What is a Reed Diffuser?

No one wants to walk into their home to be greeted with an unpleasant odor. Whether it’s the dog, dirty laundry, or just a musty day out, smells in your home can linger for a long time. Even if your home doesn’t necessarily smell unpleasant, subtle odors can combine in an unpleasant way to become less than inviting. Scented candles, while useful, can only be used intermittently during the day. Reed diffusers, on the other hand, offer long-lasting fragrance that can fill an entire room and last for months.

A beautiful reed diffuser filled with the right fragrance oil can transform the ambiance in your home, welcome your guests with a warm fragrance, and keep your bathroom fresh. You can even use a reed diffuser in a closet or basement to keep it smelling nice without having to constantly clean it or air it out.

Reed diffusers are easy to use, and they can add an air of luxury to your home décor. Read on to learn the history of reed diffusers and how to use them in your home.

The History of Reed Diffusers

The history of reed diffusers may only date back a few centuries, but the history of aromatherapy goes much deeper. Ancient Egyptians used plant resins and natural oils during the mummification process and incense of juniper, frankincense and myrrh have been found in the tombs of great Pharaohs. Herbal medicine (where essential oils were born) played a key role in ancient China and Ayurveda. In fact, the most famous Greek physician, Hippocrates, recommended a daily massage with aromatic herbs for general good health.

During the Medieval period, Persian physician and philosopher Avicenna discovered the distillation process which is now widely used to extract essential oils from plants and herbs. Over the centuries, essential oils became an integral part of natural medicine, but the term aromatherapy wasn’t coined until 1928. But even before then, reed diffusers were used throughout Europe to fragrance homes. While there are no formal records, the first reed diffuser was likely an empty bottle filled with scented oil and rattan sticks.

How Do Reed Diffusers Work?

A reed diffuser consists of a vessel containing fragrance oil into which reeds are inserted. Natural reeds contain tiny capillaries that run its length. They absorb the fragrance oil like tiny straws, moving it up the length of the reed to the top where it evaporates and disperses the fragrance into the air. Adding more reeds changes the intensity of the fragrance and flipping the reeds once a week ensures a steady supply of fragrance. With proper use, fragrance oil lasts about 1 month per ounce, though this may vary depending on the number of reeds and the type of oil used.

Tips for Using a Reed Diffuser Properly

Reed diffusers are simple to use, but there are a few tricks that can help you make the best use of them in your space. Keep in mind that a reed diffuser relies on air circulation to disperse the scent, so know that they’ll work best in a high traffic area. Placing a reed diffuser in your entryway ensures that you’ll enjoy the fragrance as soon as you walk in the door – so will your guests. Reed diffusers also work well in bathrooms and hallways where people will be moving around.

Think about how many reeds you want to use depending on the room as well. For larger spaces like entry halls and living rooms, 6 to 8 reeds may be required to disperse the scent. In smaller spaces like bathrooms and guest rooms, however, you may only need 3 or 4 reeds. If you’re not sure, start with a smaller number of reeds and add more to strengthen the fragrance as you see fit.

Here are some additional tips for getting the most from your reed diffusers:

  • Place your reed diffuser on a coaster or decorative plate to collect oil drips so they don’t damage the surface underneath.
  • Choose the right size reed diffuser for the area you’re using it in – a large diffuser in a small space may be overpowering unless you reduce the number of reeds. LAFCO’s smaller, 6oz reed diffusers are the perfect size for bathrooms and other small rooms in your home.
  • Use your reed diffuser as part of your home décor – LAFCO reed diffusers are made in artfully crafted glass bottles that are meant to be displayed and used continuously.
  • Flip your reeds before you leave for the weekend or an extended stay, so you’ll be welcomed home with a pleasant fragrance instead of a stale, stuffy smell.
  • Once your fragrance oil has been depleted, clean out the vessel with soap and water then let it fully dry before you refill it and add new reeds.
  • Avoid refilling the fragrance oil – let it empty completely before cleaning and refilling to ensure the optimal intensity of fragrance.

Though reed diffusers offer long-lasting fragrance, they don’t last forever. Flipping the reeds can increase the intensity of the fragrance but keep in mind that flipping them too often may cause the fragrance oil to evaporate more quickly. You’ll get up to a year out of our 15oz reed diffuser, but after that the reeds will become fully saturated and won’t emit as much fragrance.

Choosing the Best Fragrance

The beauty of reed diffusers is that you can use a wide variety of fragrances – all you need is a little fragrance oil and the scent can last for months. Because there is such variety, however, it can be difficult to choose the right fragrance for your home.

Start by thinking about where you want to use the reed diffuser and the kind of ambiance you want to create. For a bathroom, a fresh, clean scent is the perfect choice whereas a guest room might benefit from something floral and crisp. A warm, welcoming scent is ideal for family living space and a relaxing or tranquil scent is great for the bedroom.

Here are some of the most popular LAFCO fragrances for reed diffusers:

  • Fresh Cut Gardenia – Invite your guests to rest in a bed of fresh flowers with this blossoming fragrance perfect for the guest room. A fresh burst of gardenia, orange blossom, and ylang ylang fades to subtle elements of pineapple and cedar with this gentle fragrance.
  • Sea & Dune – Keep your bathroom smelling as fresh as the ocean breeze with this gentle fragrance. You’ll first notice the scent of watery blue lotus and beach grass that settle into calming undertones of amber sand and just a hint of ginger.
  • Feu de Bois – Turn your living room into an inviting sanctuary for family and guests with this cozy scent. Smoke frankincense is layered over soothing notes of leather, sandalwood, and pine. Kick off your shoes, sit back, and relax in the lap of this luxurious fragrance.
  • Chamomile Lavender – Bring the warm, calming scent of chamomile with a hint of floral lavender into your bedroom. This fragrance is accented by hints of crisp bergamot with a mild undertone of sage, eucalyptus, and smoky patchouli.
  • White Grapefruit – Perfect for the kitchen, this invigorating fragrance brings to mind the image of an open-air cabana and a bowl mounded with fresh fruit. Zesty grapefruit takes the lead, followed by pineapple and orange peel with a hint of gardenia and earthy green apple wood.

If you’re not sure what fragrance works best for your space, the LAFCO fragrance finder can help you find the right one. All you need is an idea of what kind of feeling or ambience you want to create and you’ll be paired with the perfect fragrance.

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