Oil Lamp or Fragrance Lamp: What's the Difference?

Home Fragrance Helpers

Here at Ashleigh & Burwood we sometimes see confusion between the technical terms 'Fragrance Lamps' and 'Oil Lamps'.

This similarity of terminology can see even the more experienced home fragrance aficionado potentially waste large amounts of time searching for the wrong type of product and on some extreme occasions sees unfortunate souls purchasing the wrong gift item. And of course, as anyone who has fallen foul of these closely related keywords will tell you, these wonderful gifts are not compatible with each other!

We don't want to see you experience that ultimate dissappointment so we have created this jargon-busting page to try and help.

Home Fragrance Helpers

So what is an Oil Lamp?

An oil lamp is an object used to produce light continuously for a period of time using an oil-based fuel source.

So by that definition Oil Lamps are not home fragrance related at all! Sure, Oil Lamps are known for creating a certain ambience, but hardly what you are looking for if you would like to add that extra level of atmosphere to your home by having the calming scent of some freshly cleaned linen permiating throughout your home. Matters seem to be compounded further by so called 'experts' frequently referring to the wonderful smell of their Oil Lamp and its Oils... perhaps they are referring to their Oil Burners and Fragrance Oil. Thanks for the clarity Experts!

and so a Fragrance Lamp must be...

A fragrance lamp, ...is a lamp that disperses scented oil using a heated stone attached to a cotton wick.

OK, so at least we are talking fragrance now. It's a good start, but as you probably spotted, even the font of knowledge that is Wikipedia is referring to a fragrance lamp's fuel as 'oil'. Whilst it is strictly true that the fragrance element of the fragrance lamp's fuel is an oil, the base of the fuel (approximately 90%) is isoproyl alcohol.

and so a Fragrance Lamp must be...

Perhaps we are splitting hairs here, but if we were to try and rent a motor bike (for example) for a weekend and when we came to collect it we were presented with a bicyle with a small motor attached to it, we would be... well confused to be honest. Dissappointment would certainly be there as well. It's not what we expected or wanted and of course, if we lost our deposit we would be out of pocket too!

One could also argue that Fragrance Lamps shouldn't even be called lamps, after all they weren't designed for producing light as the Oil Lamps were. Historical fallacies aside, perhaps we should start calling Fragrance Lamps 'Scented-Alcohol-based-Dispersing-Containers'. Hasn't quite got the same ring to it, has it?

Forest from the trees

Let's clarify and recap. If we are talking 'home fragrance' we would like beautiful aromas to surround and refresh us; we definitely don't want an Oil Lamp then.

We perhaps want an Oil Burner with it's associated Fragrance Oil and why not? Oil Burners are great and can range from intricate things of beauty to simply styled modern objects, but they require an open flame (pretty much) throughout their use and definitely don't offer the odour destroying capabilities that Fragrance Lamps do.

We think we know what you want:

If you're still with us here then we're pretty confident you want / are talking about Fragrance Lamps.