Fragrances have been used and valued by humans since ancient times. The uncanny ability of certain fragrances to recall memories and experiences, or to inspire certain emotions and feelings is one that truly taps into the essence of the sensory experience of smell. In ancient times however, fragrances were difficult to come by. They were harvested with difficulty from plants, trees, and even animals, which gave them great value. But now, with technology and science, fragrances are made in enormous quantities using synthetic material or man-made processes, both of which have pros and cons. Let’s try and understand a bit more about essential oils and synthetic fragrances.
All about essential oils
Essential oils are powerful botanical compounds procured by extracting oils present in certain plants, be it in the roots, flowers, or foliage in order to bring out their aromas, their healthful properties, and even their flavours which are used in the culinary arts. Processes such as distillation and cold pressing are used for this extraction. Essential oils are considered extremely pure as they are not diluted, contain no additives, are not processed, and are extremely bioavailable. Essential oils have wonderful scents no doubt, but their benefits go far beyond this. They have many emotional, mental, and physical benefits and can be used aromatically (Aromatherapy), but also topically and internally. However, as beneficial and healthful as essential oils are, they should not be taken lightly or used casually. They are extremely potent and powerful compounds which must be used the right way for the greatest benefits.
All about synthetic fragrances
Synthetic fragrances are man-made in laboratories to recreate the scent of essential oils or create specific smells that do not exist naturally in the botanical world. This is why you find a nearly endless selection of scents when you go shopping for deodorant or perfume. Synthetic fragrances are made from ingredients generally derived from petrochemicals. They contain solvents, preservatives and dyes, along with parabens and sulphates In order to make their smell last longer. These fragrances contain several ingredients that are known to be harmful to us when frequently exposed to them. They cause problems such as headaches, respiratory problems, asthma attacks and even loss of consciousness. Some studies even reveal that the ingredients in synthetic fragrances cause hormonal disturbances.
Though synthetic fragrances and essential oils are used abundantly, and have their own customer base, it is evident that essential oils are far superior in terms of the health benefits. Essential oils are slightly more expensive as their extraction and ingredients entail this cost; however, it is a small price to pay in order to maintain and improve your long-term health.