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Candle Soylutions  :  Candle Fragrance Oils - A-Z  :  Fragrance - MORE INFO

Fragrance Oils for Candles & Personal Care Products

Essential Oils vs. Synthetic Based vs. Soy Based Fragrance Oils
Skin Safety and Phthalates

Essential oil is all natural, extracted directly from plants, flowers and fruits etc. If you are producing a candle specifically for use in aromatherapy you must use essential oils as only essential oil brings the benefits of aromatherapy. They are very expensive and may or may not put off much scent when used in a candle. Like all candle making, it takes some testing. Candle Soylutions does not carry essential oils but we do supply candle fragrance oils to a lot of candle makers who have given up on essential oils out of either frustration with wicking, quality control issues, a lack of scent throw and of course the cost of the essential oils makes the selling price of the candle very high.

Fragrance oil is manmade. This does not mean it is bad or unsafe. Many natural ingredients can be harmful, and many synthetic ingredients have a long and proven record of being perfectly safe. Most candles and bath and body products use fragrance oil. Products like shampoo, shower gel, hair conditioner, lotions, antiperspirants and many other products you already use on your body contain fragrance oil.

Fragrance Oil contains ingredients that make the scent you smell. Those ingredients may or may not be all natural, and may even contain essential oils. Those ingredients come in a "carrier oil" or base. That carrier oil can be either natural soybean oil (Soy Based) or a synthetic fragrance grade carrier oil (Synthetic Based).

The fragrance manufacturers do not disclose much information about their ingredients under the "proprietary formula" rules. Proprietary means they own the formula and don’t have to disclose the ingredients to make it harder for others to copy it. Most likely the synthetic carrier is fragrance grade DPG or DPGF. The Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are not much help because they only disclose ingredients in sufficient quantity to be considered "Hazardous" or toxic, so most don't offer any valuable info at all. I guess that is good, though. None of our fragrances are tested on animals!

The Soy Based fragrances would be considered more natural than the Synthetic Based Fragrances but each can contain ingredients that are not natural.  Both soy and synthetic based fragrance may even contain essential oils (some contain allot of essential oils), but both types of candle fragrances may also contain synthetic ingredients to create or enhance the scent we smell along with stabilizers that add shelf life and greater consistency to the product.  And when you make a candle you may also add dye that is not 100% natural. These are all reasons why we always suggest you be careful in your marketing of candles. It may be better to state “made with all-natural soy wax” than to state “100% natural”, the latter limits your choices and your market to a very small niche.

Are Synthetic or Soy Based Fragrances Stronger, and why do so many opinions differ on what is “Strong”?   Whether you consider a fragrance to be stronger or not will depend on your nose, the individual scent, and your candle making process more than the carrier oil that it’s in. Different people are sensitive to different scents. If you are less sensitive to certain scents, they will be less strong to you. The synthetic based fragrances are not always the stronger ones. We have numerous fragrances in soy base that are very strong, like our Vanilla, Pumpkin Pie, Baby Powder, Lavender, Hazelnut and Hazelnut Coffee, Cinnamon, Red Hot Cinnamon, Pecan Pie… all come to mind but there are many more. There are also scents that always seem to be mild, regardless which carrier oil they are in, like the melons and many herbal scents.

You can buy fragrance oil known to be really strong and get poor scent throw from your candle. How you make your candle has a great impact on scent throw. Some wax manufacturers recommend you add your fragrance at really high temperatures, like around 175-180 degrees. You'll notice at those temperatures allot of your scent is spread throughout the room you are working in. This is your scent leaving the very hot wax. Try adding at much lower temps. For example our 100% Soy Container wax will melt around 125-127 degrees. You'll probably bring it to 140-150 degrees to get it melted quickly, and that's a decent range to melt in Flutter Dye or Dye Chips but you'll want to let it cool to 125-140 degrees before adding the fragrance. This keeps your scent in the wax where you want it. Also, pouring your candles too hot will impact the scent. Our recommended pour temperature is 95-110 degrees for container wax. Pouring container wax around 130 degrees can "lock in" much of the hot throw scent. Be patient and let your candle cure for about 4 days before burning to check the hot throw. There is more information on How to Make Soy Candles

under Helpful Info/Instructions, at the top of any page.
This is part of the reason why there are so many opinions in the market about what scent is strong and not strong.

Many of our fragrance oils are skin safe for use in personal care products like soap, creams, lotions, etc. "Not Skin Safe" means just use it for candles, tarts, melts, air fresheners and incense only.
We have Fragrance Oils in both Synthetic Based, and Soy Based that are Skin Safe. The carrier oil does not determine if it’s skin safe...it's the ingredients that create the scent you smell.

California Propositin 65. All our Fragrance Oils meet CA Prop 65 standards. If you are adding them to bath and body products, just make sure you purchase Skin Safe fragrance oils. To the best of our knowledge, none of our fragrance manufactures test on animals.

Nitro Musks. Nitro Musks are one type of man-made substitute for the real musk oil which can only be taken from the small Asian Musk Deer, Tokapi Deer or Chinese Wild Deer which is an endangered species that originates deep in the Himalayan mountains and whose extract is worth it's weight in gold, which is why they are still poached to this day. Nitro musks are innexpensive to make and found as additives in many cleaning agents, detergents, soaps and other odor improving cosmetics. To our knowledge none of our manufactures use Nitro Musks in our fragrances.

Phthalates. Phthalate has been used in fragrances for years. As you are probably aware, there are good and bad Phthalates. We do not have any of the bad ones. None of our fragrances contain Dibutyl Phthalate. The trace elements of the Phthalates that are present in some of our fragrances are the same ones used in aspirin and cosmetic products. Phthalates is a broad term to describe a large class of compounds of different chemical structures... some of which have been found to be not safe to use in consumer products. The Phthalates that are unsafe are currently being removed from consumer products. Our fragrances do not use any of these materials. The one phthalate that fragrance manufactures are still using is safe and has been tested extensively with results published in peer reviewed journals, called Diethyl Phthalate (DEP). However, because it is a phthalate, it has been grouped with the others...guilty by association. While our oils do NOT contain Dibutyl Phthalates, some may contain Diethyl Phthalate (DEP). There are many examples of using this type of broad generalization. Some mushrooms are deadly or unsafe to eat yet other mushrooms are very good and safe to eat and are good for you. There are berries that are delicious and super healthy for us to eat, and there are berries that will kill you if you eat them. The same goes for Phthalates. There are some that are "bad"; Dibutyl Phthalate. And then there are those that are harmless and beneficial to us every day life in so many ways; Diethyl Phthalate (DEP).

Our fragrances comply with the International Fragrance Associations' safety and purity standards (www.ifraorg.org) and all applicable international, federal, state, and local regulations. Some of the fragrance compounds our manufacturers use contain trace amounts of Phthalates. The Phthalates that are used in our fragrance compounds have established a strong safety profile over the last 50 years in which they have been in use. There are different types of Phthalates. The EU Cosmetics Directive restricts the use in cosmetics products of chemicals that are classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction and the Phthalates that are in our fragrance compounds are not on the restricted list.

As such, we believe that it is important for us and our fragrance manufactures to follow the recommendations of IFRA (International Fragrance Association) and RIFM (Research Institute of Fragrance Materials). Our Fragrance Suppliers are members of IFRA/RIFM, and take seriously our responsibility as a Home Fragrance/consumer product seller to follow IFRA/RIFM safety guidelines.

UPDATE: We are exposed to many things every day. But phthalates do not build up in the body. Phthalates begin to break down within minutes and are quickly metabolized.
UPDATE: Below you will find IFRA's statement on Diethyl Phthalate (DEP) as well as a Q&A produced by American Chemistry Council. We encourage you to read on to learn more about Phthalates. And know that Candle Soylutions will only provide the highest quality fragrances oils free from toxins and untested ingredients!
UPDATE: If you: wear shoes, brush your teeth, have bottles of shampoo or lotion in your house, drive a car, use a mobile phone, tablet, or computer, drink or eat anything packaged in plastic, and countless other examples - you have been using Diethyl Phthalate (DEP). It is nearly impossible to avoid.
UPDATE: If you drink liquids or eat food packaged in glass containers to avoid plastics, know that the food very likely passed through plastic hoses or tubes during the manufacturing and packaging process that contain Diethyl Phthalate (DEP).


IFRA Position Statement on Diethyl Phthalate (DEP)

The Fragrance Industry reaffirms its support of the use of DEP in fragrances as safe for the consumer and the environment.

Recent misleading reports on the use of phthalates as fragrance ingredients have raised questions regarding their safety in consumer products. Not all phthalates have safety concerns. Diethyl phthalate (DEP), as used in fragrances, is safe for human health and the environment. The fragrance industry would like to make clear that consumers can use fragranced products containing DEP with confidence.

"Phthalates" is a broad term that refers to a wide variety of compounds of differing chemical structure. General, undifferentiating statements about "phthalate toxicity" have created confusion about potential safety concerns that are in fact only associated with specific materials within this group. Safety concerns have been raised most recently about Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) and Diethyl Hexyl Phthalate (DEHP). However, neither DBP nor DEHP is permitted for use in cosmetic products in Europe. On a global basis they have never been important as fragrance ingredients and today their use in fragrances is virtually nil.

As in so many other examples, broad generalizations of hazard or risk can be misleading and lead to unfounded public concern. For example, nobody would consider all berries or mushrooms to be unsafe, though specific types have a known toxicity at certain levels.

DEP, which continues to be used in fragrance applications, does not have the safety concerns raised for DBP or DEHP. DEP was recently re-examined by authorities and expert scientific groups both in the U.S. and Europe. The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (1), as well as the U.S. Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel (2) have reaffirmed that DEP is safe for use in cosmetic products. Moreover, DEP is present in consumer products at extremely low levels.

While some reports continue to raise questions about "phthalates" in general, it is important to define the specific chemicals of concern, as well as the scientific legitimacy of the associated data. The scientific validity of some highlighted results remains very much in question. For example, recent studies reporting the potential association of "phthalates" with male reproductive biomarkers are inconsistent (3)(4). Moreover, since DEP does not demonstrate a potential for adverse reproductive effects, it is inaccurate to imply that there are concerns similar to those of other phthalates, such as DBP or DEHP. DEP presents no safety concern from use in fragrances (5).

The safety of fragrance ingredients is a top priority for the industry. New scientific data is constantly evaluated to ensure that the highest standards are applied to the creation of fragrance. The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM, http://www.rifm.org ) provides ongoing evaluation of all new materials with an independent assessment made by RIFM’s Expert Panel (REXPAN). REXPAN is composed of internationally renowned scientific experts who are independent from the fragrance industry.

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA, http://www.ifraorg.org ) continues to set strict self-imposed safety standards for the use of fragrance ingredients, as advised by RIFM. IFRA Member companies, which include all major suppliers of fragrance, must adhere to the IFRA Code of Practice and agree to product fragrances to meet these high standards of safety.

1 Scientific Committee on Cosmetics & Non-Food Products SCCNFP/0411/01, 2002
2 Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), 2004, Annual Review of Cosmetic Ingredient Safety Assessment – 2002/2003, p 37-47, Washington DC: CIR
3 Swan et al., (2005) Environ. Health Perspectives, doi 10.1289/ehp 8100
4 Jonsson et al., 2005, Epidemiology 16(4); 487-93
5 Api A.M. (2001) Food Chem. Toxicol. 39:97-108
6 D.R. Bickers et al., The safety assessment of fragrance materials, (2003) Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 37:218-273

Questions & Answers about Phthalates Source: American Chemistry Council

The U.S. phthalates industry, represented by the Phthalate Esters Panel of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), is dedicated to the continued safe use of phthalates, a family of compounds primarily used to soften vinyl. Phthalates provide many product and consumer benefits (public health, performance, durability and function) and are used in many important applications for these reasons, from recreational and safety equipment to building and construction materials. With more than 50 years of use, phthalates are among the most thoroughly studied families of compounds in the world and have been reviewed by multiple regulatory bodies in the United States and Europe.

Q. What are phthalates?
Phthalates are a family of compounds whose primary use is as a vinyl softener. They are colorless, oily liquids with little or no odor and low volatility. Phthalates provide many product and consumer benefits - public health, performance, durability and function—and are used in many important applications for these reasons, from recreational and safety equipment to building and construction materials.

Q. What are phthalates used for?
Phthalates are primarily used as plasticizers to make vinyl soft and flexible, without sacrificing durability. Flexible vinyl is used for many consumer products, from recreation equipment to flooring to medical devices. For example, phthalates are an important ingredient in vinyl blood bags and IV tubing used to help save lives. Other phthalates are used in cosmetics and personal care products to prevent nail polish from chipping or to make fragrances last long.

Q. What is known about the safety of phthalates?
Phthalates are one of the most thoroughly tested families of compounds in use today and have been extensively reviewed by multiple regulatory agencies in the United States and abroad. An immense amount of information on the safety profiles of various phthalates is available to the public - click here.

Q. Why have phthalates been banned from personal care products in Europe?
This ban is not due to the finding of any human health effects. The European Cosmetics Directive states that any substance known or strongly suspected to have certain health effects in laboratory animals—even if this occurs only at extremely high doses—is assumed to present similar risks to humans, and may not be used in cosmetics. The directive is not based on any evidence that there is actual risk to humans. In fact, an European Union (EU) safety review stated that there is "no concern for consumers" who use nail polish containing the phthalate DBP.

Q. Why did the EU restrict the use of phthalates in toys?
The European legislature voted to pass the restriction, even though the draft conclusion of an exhaustive safety review of the principal phthalate used in toys stated it was "unlikely to pose a risk" even for newborns. In other words, the decision to restrict phthalates was political and not based on the science.

Q. Are phthalates restricted in the United States?
In August 2008, President Bush signed into law the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which included provisions to restrict six phthalates in toys and children’s products. Of the six phthalates restricted by the CPSIA, three were put under interim restrictions until a final rule is issued based on a scientific review by a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) convened by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). A previous CHAP review found in 2002 that the principal phthalate used in toys presented "no demonstrated health risk" to children.

Q. Shouldn’t the effects of phthalates be studied as a whole, because various phthalates can act in the same ways on organisms?
Even if you add up the effects of the different phthalates that might be expected to act in the same way on organisms, data from the U.S. CDC tells us that exposure is still below federal safety levels.

Q. We are exposed to phthalates every day, in many ways. Doesn’t that add up to trouble?
We are exposed to many things every day. But phthalates do not build up in the body. Phthalates begin to break down within minutes and are quickly metabolized.

Q. Isn’t it true that phthalates cause health problems in laboratory animals?
Some—not all—phthalates interfere with the development of the reproductive systems of male rodents when administered in huge doses—doses far larger than CDC data reports of humans experiencing. Rodent effects are not necessarily relevant to humans.

Q. Is there any evidence that phthalates don’t affect humans?
Tests on male marmosets, which are primates, concluded that even huge doses administered from weaning until sexual maturity had no effect on their reproductive organs. Other studies indicated that humans do not absorb phthalates as readily as rodents do. Humans break them down and excrete them much more readily than rodents do. This evidence suggests that rodent effects may not apply to humans.

Q. Haven’t phthalates been linked to human sexual development?
A few studies have attempted to link phthalates to human reproductive effects. But, these studies often have severe limitations and flaws in the study designs, such as small sample sizes, uncontrolled variables or poor statistical methodology. Therefore, conclusions they draw regarding human health effects are often inconsistent from study to study or contradict the animal data. None of these studies established a causal link between phthalates exposure and reproductive health effects. Furthermore, the National Institutes of Health, through its National Toxicology Program, reviewed multiple studies claiming to show human effects and, in late 2006, called them "insufficient" to warrant drawing any conclusions.

Q. Does that include the "Swan" study?
The "Swan" study, which garnered much media attention, was conducted by Dr. Shana Swan, but failed to establish a causal link between changes in the reproductive development of infants and exposure of their mothers to a combination of four phthalates. Dr. Rebecca Goldin, a mathematician at Statistical Assessment Services (STATS), questioned the credibility of this study: "How much data fiddling was required to find a result?" Others have criticized the study’s methodology, its clinical data, and even its biological plausibility.

Q. Aren’t phthalates endocrine disruptors?
In lab tests with rodents, phthalates do not block the action of male or female hormones, or mimic their behavior.

Q. Do phthalates cause cancer?
Phthalates are not a known carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, stated that one phthalate ester in particular—DEHP—is "not classifiable" as a human carcinogen. The basis for that decision is ample evidence that the biological process leading to cancer in rodents does not occur in humans. The IARC has also looked into BBP and found available studies "inadequate to evaluate the carcinogenicity of butyl benzyl phthalate to mice and rats." In 1982, the National Toxicology Program (NTP), which classifies substances according to their tendency to be cancer causing in animals, placed DEHP in its second category, as a compound "reasonably anticipated" to be carcinogenic to humans. (The top category is "known carcinogen.") However, extensive research over the years has questioned this assumption. In an opinion presented by the EU Scientific Committee for Health and Environmental Risks in October 2008, the Committee stated that at the DEHP doses observed in humans, DEHP exposure did not represent a relevant cancer risk to humans.

Q. Haven’t phthalates been linked to asthma?
Some claims to that effect have been made, but laboratory studies have shown that phthalates do not trigger immune responses in rodents, and do not intensify existing asthma attacks. Tests for phthalates presence in house dust have been shown to be very low.

Q: Is there any scientific evidence linking phthalates to autism? <br/ >A: No. There are no studies that have demonstrated a causal link between phthalates and autism. One study by Swedish and U.S. researchers looked at the association between indoor environmental factors and autism and found the results "far from conclusive." Contrary to some news reports connecting phthalates to the disorder, the study did not track, measure or record any exposure to phthalates. The authors cautioned their conclusions were "puzzling, even baffling, and not readily explicable at this time" and that "further and more extensive exploration" is needed.


Chemical Concerns. We used to recommend to anyone with concerns about chemicals to visit a page called Scorecard.org/chemical-profiles, but it's no longer online. You could type in a compound name and get all kinds of interesting and sometimes scary information about it. When you typed in "water" it was listed as a "Suspected" Gastrointestinal or Liver Toxicant and Neurotoxicant. I don’t mean to make light of your concerns, I only use this example to temper your concern because there is a lot of information out there and it is not all helpful or even realistic. I still drink water and suspect that you do too.

ALL OF OUR FRAGRANCE OILS ARE SOLD UN-CUT, UNDILUTED, EXACTLY HOW THEY CAME TO US FROM THE MANUFACTURER. They are all packaged BY WEIGHT (on a scale), not by liquid volume! That is why you see sizes like 1/2 lb or 1 lb instead of 8 oz or 16 oz. Different scents will have a different specific gravity. So, you may get a bottle of heavier fragrances that the bottle is just 3/4 full (especially Vanilla), and you may receive some of the citrus fragrances and the bottle is filled all of the way to the top because they tend to be lighter weight (more volume), but on the scale, a pound is a pound regardless of what level the fragrance comes to.

Fragrance Oil Returns: The only way you can be assured of receiving uncut, unadulterated fragrance oils from us is if we don't accept them in return. So fragrance oils are not returnable, not for any reason, so we suggest you buy small sizes to try them out before you buy in large quantities at wholesale prices. Remember also, just because you don't care for a scent doesn't mean others won't like it. So if you're making candles to sell, try lots of different scents in different categories to give people several choices, even if they're not all your favorites. Please visit our Policies page for more info.

Fragrance "Types". Some Candle Soylutions fragrance oils attempt to imitate fragrances sold by major perfume, candle, cosmetics and personal care product companies. We call these “Types” or “by…”. Although our fragrances may be very similar to the original name brand versions when ours were created, they are not identical and can vary as the major brands change or update their scents. Our fragrance oils that have been named as “Types” or “by…” simply refers to the major brand name for comparison purposes only. Candle Soylutions is not affiliated in any way with the Major Brand products. We do not sell, nor have we ever sold, any merchandise produced by these brands, and none of our products are sponsored, licensed, or endorsed by them. All trademarked names and service marks remain the exclusive property of their respective owners.

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