I follow several soaping pages and am always tantalized by Fragrance Oils. Scents like Cranberry Fig, Hickory & Suede, Apple Sage, Cashmere & Midnight Waters. They sound amazing don't they? So a bit of research...
This information comes from Soap Queen.
If you prefer natural scents, essential oils are a great choice. They’re extracted from herbs, flowers, and plants, most often through steam distillation. That involves heating the components until a gas is released, then condensing the gas back into a liquid. It’s a gentle process that ensures the sensitive compounds don’t break down.
However, not everything in nature produces an essential oil. You won’t find strawberry or vanilla. That means there are fewer options to choose from. It’s also important to read the descriptions before use. Some essential oils fade in cold process soap, oils like cinnamon and clove can’t be used in leave-on products, and others like juniper berry can’t be used if you’re pregnant or if you have kidney problems.
Fragrance oils are synthetic. They’re created with a mix of aroma chemicals and natural ingredients like essential oils, extracts, and resins.
Just one fragrance oil can be made up of 40-80 materials. Luxury perfumes are often made with 5 times that number.
So, basically it comes down to personal preference as a soap maker.
For me, for now, I'll stick with Pure Essential Oils.