perfumer organ

Perfumes Vs Fragrance Oils: An Important Distinction

perfumers organ

There tends to be a lot of confusion between perfume oils and fragrance oils. A lot of this has to do with terminology because the words fragrance and perfume mean the same thing. Black Baccara does not sell fragrance oils. We offer perfumes in both oil and Eau de Parfum formats. Perfume oils are perfumes composed in oil format using a carrier oil base (we use fractionated coconut oil due to its unparalleled performance and shelf life). While the words perfume and fragrance obviously mean the same thing and are used interchangeably, our perfume oils should not be confused with fragrance oils. The only difference between our perfume oils and traditional alcohol-based perfumes are the carrier.

While it hasn't always been the case (growing up in the 80s and 90s, we often referred to any oil based perfume as a fragrance oil), over the years the term “fragrance oil” has become virtually synonymous with stock oils (inexpensive, pre-blended scents typically used for candles, home fragrances, “dupe” type scents, and bath and body products). Mixtures of stock oils are sometimes described as perfume in the handmade sector, which perfumers tend to find frustrating because it can be both misleading to the consumer and diminishing to the art form.

While the artist has used the term “fragrance oil” in the past to refer in layman’s terms to simple oil-based synthetics, we’ve moved away from this terminology to avoid confusion as we have noticed stock oils sometimes being sold under the banner of handmade perfumery. Because there is so much confusion over the terminology we also don't wish to demonize the term fragrance oil entirely, since higher quality single note fragrance oils do exist. While the artist may occasionally utilize a premium perfume quality and phthalate-free “fragrance oil” (a more simple version of an accord) as an ingredient in a larger accord or base, these materials are not the same as stock oils. Stock oils have no place in perfumery.

Our perfumes are original compositions crafted by hand from both synthetic materials (aroma chemicals), professional perfumery bases, and natural materials (essential oils, isolates, absolutes, co2s, resins, and occasionally artist-crafted tinctures) using traditional perfumery methods.

If you'd like to see what goes into the making of a perfumes and get some behind the scenes views of the process, be sure to follow us on Instagram.

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