Essential oils are pure liquids containing aroma compounds that are removed from the seeds, flowers, leaves, roots, and stems or bark of plants through methods such as distillation, expression, or extraction. These oils carry the distinctive essence, or scent, of the plant it was made from and are frequently used in perfumes, flavorings, and medicines.
Unfortunately, some essential oils are costly (a boisterous howdy to $250-per-ounce Sandalwood essential oil here!) and have become an environmental issue (for example, Sandalwood, again, is endangered due to over-harvesting). Furthermore, essential oils are not available for every scent that a customer has requested or that we'd like to use. There are many scents found in nature that come from things that don't produce usable essential oils. For example, there is no such thing as a "raspberry essential oil" or a "lilac essential oil," and if anyone tells you otherwise, you should look at them with your best side-eye. However, the aroma compounds from raspberries and lilacs, for example, can be created artificially and used to create fragrance oils. The aromatic ingredients in fragrance oils are generally synthetic, but may also contain natural essential oils.
Synthetic fragrances do not need to be avoided out of a fear of safety. Fragrance oils are no less "safe" than essential oils. Both fragrance oils and essential oils have potential to cause sensitivities, depending on the oil, the person using the product containing the oils, and the amount of oils in the product.
Thus, we have made the informed decision to occasionally use fragrance oils. We use these artificial aroma compounds only when no essential oil is available and only in our season bar soap collections. Be assured that whenever we use a fragrance oil, rather than an essential oil, in a product, it is listed in the product description.