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What are body fragrance oils or perfume oils?


New member
Feb 27, 2011
Just began to get interested in the whole arena of fragrances in the last several days and this is my first posting here.

First question: What is the difference between perfumes per se (e.g. No. 5, New York, Timbuktu, et al.) and body fragrance oils or perfume oils? I found this term "body fragrance oils" when doing some searching for gardenia fragrances.

It seems to me, thus far in my research, that one cannot get a simple, pure gardenia scent in the traditional perfumes. Whereas, in these fragrance or perfume OILS one can. So there must be some fundamental difference here but I couldn't find an answer on google or wikipedia, when I searched those terms, i.e. fragrance, perfume, body OILS.

Thanks in advance for educating me.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
As others were saying, perfumed substances can be dissolved in different carriers: alcohol (as usual in spray perfumes), oil (some type of unscented oil), or solids like wax, fat, etc. So it's just a matter of what they're in. Perfumed substances can also be bought as they are (that is, not diluted in other substances), but only in a few places that sell to professional perfumers.

I am no expert in perfumery, but I think gardenia is one of the flowers that don't yield natural perfumed extract (I don't know if it doesn't yield at all, or only in minute quantities, or simply the extract smells nothing like the flower). All gardenias in commercial perfumes are reconstructions using other materials; usually unsuccessful. So I'd be wary of "gardenia oils". Most likely, they don't smell like the flower, whether they actually come from the flower or not.

Another flower known for not yielding any perfume is lily of the valley. Violets too yields little or no extract, so the ubiquitous lily of the valley or violet notes are actually synthetic substances that replicate the flower.



New member
Feb 27, 2011
Hi Weimar and Cacio, I appreciate your responses. I was already aware of what you both point out, namely that most perfumes are in an alcohol (& water) solution. And that many floral extracts often do not smell like the flower. Somehow these producers of "fragrance or perfume oils" have apparently extracted something from the flowers/fruits and then put them in oil instead of alcohol, and further, unlike perfumes, per se, they have not used any other "elements", making their products maybe promote as "natural". I was just curious about any other aspects, info, on what these purveyors are trying to do as a niche-alternate to traditional lperfumes.

Going back to my example, if I wanted a "true" gardenia fragrance in a product to wear, would I be better served by a traditional perfume or an oil? I noticed from my reading in Turin and Sanchez that many, if not most, gardenia perfumes, do not smell like gardenia, and I am speaking here of traditional, "French-style" perfumes in alcohol solutions. So I was wondering if I might not have better luck in finding a true gardenia fragrance in these things called "body fragrance oils"? But first I wanted to know what exactly they are!


Well-known member
Jan 21, 2006
Tending to agree that fragrance body oils might have less or no alcohol content, although both categories might be non-alcoholic or with minimal alcohol content if intended to be applied on skin directly


New member
Aug 16, 2020
Since the perfumed substance is dissolved into oil of natural origin (sunflower, jojoba, coconut etc.), it can be labeled as "natural". And then you see on the label that it says something like 90% natural origin and you think how it's good, while your "gardenia" is the 10% that is synthetic.

It's similar how you can buy essential oils and perfumed oils for an aroma lamp. While lavender, grapefruit, lemon etc. essential oils are natural, you can also buy perfumed oils like opium, strawberry, sunset etc. which are completely synthetic.
If something is in an oil form, it doesn't automatically mean it's natural.

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