Diffusers are an effective way to fragrance a room with therapeutic smelling essential oils, creating the ideal ambience for home beauty treatments or just a fresh fragrance. Ideal for eliminating the smells of pets and cooking, essential oils offer the choice or herb and citrus aromas for those who find that a heady synthetic smell gives them a headache. You can also buy ready blended oils designed for use in a diffuser, which have more of a perfumed feel. Key to achieving a lasting room fragrance, is the kind of oil diffuser you use.

Candle

Most of the cheaper oil diffusers bought in stores have main chamber that contains a small candle. Above this is a bowl, which you put water and a few drops of essential oil into. Sometimes the bowl is a detachable dish and at other times a well is sculpted into a solid unit. When you light the candle it heats up the dish and the fragrance is releases into the room with the steam. As the essential oil warms, it evaporates, filling the air with a therapeutic aroma.

  • Advantages of candle oil diffusers are their availability, range of styles and affordability.
  • Disadvantages include safety concerns of having to tend a lit candle as well as making sure that the water does not spill.
  • Scented candles infused with essential oil, rather than those dipped in artificially fragranced wax, are also a good way to use aromatherapy oils with candles in the home.

Electric

Electric diffusers work on the same principle as candle ones. They contain a recess within which you put a little water and then a few drops of essential oil or just the oil alone, depending on the model. Electric diffuser plates warm really slowly, releasing aroma throughout the room. The gentle and even heat lessens the danger of the oil drying up and burning. Electric diffusers are usually made from high quality, smooth glazed ceramic and come in modern looking designs. They are more expensive but are economical to run and are built to last. Spa-brand Aveda are a good resource for aromatherapy products safely prepared for non-professional use.

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Recently electric diffusers that pump out a mixture of essential oil and steam have come on to the market. These use more water and can be switched to send out a stronger aroma. Japanese lifestyle brand Muji, have launched a smooth, white plastic steam diffuser for use with their essential oil blends. Not to be confused with nebulisers, used by professional aromatherapists, these are practical and easy for those who want to spread a stronger smell throughout their home without burning candles.

Terracotta

Terracotta diffusers are made from tablets of porous fired terracotta, often on a hanging pendant. A few drops of essential oil placed on these, sinks in and then fragrances a small area. They are ideal for cloakrooms or other similarly enclosed spaces but are unlikely to be able to fragrance a whole room. Variations of such diffusers are often found encased in decorative metal or even made into jewellery, such as the Aveda Aromacology bracelet. This type of personal diffuser makes a good gift.

Sticks

Essential oils evaporate and naturally lift in to the atmosphere, so you do not have to introduce heat in order to have an effective oil diffuser. Popular essential oil room fragrances consist of a bottle containing a ready-blended fragrance. In this stands a bunch of wooden sticks, which soak up the fragrance and release it slowly into the air. Offering a constant ambient fragrance, as well as a ready blended perfume, stick diffusers make a decorative gift. They are often available in ornate boxes and with opulent looking bottles.

Those interested in only using plant-based aroma in their homes need to check the ingredients of such products carefully. While often containing a blend of sumptuous perfume oils such as rose, vanilla or frankincense, the heady fragrance is often boosted with a few drops of synthetic fragrance.

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