Home made, chemical-free “reed diffuser”

I was quickly browsing Pinterest the other day – for a couple of hours, like you do – when I remembered I needed to look up how to make a reed diffuser that has no nasties in it – these days I have reactions to a lot of chemicals, even just catching a whiff of something can make me react badly (okay, to be completely blunt, walking past someone in the supermarket who appears to have bathed in their chosen perfume will actually cause my stomach to involuntarily propel some of its contents up into the back of my mouth. It’s not fun, and yes, I would like to slap people who inflict their perfumes on within a 3 mile radius.)

But that said, it is always nice to live in a place that smells nice, it’s just that when you have a sensitivity to chemicals, you have to go about things in a different way.

So that in mind, I threw some search terms into the box, and went hunting. I found this page: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/homemade-reed-diffusers-147411 and decided that someone who says “wanted to avoid petroleum-based products” is thinking along the same lines as me, and I would use this as a starting point.

This is what mine looks like:

I used:

An old coconut oil bottle that I had cleaned out and removed the screw band that the metal tops leave behind
Glass paints and a stippling brush, because I wanted something a little more fancy than a clear glass bottle.
Some skewers with the points cut off,
Some essential oils (I’ll list them below)
Carrier oil – sweet almond
Gin – okay, I know it’s supposed to be vodka, but I don’t get out to the shops often, and it’s what I had on hand.

I had asked whether gin would be okay on the blog entry I found, but patience is not a virtue of mine when I am itching to get on with a new craft, especially one that has an immediate use, and so I just leapt in and tried it.

Once the paint was dry (Plaid glass paints, a little green, denim blue, gold and clear mixed together, three layers thereof to get the opacity I wanted), I got to mixing the smelly part.

Now here’s another thing about not getting out much – you have to make do with what you have – I had a rather strange assortment of oils. I found I had Cedarwood, Orange, Clove (yes, for toothache), Eucalyptus and Tea tree (yes, for bad skin, even at my age, so you won’t see me doing a how to on YouTube any time soon).

I noticed that after a while the clove oil left a nice almost flowery smell in the bathroom where the bottle lives, so I figure it can’t hurt to add some of that. And I know that when you mix two scents together, you can often get another where you can’t place either, because it’s a whole new smell altogether. Well that was the aim.

So I mixed:

24 drops Cedarwood
36 Orange
24 Clove
18 Eucalyptus
18 Tea Tree

I then topped it up with roughly 50ml of almond oil, and 80ml of the gin. My thinking is that the layer of oil will prevent the alcohol from evaporating too quickly.

Now I am not known for my luck, so wouldn’t you know it, today the local farmers have decided to muck spread all the fields around here, and the smell of dung is permeating the house, even with all the windows closed. So it may be a day or three before I can tell whether this is working as it should or not, or actually “pleasant” or not.

Nevertheless, I left the “reeds” (most likely bamboo, but it doesn’t say on the pack) in the one way up for a good hour, and then flipped them upside down. I did read that bamboo isn’t the most absorbent and won’t diffuse anywhere near as well as actual reed, but going down to the riverside to gather my own is something that will have to happen another day. Or another life – I would probably fall in. Or gather the “wrong type”.

So anyways, that’s my non-chemical reed diffuser made with stuff I had around the house. It doesn’t look terrible, it doesn’t smell incredibly bad, and I haven’t drawn blood making it, which is all too common an occurrence, so all in all, I would say a fairly successful craft experience. 🙂

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