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Do you ever feel like the world is stuck in fast forward? If you answered yes, you’re definitely not alone. In today’s busy world, people are constantly looking for ways to add serenity and peace to their daily lives.
It’s estimated that the meditation app industry will be worth $2 billion by 2022, and yoga is a wellness trend that’s here to stay. Diffusing essential oils in your home can also bring a sense of calm to your environment.
But if you’re shopping for an aromatherapy setup, you probably have so many questions. Is cold-air scent diffusion better than ultrasonic diffusion? What about steam diffusion? Which scent is right for me?
It is well known that scents can impact your mood, behavior, and even your ability to work efficiently. With so many different options on the market, choosing the right essential oil diffuser and oils can feel like one more thing on your to-do list.
Take a deep breath, because we’re here to help. Read on for our best advice on selecting an awesome diffuser and the perfect essential oil blends to fill it with. You’ll be feeling blissed out in no time.
Essential Oil Diffusers 101
Sort of like cars, essential oil diffusers come in a variety of makes and models. There are four types you should be familiar with: evaporative diffusers, heat diffusers, ultrasonic diffusers, and cold-air diffusers (also known as nebulizing diffusers).
Nebulizing Cold-Air Diffusers
Cold-air diffusers, also called nebulizing diffusers, use pressurized air to break essential oils into microparticles. The particles are distributed by a pump, similar to a perfume atomizer (but way more high-tech).
There’s no heat or water required for this method, so the oil stays in its purest form. Cold air diffusion can be more expensive than some of the other options, but you truly get what you pay for.
Evaporative diffusers use air movement to distribute essential oils. The oil is added to a filter or a piece of fabric, which gets inserted into the machine. A built-in fan blows air through the filter, causing the oil to evaporate and move throughout the room.
Evaporative diffusion is fast, but it requires more oil than other methods because a portion is absorbed by the filter. Essential oils are expensive, so it’s a bummer to waste them. Evaporation also interferes with the oil’s scent profile, which can hamper its restorative effects. More on that later.
Heat diffusers use a heat source to warm the oil until it evaporates. Sometimes the heat source is a flame placed directly under a tray of oil. In other cases, the oil is mixed with water and distributed into the air as steam.
If you’re on a tight budget, heat diffusers are usually affordable. Unfortunately, heat changes the molecular structure of essential oils, so any therapeutic benefits you’re expecting might be changed or lost completely. That calming bedtime blend could suddenly have you feeling energized and ready for a workout.
Ultrasonic diffusion uses ultrasonic vibrations to create a fine mist of water and oil that floats around the room. These devices only require a few small drops of oil, and there is no heat involved, so the oil’s molecular structure is unaffected.
Water is added to the oil and the air, so ultrasonic diffusers act as humidifiers. This could be a pro or a con, depending on where you live and if you enjoy humidity.
With this type of diffusion, the oil is very diluted, so expect a subtle scent. Ultrasonic diffusers work best where there is natural air movement to spread the mist. They do not typically have a mechanism to spread the scent far and wide.
Why We Love Cold-Air Scent Diffusion
Ultrasonic diffusers are often marketed as state-of-the-art, but cold-air diffusion is the gold standard when it comes to using therapeutic essential oils.
We already mentioned that ultrasonic diffusion dilutes oils with water, lessening their healing effects and creating a humid environment. With cold diffusion, oils stay in their original, concentrated form. The oil molecules are nebulized, meaning they are split into thousands of easy-to-breathe, tiny particles.
This process works the same way as an inhaler and is ideal for delivering medicine to the body. Using cold-air diffusion is by far the most effective way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. The scent distribution is consistent and customizable, and the fragrance intensity is just right.
Cold diffusion is also efficient. You only need to use a few drops of essential oil to scent an entire room. No oil residue remains in the diffuser after each use, so you can switch scents without worrying about unwanted mixing. There are zero messy cleanups.
As an added benefit, the fragrance structure is maintained during cold diffusion because the oil is diffused all at once. Lower quality diffusers tend to release scents in layers, with the lightest components followed by heavier molecules.
This is important because therapeutic essential oil blends are most beneficial when the entire scent profile is diffused continuously.
Home Fragrances From Top to Bottom
After you purchase a diffuser, the enjoyable task of choosing a scent for your home begins. Knowing the basics of fragrance structure will come in handy as you pick an essential oil blend.
The most appealing fragrances are made up of three layers of notes: the top notes, the middle notes, and the base notes. You can think of the individual notes as words. On their own, they have a simple, specific meaning. When woven together, they can tell a beautiful story.
When combined, the three layers take on a completely different personality than any of the individual notes.
The three layers of a fragrance should all be dispensed at once. Cold diffusion is the best process to accomplish this.
The Top Notes
The top notes are the head of the fragrance, and you can think of them as the first impression. They are usually light and fresh, meant to attract your attention and lure you in.
Citrus and fragrant herbs are often used as top notes — think lemon, orange zest, basil, sage, or berries.
These notes evaporate quickly, transitioning you gently into the next layer. They typically linger for 5-15 minutes.
The Middle Notes
The middle notes are known as the heart of the fragrance. They are slightly deeper than the top notes, and they make up between 40% and 80% of a fragrance’s composition.
Florals and spices make excellent middle notes. Jasmine, neroli, ylang-ylang, pine, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg are commonly found in this layer.
The middle notes last 20-60 minutes. This is the time when your scent memory kicks in, and you might begin to experience a shift in your mood.
The Base Notes
The base notes are the beautiful ending to the story. They are smooth, rich, earthy, and are meant to create a lasting impression.
Vanilla, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, and cedarwood are often chosen as base notes. This layer can remain in the air for 6 hours or longer.
The Perfume Accord
The blend of all three layers is called the perfume accord. Talented perfumers are able to create a balanced accord that will ease you from one note to the next.
The transition between each layer should be seamless, so you are free to sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience.
There are perfume accords to please every nose, whether you want something sweet, floral, spicy, earthy, cozy, or a seasonal scent.
Other Scent Considerations
Essential oil blends are designed with wellness in mind, so it makes sense to consider the health of the planet when you shop.
Look for companies that derive their products from sustainable sources. Also, check to be sure the oils are cruelty-free and were not tested on animals. It will be much easier to relax if you know your purchase didn’t harm the forest or a sweet little bunny.
If design is important to you, you’ll want a sleek diffuser that blends well with your existing decor. There are plenty of beautiful options available to choose from.
Turn Your Home Into a Calming Oasis
You can’t move into a spa, but you can make your home feel like one every day. With the right diffuser and a signature scent or two, you’ll be amazed by how fast the tension falls away.
All of our scents are eco-friendly, sustainable, and cruelty-free. Our diffusers use cold diffusion technology, which is the very best.
When you buy from our shop, you can rest easy knowing that your purchase will be good for you and the earth. We hope you’ll put your new fragrance expertise to good use when you check out our thoughtfully designed selection.