So, I went to the store a few days ago to see if I could find an affordable, nice looking reed diffuser. Something nice and simple, not too big, and preferably naturally scented. We have sensitive respiratory systems in this house, JJ currently has a cold, and forking out for a gloriously perfumed asthma-attack-in-a-bottle wasn’t high on my priority list. So I looked, and I looked, and nope.
Did I forget to mention that even the artificially scented diffusers were overpriced?
I felt like a shopping failure, gave up and bought a box of cookies instead. After eating two cookies in the shopping center foyer and feeling much better about life, I popped in to the two dollar shop and grabbed a little round cut glass vase, determined to go home and make my own DIY fancy reed diffuser.
So, once I’d found my way home and eaten another cookie, I pulled out a few bits and pieces. Figuring that bamboo skewers for kebabs would be reasonable replacement reeds (they’re designed to be soaked before BBQing), and that the chicken bone crunching thingy on my kitchen shears would chop them to whatever arbitrary length I eyeballed at the time, I lay out all the things and prepared to unleash my super-creativity. Ahem.
Almost everything I could find online about making your own reed diffusers with essential oils suggested using a base oil (80%) to pure essential oils (20%). Some suggested adding alcohol, some did not. I chose not to – I only have about an inch left of really fancy spirits, and I wasn’t about to use that as an air freshener. I used sunflower oil as a base/carrier oil, but you could use any kind of low-scent oil, such as light olive oil, sweet-almond oil, or I’ve even seen people using baby oil (which I honestly wouldn’t recommend unless you really have nothing else).
EDIT: Although I loved using an oil only based recipe (for multiple reasons, including child safety), the scent did not last more than a week or so. If you don’t want to have to keep on topping up your essential oils and you don’t have to worry about little ones thinking your diffuser is full of some kind of delicious beverage, I’d suggest adding an alcohol base, as I will be in the future.
I also grabbed a handful of skewers and chopped them all down to the same size (I roughly measured them against the vase – I wanted about 3 inches of reed to poke out the top) with the chicken-bone-crunching part of my kitchen shears. I kept the pointy tip ends of the bamboo skewers and put them back in the cupboard – they’re perfect to use as long toothpicks!
I love spicy scents, and sweet orange essential oil has been proven to have a positive effect on your mood. I filled the little vase about 1/3 full of carrier oil and added 2 tsp of sweet orange essential oil and a few drops each of cinnamon and clove.
Once the oils were ready, I placed the skewers into the vase, allowing the oil to saturate the “reeds” for about an hour or so before turning them all around and submerging the dry ends, letting the spicy orange scent fill my lounge room.
Honestly, it smells so much better than the artificially scented reed diffusers at the store, is safe to breathe, better for the environment, and it cost me only $2, plus a few bits and pieces I already had on hand. I could get used to this crafting business!