yes! You can definitely add essential oils to your laundry. I have very sensitive skin and asthma, so many artificial fragrances give me a rash or make me sneeze. We usually use a clear and unscented laundry detergent, but I did miss having a nice scent. So I decided that using essential oils would be a great solution!

I like to make my own diffuser blends to enjoy them around the house.

What Essential Oils Should You Use in Laundry?

There are different essential oils for different purposes. You should also take into consideration what types of scents you like. For example, if you like citrus scents, you could use lemon, orange, or grapefruit. These smell amazing and are great for cutting grease and odor (I used them for my son’s sports uniforms all the time). When you wash sheets, blankets, and towels, you can use relaxing scents like lavender or eucalyptus. In my opinion, the best essential oils for laundry are lavender, lemon, and tea tree oil.

How to use fragrance oils

Here are a few more scents you could try and what they can be used for:

  • Peppermint and spearmint – These have anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. They are great to use along with tea tree oil when someone in your house is sick.
  • Rosemary – This is great for boosting your immune system. It also has anti-fungal properties, so if anyone is dealing with athletes’ foot, this is a great option.
  • Lemon/basil or rosemary/peppermint/lemon – Don’t be nervous to mix scents. These are some of my favorite combinations for fresh-smelling laundry.

How to use fragrance oils

Essential oils for disinfecting laundry

When you’re looking for essential oils, make sure you’re getting pure essential oils instead of fragrance oils. If you get fragrance oils, they won’t do anything except add a nice scent. If you want a good disinfecting essential oil, here are some of the best options:

How to use fragrance oils

How to use fragrance oils

Do essential oils ruin clothes?

When you think of the word “oil,” you might think of oil from a motor or a greasy hamburger. If you get pure essential oils, they shouldn’t leave any type of stain on your clothes.

How to use fragrance oils

How Do You Put Essential Oils In Your Laundry?

You only need a tiny amount of oil to give your clothes a nice boost of fragrance. You’ll take your bottle of unscented laundry detergent, then add two or three drops of your essential oils of choice. Next, shake the bottle well and smell it. If it’s to your liking, that’s it! If it’s not quite strong enough, you can keep adding a drop at a time until it’s perfect. Make sure you shake the bottle each time you do laundry to keep the oil and detergent combined.

How to use fragrance oils

Can Essential Oils Catch on Fire in the Laundry?

Since your washing machine fills up with water, your essential oils won’t catch on fire. However, use caution if you’re adding them to your laundry in the dryer. Essential oils are flammable, and this article explains the risks of putting essential oils directly on your laundry before they go in the dryer.

How to use fragrance oils

You Might Like These Laundry Articles

If you’re looking to step up your whole laundry game, here are a few helpful articles you can refer to:

One of the most common ways of using essential oils is in aromatherapy. This is a form of therapy that uses the oils to have a positive effect on the mind and body – and is experienced through your sense of smell. There are two reasons for this: first, scent is linked to the deepest parts of the brain including your thoughts and emotions, and secondly, essential oils are often thought to help ease physical aches, pains and other ailments (1).

How To Use Essential Oils

Essential oils enter the body in three main ways – by being applied to the skin, inhaled or ingested. This application method is very much dependent on what you want, as well as the type of essential oil you are using, as some for example, can only be taken in certain ways. Some people use essential oils in aromatherapy massages, others in their bath water and many through the likes of candles and diffusers.

Are Essential Oils Beneficial?

There are many types of essential oils, extracted from various natural elements, and each have their own properties. They have been being used to treat illness and promote wellbeing for many years, but are now gaining in popularity thanks to scientific confirmation of their benefits to health, both mental and physical. Once the aroma is in the air, essential oil fragrances can promote mental wellbeing and uplifted moods among other things. Not only this, but essential oil can also help to purify the air, leading to fresher, soothing breathing for those in the same room.

How to use essential oils to scent a room

At Air Wick®, we offer many ways to enjoy the essential oils safely. Here are just some of those ways you can enjoy our ‘essential oils’ collections:

Essential mist diffuser

Our Essential Mist Diffuser transforms natural essential oils into a gentle, fragrant mist that is dispersed throughout your home. You can find out how to use the Air Wick® Essential Mist Diffuser here.

Reed diffusers

Alternatively, the Air Wick® Reed Diffuser uses natural rattan stems to carry fragrance oil that is released into the air. You can find out how to use the Air Wick® Reed Diffuser here.


Our Air Wick® Essential Oil Candles are combined with the rich origins of essential oils, so you can create a sensuous setting for any occasion – all made with extractions from fruits, flowers and plants.

Automatic sprays

The Air Wick® Freshmatic® releases bursts of continuous fresh fragrance, as well as your choice of essential oils throughout your home throughout the day across three intensity settings. You can find out how to use the Air Wick® Freshmatic® here.

Liquid electricals

Finally, the Air Wick® Plug-Ins are perfect for diffusing natural essential oils around any room in your home no matter what your preferred scent. You can find out how to use the Air Wick® Plug-In here.

Do essential oils help you sleep?

Aside from their scents, essential oils are each known for their own unique properties. If you’re wondering what oils to diffuse for sleep – those such as lavender, cedarwood and jasmine – are considered to have soothing qualities that make them particularly useful as an all-natural remedy for improving overall sleep.[2][3][4][5] People may use these in different ways depending on the essential oil, from placing a drop or two on their bedsheets, to using a diluted amount in the bath, or, as is most common, through a diffuser.

Many people believe that these powerful sleeping properties come in part from how closely scent is linked to our memory, triggers and emotions. This could be why lavender essential oil is so popular as a sedative, as it is so often associated with feelings of calmness, relaxation and unwinding. You can read more about lavender essential oil here. Find out about the other essential oils which are often associated with sleep below:

Does peppermint oil help you sleep?

Many people tend to associate peppermint with proper quality sleep thanks to its familiar scent, but on the contrary, this is not the case. Peppermint essential oil is actually in the same bracket as bergamot, grapefruit and oranges, which are known for their energising and invigorating properties.

Does cedarwood oil help with sleep?

Cedarwood is a popular essential oil to use for sleep and has a deep, woody aroma derived from tree bark. This is thought to reduce the likes of anxiety and stress, as well as acting as a natural sedative for sleeping. It is often considered to be beneficial for occasional insomnia.[6]

Does jasmine essential oil help you sleep?

Another essential oil linked with sleep is jasmine, and studies have suggested its sedative properties come from relief of the likes of anxiety, stress and anger.[7] By clearing our minds of the emotions and feelings that keep us tossing and turning at night, it can offer us a better chance at good quality sleep.

Essential oil products can vary in quality, so it’s important to do your research. At Air Wick®, we source our essential oils by looking for healthy plants of high quality and combining the oils in a blend of fragrances to lock in the scent. Our safe processing and manufacturing oversight of both the oils and their diffusers further ensures our essential oils offer a safe, quality-assured experience.


Add Fragrances Infused With Natural Essential Oils For The Perfect Ambiance

Try our Lemon Thyme Essential Mist fragrance. The Air Wick Essential Mist diffuser automatically transforms natural essential oils into a gentle, fragrant mist to surround you with the energizing citrus and herbal fragrance of Lemon Thyme.

People often wonder if a certain fragrance can be used in lotions, candles, body butters, perfumes, etc. If the fragrance you’re using has IFRA documentation available, you can determine if that fragrance can be used in whatever product you’re making.

Here is an example of an IFRA document:

How to use fragrance oils

The IFRA is broken down into 11 product type categories:

  1. Toys, Lip products of all types (solid and liquid lipsticks, balms, clear or colored, etc).
  2. Deodorant and antiperspirant products of all types (sprays, roll-on, stick, under-arm and body, etc).
  3. Hydroalcoholic products (EdT and fine fragrance range) applied to recently shaved skin (3A and 3B), Eye products of all types including eye cream, men’s facial creams and balms (3C), and tampons (3D).
  4. Hydroalcoholic products (including scent strips) (EdT and fine fragrance range) applied to unshaved skin, ingredients of perfume kits, hair styling aids and hair sprays, hair deodorants, body creams, foot care products.
  5. Women’s facial creams, facial make-up (excluding eye cream), facial masks, hand cream, wipes are refreshing tissues for face, neck, body, hands.
  6. Mouthwash and toothpaste.
  7. Intimate wipes, baby wipes, insect repellent intended to be applied directly to the skin.
  8. Make-up removers of all types (not including face cleansers), hair styling aids non -spray of all types (mousse, gels, leave-in conditioners, etc), nail care, all powders and talcs including baby powders and talcs.
  9. Liquid and bar soap, depilatory, rinse-off conditioners, shampoos of all types including baby, facial cleansers, shaving creams, body washes, shower gels of all types, feminine hygiene pads and liners, other aerosols including air fresheners.
  10. Hand and machine wash laundry detergents of all types including bleaches, other household cleaning products, dry cleaning kits, fabric softeners, hard surface cleaners of all types, pet shampoos, diapers, toilet seat wipes.
  11. All non-skin contact including air fresheners of all types (excluding aerosols), toilet blocks, incense, insecticides excluding aerosols, non-toy plastic articles, candles, fuels, paints, floor wax, all incidental skin contact, dish detergent, and fabric.

The categories that get used the most in the handmade industry are (9) Soap and bath bombs or rinse-off products, (4) Lotions and body butters or leave-on products, and (11) candles.

  • Category 9 is soap, bath bombs and rinse-off products.
  • Category 4 is lotion and leave-on products.
  • Category 11 is candles and all non-skin contact products.

Using the IFRA documentation as a guide, you can now discern how much of a particular fragrance can be used in the product you’re making.

Look at the top of the IFRA document available for download on the product page:

How to use fragrance oils

8th & Ocean fragrance oil can be used at .07% in lotion, 31.75% in soap, and 100% in candles.

Most suppliers will give IFRA rates for fragrances. This will help determine how much fragrance can be used in a particular product, no matter where you buy. If the IFRA rate is not listed you should take caution in buying that fragrance until you know what the rates are. Many fragrances are for use in candles and non-skin contact products only and are not skin safe!

How to Calculate IFRA Rates for Your Product

First you will need to know the amount of product you’re making, typically measured in units of ounces. If you’re using grams, this method will work as well. Just substitute grams for ounces in the example given.

Soap and Bath Bombs

I’m going to make 2 pounds of soap, or 32 ounces. We are going to convert our percentage into a decimal. 31.75% will be .3175 in decimal form. My calculation on how much fragrance can be used will look like this:

32 x .3175 = 10.16 ounces of fragrance.

What? That’s a lot. That can’t be right! It’s not!

The IFRA rate is the safety rate. This is how much can come in contact with your skin when making this particular product without causing irritation. Fragrance oil in soap should generally be used at 5% – 6% if the fragrance has a high IFRA safety rate.

One thing to look for is fragrance with a safety rate below 5%. If a fragrance oil has a rate lower than the typical use rate of 5%, be sure to follow the IFRA guidelines for that particular fragrance to avoid irritation.


Once again, we’ll use the IFRA document to ascertain how much of 8th $ Ocean can be used in lotion. Lotion is category 4 with a rate of .07%. I will be making 8 ounces of lotion.

8 x .007 = .056 ounces of fragrance.

Since the lotion use rate of 8th & Ocean is low, I will either have to be alright with a light-smelling product or I will have to choose another fragrance that has a higher lotion use rate. I typically like to add fragrance to lotion at a rate of 1%.


The IFRA rate for candles and fragrance oils is almost always 100%. Of course you will not want to use 100% in candles because once again, the IFRA rate is the safety rate. I’m not a candle maker, but I have learned that the typical use rate of fragrance in candles is around 10%. You will want to make the calculations of the fragrance use rate the same way we did in the previous examples.

A fragrance oil burner uses heat to emit a pleasing aroma throughout any room you choose, but by design, it’s meant to be used in one specific way to ensure safety. Setting up and using the device requires careful attention, much like using a scented candle. Most fragrance oil burners or warmers require a single tealight candle as the heat source to warm the liquid in the burner’s bowl. Once that liquid warms up, the fragrance you’ve selected wafts through the room, much to your delight.

Choosing the Right Kind of Oil

Not all scented oils are meant for a fragrance oil burner. Scents designed specifically for these burners are sold in stores that sell home fragrances. These are often blends of several scents to create a particular experience, such as those crafted for a particular mood or seasonal holiday aromas. Read the bottle’s label, as it should indicate that its use is specifically for fragrance oil burners and diffusers. Products such as perfumes are not meant for oil burners.

Essential oils, according to the School of Natural Skincare, may also be used in fragrance oil burners. These oils are pure plant essences, such as peppermint or eucalyptus, and contain no additives or carrier oils. Since essential oils are potent, you may need only a drop or two to achieve the desired effect. It’s better to start with less oil than you think you need to avoid being overwhelmed by aroma.

Fragrance Oil Burner Setup

Before using the fragrance oil burner, make sure its bowl is clean, and that your tealight candle fits easily beneath the bowl area. Some burners have a small or awkward opening beneath the bowl, so it’s better to determine how to position the candle before you light it. Make sure the tealight wick is trimmed to no more than 1/2″ tall to avoid having a large flame.

Place the burner in the desired location, away from flammable materials, then pour a little water into the oil burner’s bowl so the bowl is about 2/3 full. Since some bowls are quite shallow, pour slowly to avoid spilling the water. Add 4 or 5 drops of your chosen fragrance oil to the water. In many cases, the recommended amount is listed right on the label.

Light the tealight candle, then carefully place it in position under the fragrance oil’s bowl; you should smell the fragrance within a few minutes. Check the oil burner every 10 minutes or so to ensure the liquid hasn’t evaporated and that the candle flame is under control. If the liquid evaporates, blow the candle out and add more water, as there may be enough oil residue left to still emit a fragrance. Do not leave the room while the burner is in use, and always make sure you blow out the candle when finished using the burner or when you plan to leave the room for a while.

Cleaning the Oil Burner

Frequent use of a fragrance oil burner leaves a little sticky, oily residue behind in the burner’s bowl. If you use the same fragrance all the time, it’s not necessary to clean the bowl after each use, but if switching from one scent to another that’s completely different, it’s best to remove all traces of the old oil before using a different one.

When the unit is cool, wipe out the residue with a paper towel, followed by a damp paper towel. The company Aesop recommends a little soapy water on a sponge or cloth to remove gummy residue. If the substance still remains, wipe the bowl out with a little white vinegar, then again with a clean, damp cloth.

  • School of Natural Skincare: Getting the Most of Your Essential Oil Burner
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Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She has also written many pieces on landlord and tenant concerns. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, Kroger and Landlordology, among others.