What is the Difference between Essential Oils and Fragrances?

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Question: I use many fragrances to make my home smell good, but recently a friend of mine told me this is bad feng shui and I should use only essential oils. Is this true? If it is, why? Thank you!

Answer: Excellent question, thank you for asking! Yes, your friend is right. It does depend, of course, which fragrances you use, as the word "fragrance" means different things for different people. The most common definition of a fragrance is "a pleasant, sweet smell or a perfume or aftershave". More often than not, the word "fragrance" refers to an artificially made, or synthetic scent.

Another word for fragrant oils is aromatic oils, or aroma oils, which also gives a hint to the fact that the materials used are not of natural origin. How do you know if you are dealing with natural/essential oils or with synthetic oils, or fragrances? Well, first, if possible, look at the list of ingredients. If you can hardly pronounce any of them, chances are the fragrance you are using is made of mostly synthetic fragrances.

Another way it to just sense it intuitively. For those sensitive to energies, it is easy to know, instinctively, if the smell is of natural origin. Simply put, a pure essential oil makes you breathe deeper because it brings potent energy from nature, be it from the essence of a flower, root, seed, leaves, bark or any other part of the plant.

A synthetic fragrance "clogs your energy" and subtly repels. It can also fill your space with toxins. Yes, it might smell OK, but it is an artificial OK, like a cold hug or a fake smile, it has no genuine essence or power to it. 

Of course, this is a very simple, basic statement of the differences between natural and synthetic fragrances, you can find a lot of detailed info on-line if you want to explore this topic in depth.

Feng shui-wise, we always strive to surround ourselves with potent natural energy, or Chi, as this is what good feng shui is all about - a good supply and flow of vibrant Universal energy in our dwellings and in our bodies.

To create a fresh, vibrant energy in your home, the first feng shui recommendation is to clean the air, and then to use pleasant, healing essential oils. The most basic way to clear the air is to open the windows and aerate your space often. If this is not possible, use air purifying plants, such as areca palm, Boston Fern, Dracaena Jenny Craig and others.

Fun Fact

You can use essential oils for various purposes, such as lavender for relaxation, or peppermint for refreshing, vibrant energy.

If you have never used essential oils before, your best bet is to start with air sprays, or air mists made with natural oils. This way you use them the same way as the typical fragrances - just spray the content into the air as needed. You can buy essential oils mists in various places, from health food stores and bookstores to various on-line shops.

A more advanced, and effective way to us the power of essential oils to create pleasant smells and, even more importantly, a different quality of energy in your home, is to use them in aromatherapy diffusers. You can choose between a candle diffuser and an electrical one, or use both in different rooms depending on convenience.

I use both an electrical and a candle diffuser, and make a point of having the candle diffuser in my sight (otherwise I might forget about it and the water will evaporate quickly and the burning candle might crack the diffuser). I love the electrical diffusers because they are very convenient - the diffuser stops as soon as the water level goes below the accepted level - as well as because they are more potent in diffusing the oils into the air.

To sum it up, if the fragrances you have been using in your space are synthetic ones, I would encourage you to experiment with natural essential oils and experience the difference for yourself. The closer to nature you are, the better your feng shui!

Continue Reading: What Makes A Good Feng Shui Home