Aromatherapy & the Power of Smell

The pure essential oils produced from plants and trees each have a distinctive aroma and set of properties. These properties are used by Aromatherapists to help people manage their emotions and medical problems. There are many claims and counter claims about the effectiveness of these beautiful pure essential oils which have been used for centuries. Regardless of your belief in these properties what is not disputable is the individual aroma of each one.

The most well known method of taking advantage of the wonderful aroma of these oils is by using an oil burner. Oil Burners are usually an ornate design with an area to place a tea light candle over which will be a well in which to pour an essential oil or blend. A blend is a mix of essential oils that together create a different aroma. A popular one is nutmeg and cinnamon at Christmas time. You can also use fragrance oils which are chemically created smells or simmering granules which are fragrance oils in granular form that melt slowly over the heat giving off their aroma. You can even use some perfume and if you want to make it last longer add some water. The main problem with an oil burner is a bare light on the candle which cannot be left alone.

A later generation of oil burners are electric and these present a safer option with a very low electricity wattage. These can be left switched on and even when the oil dries up there is no problem. These units can be left on the floor behind furniture or just about anywhere. The styling is restricted so they are not decorative. The essential oils are degraded by direct contact to heat so aromatherapy purists would not choose to use this type of unit.

In recent years ultrasonic diffusers have become very popular and are very good. They are multi purpose diffusers. There are a number of unique designs with more coming onto the market all the time. These units have safety features and are easy to use and keep clean. For aromatherapy practitioners they offer the opportunity to suspend essential oils in water to diffuse the maximum aroma and properties. These units can be a diffuser, night light, humidifier, and ioniser offering more versatility. Shop around for the best price but beware of the quality and safety issues of cheap units.

There are also diffusers that can plug into your car and your laptop computer. These usually have a small pad that you add oils onto. Be careful of sleep blends when driving.

There is a simple, cost effective way of diffusing essential oils and fragrance oils and that is using reeds. Reed Diffusers are popular with many designs to fit in with your décor. Dried reeds are placed in scented liquid in a decorative container and the liquid is absorbed by the reeds giving off a gentle aroma in your room.

If you find aromas that you like it could be fun to research them and maybe experiment with different essential oils. For example lavender, peppermint or rosewood are said to alleviate a headache and lavender is quite well known for making you feel more restful. Bergamot, clary sage, mellisa or vetivert are said to lift depression. For a sick room; tea tree will kill bacteria in the air, eucalyptus will help with clearing a blocked nose and tight chest and lemon will refresh the air. Citronella is always a good oil to keep moths at bay and insects from a BBQ.

Many of the synthetic fragrance oils and simmering granules come in interesting smells such as toffee apple, cherry, vanilla, fresh linen and many more. So, whether you want to try the properties that essential oils offer or just want a beautiful aroma in your home there are many options to suit all environments and tastes.

In all cases be aware of the effects of pure essential oils before use and use sparingly if pregnant, not at all up to 4 months. Plus we all have different sensitivities to smell so test first.

Make Your Own Reed Diffuser

Diffuser reeds can be used to scent a small area quite effectively. They are easy to make and a great way of using up a beautiful container that you did not want to throw away plus unwanted scent, fragrance oils or essential oils. They work well to diffuse the aroma throughout a small room. Plus they make a great gift.

You will need:
A container to hold the oils and reeds. This is best glass or ceramic if essential oils are used but any water tight and pretty container will do. About 10 diffuser reeds either cut in the wild and dried or purchased from the high street or aromatherapy supplier. Rattan reeds from a hobby shop will do. 5-10ml of essential oil, fragrance oil or perfume. Approximately 20 ml of Jojoba oil or olive oil which is a thicker oil to slow the rate of diffusion. Consider the size of your container when deciding on the volume of liquid that will be effective
Put the oils in the container and mix well then slowly add the reeds one at a time to allow them to absorb liquid rather than place in together and cause the liquid to overflow.
Place your assembled diffuser in your desired location preferably where it is not likely to be accidentally knocked over. After about an hour, the oil will begin to saturate the reeds and will diffuse into the surrounding room. Allow 24-48 hours for the maximum effect. Refill the oil in the diffuser as desired or turn the reeds to invigorate the aroma.
You can use coloured labels, ribbon, stickers or other items to decorate your diffuser. You could be really creative and paint a picture or a name on the container or use food colouring to add interest.
If giving as a gift, place the cap on the container to prevent spills, and include instructions for the recipient on how to assemble the diffuser. You may also wish to include an extra vial of essential oils as a refill. Have fun, use your imagination and create something stylish and fun for your room.