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What’s the difference between aromatherapy and functional fragrance?


The difference between functional fragrance and aromatherapy is often misunderstood. While they both offer their own benefits, it’s important to know the key differences so you can make informed decisions about what scents best suit your needs. Read on for a breakdown of how these two different types of fragrances are made and used!Β 

Functional Fragrance vs. Aromatherapy: What’s the Difference?


Functional fragrances may also be viewed as a type of “value-added perfume,” combining pleasant scents that elicit positive feelings. A short description will be that “a functional fragrance is one with a scent with a purpose”.

There are many methods to develop a scent that works. One option is to combine natural and manufactured oils; this will give the product “a more complex scent.” Synthetic molecules may imitate natural ones or be improved versions that do not exist in nature. A second approach is to utilize essential oils as the primary scents in a perfume.

To create a functional fragrance, one must consider the buying habits of their customers. Customers have to be aware that the product will have a purpose other than smelling good. Companies can identify target markets based on demographics or psychographics. For instance, they might target young men who are worried about smelling after an intense workout. Or real estate pros utilize a chocolate cookie dough trick to elicit a feeling of “homely- ness” in the house they’re attempting to sell.

Functional fragrances can be either high-end perfumes or household cleaners. The purpose of the fragrance is closely tied to the product’s use. For instance, a functional fragrance in an air freshener would have a pleasant aroma but also make it seem like the room is cleaner.

Some examples of functional fragrances are an antibacterial fragrance in soap, a deodorizer fragrance in air freshener, and an energizing fragrance in shampoo. The interaction between customer and scent is partly psychological; the brain will associate the smell with the product’s function. For instance, people may think that a deodorizing product will actually make them cleaner and more refreshed.


Aromatherapy is a type of plant-derived medicine. Aromatherapy, according to its traditional definition, is the use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes. Aromatherapy also includes the massage method that uses the oils (with or without carrier oil). The use of aromatherapy has also spread to the beauty industry.

Aromatherapy uses essential oils but not all products called “aromatherapy” contain natural oils. Some companies will use technology to create synthetic scent molecules that smell the same as the actual molecule. The idea is that these molecules will stimulate a similar cerebral response as their natural counterparts. One of the most common aromatherapy products with synthetic essential oil is lavender. This is because its scent has a calming effect on people’s brains, whether it is in a natural form or a synthetic one.

The term β€œaromatherapy” was coined by French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse in the 1920s. He actually burned his arm and then applied a mixture of lavender oil and other natural oils as a healing balm. The area healed well, but he later noticed that the odor from the oil had a calming effect on his mind. Additionally, the lavender scent was already being used to help patients with serious burns relax.

In 1972, the term aromatherapy was trademarked by a man named David L. Simmons. His company, Aromatherapy Associates, focused on selling essential oils to treat serious ailments such as fatigue and depression. Today there are many people who do not believe that aromatherapy is a real branch of medicine. However, other practitioners strongly believe that smelling essential oils can relax people’s minds and improve their mood.

In the 1990s, aromatherapy products were distributed by several companies as a way to relieve stress through scented candles or pillows. In Europe, there are laws that control the use of certain organic molecules as fragrances. This means that many European companies will use aromatherapy instead of simply functional fragrances to market their products.

For the most part, the two terms are used interchangeably in marketing materials and product packaging. The important thing is that a customer knows what they are getting when they purchase a product with either “functional fragrance” or “aromatherapy”.

In short, both functional fragrances and aromatherapy can be used to improve a person’s mood or treat serious medical conditions. The difference is that “functional fragrance” is a broader term that includes synthetic materials as well as natural ones. However, many companies will simply use the term “aromatherapy” to describe a product’s scent.

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