Fragranced oils are often marketed as comparable to essential oils, but there's a vast difference between the two, especially if you're seeking the healing benefits of plant essences! Let's look at the fundamental difference between fragranced oils and essential oils.
Fragranced oils are made from a mix of various chemical components, some of which are natural and sourced from plants and animals, but the majority of which are synthetic and created in a lab. They are precisely formulated to specifications with the goal of designing a "scent." In other words, they are designed to smell like a specific plant, or blend of plants. Fragranced oils have no therapeutic benefits and the chances of allergic reactions increase considerably with the use of fragranced oils.
Essential oils on the other hand are the natural oils that contain the essence of a plant. They are the liquid or resin that’s been distilled, pressed or extracted from different parts of the plant, be it the flowers, leaves, bark, root, seeds, berries, or stalks. It takes many, usually hundreds of pounds of plant material, to make a pound of essential oil. For instance, it takes 200 pounds of lavender to make a pound of lavender essential oil and over 2,000 pounds of rose petals to make a pound of rose essential oil.
Typically, quality essential oils can be more expensive than fragranced oils as they are more costly to produce. The price of essential oils can also vary quite a bit depending on the cost of cultivating the plant and the amount of plant material needed to produce that oil.