Eli5: How can essential oils be scented like food or laundry?


Aren’t essential oils naturally occurring scents? How can there be “chocolate” or “fresh laundry” scented essential oils?

In: 1

Well coacoa is definitley natural, and maybe the scents used on laundry can be derived from natural/organic things.

They might be a combination of oils, or a scent that contains some essential oils _in addition_ to other ingredients.

Also worth noting that a lot of essential oils are actually a small amount of the oil, and then a neutral filler like jojoba oil.

“Fresh laundry” oil isn’t an essential oil. Either it’s a “fragrance oil” (which just means “mix of who-knows-what scent materials”), or it’s a mix of fragrance oils that someone is marketing as “laundry fresh” but doesn’t literally smell like laundry detergent. The actual scent that you associate with fresh laundry is primarily made with synthetic musks like tonalide.

“Chocolate” essential oil is possible because chocolate comes from cocoa plants. It won’t *technically* be an essential oil because that’s specifically a steam distillation whereas you need to use a solvent extraction for cocoa beans (which makes it “cocoa absolute” instead), but most people won’t make that distinction in common usage.