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Essential Oils vs. Synthetic Fragrance

At Way Out Wax, We Take This Distinction Very Seriously!

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are obtained through highly labor-intensive processes which extract the vital essence of aromatic plants from the flowers, fruits, sap, seeds or skin of the plant, as well as the bark, leaves, roots, resins or wood of certain trees. These oils are often referred to as the "life force" of plants and contain unique and varied therapeutic properties.

What are synthetic fragrances?

Synthetic Fragrance oils are primarily made from petrochemicals and attempt to duplicate the smell of a specific plant. By dismantling the unique chemical compound of an essential oil, chemists re-assemble a "Frankenstein" fragrance. A 1986 report by the National Academy of Sciences reports that 95 percent of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum and include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxins and synthesizers capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.

Why would someone put synthetic fragrance in a candle?

The simple answer is money! It is incredibly cheap to scent a candle artificially, and those scents tend to have a stronger odor with much less oil. In addition to being hazardous to your health, without the complex chemical components of the unadulterated natural essential oil, the aromatherapeutic effects are not present.

What aren’t they telling us?

The FDA does not require fragrance manufacturers to disclose the ingredients of synthetic fragrances because these formulas are regarded as "proprietary." Such "proprietary" ingredients commonly include numerous known carcinogens but are protected under the FDA’s "trade secret" law.

How harmful are these fragrances?

Even after banning methylene chloride (a known carcinogen that also causes autoimmune disease) in 1989, an EPA study two years later listed the chemical as one of the 20 most common chemicals found in fragrance products. In a 2001 study, the EPA reported that synthetic fragrances were shown to cause "possible mutagenic and genotoxic effects." Synthetic fragrances have also been shown to contain hormone disruptors which are linked to abnormal cell reproduction and may result in tumor growth.

How can we differentiate the "real thing" from misleading claims?

Many companies blend a minimal amount of essential oils with synthetic fragrances, perfumes, chemical enhancers and boosters in an attempt to cut costs and create a stronger, longer lasting odor. "Made with pure essential oils" often translates to an ingredient list with a small percentage of essential oils and a majority of the scent coming from a number of carcinogenic and toxic petrochemicals.

Unless a company discloses that they only use pure essential oils, there is a possibility that instead of an aromatherapeutic candle, you are igniting a chemical cocktail that is anything but healthy.

At Way Out Wax, we are committed to providing you with the cleanest burning candle on the market. With cotton or hemp wicks and absolutely no candle dyes, it’s only natural that we use 100% pure essential oils. Whether you’re an amateur aromatherapy fan or a well-versed essential oil aficionado, the folks at Way Out Wax believe you deserve to complement your healthy lifestyle with a healthy candle.



Neurotoxins at Home and In The Workplace (Report 99-827) Committee on Science & Technology Sept. 16, 1986.
1991 Environmental Protection Agency Paper #A312.
Candles and Incense As Potential Sources of Indoor Air Pollution Environmental Protection Agency January 2001.