January 23, 2009 bypar Dot and Lil
This will be part of an ongoing series that discusses our ingredients and why we choose to use them. Our goal is to educate while we cleanse and hydrate! Just kidding, but we do think it's important to understand what we use on our bodies.
As I mentioned in my previous post on floral waters, essential oils are distilled, expressed or extracted from plants. They're very concentrated, so they shouldn't be used on your skin without being diluted. Dot & Lil uses them to scent some of our soap, all of our bath salts and our foot soak.
Not everything can be made into essential oil. Lily of the valley is a delicate flower and would be difficult to distill or express. Not only that, but they're toxic! So while they smell great, they're not a good candidate for essential oil. That's why synthetic fragrance oils exist. Fragrance oils are made from a mixture of "natural" and lab created ingredients. They help us out where the essential oils would be impossible, too expensive or bad for us. Other things, like raspberries and most fruit, don't have the volatile aroma compounds in them that can be extracted to create essential oils.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation on this subject. When you see something like "Raspberry Chocolate Fudge" scented room spray, you can be positive that that's a fragrance oil....can you picture fudge being distilled to obtain it's aroma compounds?
Why deprive ourselves of yummy scents like Oatmeal, Milk & Honey soap? Dot & Lil uses both essential oils and fragrance oils. They are always clearly distinguished in our ingredient listings so that you know what's what. If ever you're unclear on which products use essential oils, just ask! We will be happy to point you towards what you're looking for.
We use essential oils that are manufactured in Quebec. We get our fragrance oils from a variety of suppliers. It can be very hard to find fragrance oils locally as most of them are sold in the U.S. or outside of Quebec. It has been the only thing we continue to order from outside of Montreal. Thankfully, we are awaiting news on a Montreal supplier of fragrance oils! Just another step in our endless pursuit of all things local that help us keep that carbon footprint manageable.