Can I use fragrance oils in a room diffuser?

There are so many fun ways to use fragrance oils. One of the easiest ways to start enjoying a new scent is with a room diffuser. Diffusers tend to be marketed towards people who use essential oils, but you can also use them with fragrance oils. With a diffuser, you can make your home smell great without needing to burn a candle or turn on a wax warmer

Did you know? Many of our fragrance oils are actually formulated with essential oil blends to create more complex notes!

What is a room diffuser?

A diffuser is device that helps disperse fragrances into the air. Oil diffusers are designed to slowly disperse the fragrance so that you can enjoy an ongoing scent that doesn’t overwhelm the whole house.

There are numerous types of room diffusers on the market, but here are a few of the more popular ones:

  • Heat diffusers have a tray that is warmed with a lamp or tealight. Oils are placed in the tray and they scent the room until they evaporate.
  • Humidifying diffusers use ultrasonic waves to break up oil into a fine mist. Oils need to be diluted in order for the diffuser to work. In addition to distributing fragrance, these diffusers can also help add moisture to the air, which is great for dry winter months.
  • Nebulizing diffusers periodically mist pressurized air into the room in order to distribute the fragrance.
  • Evaporative diffusers use a small fan to help disperse the fragrance. The oils are dabbed onto an absorbent pad or are placed into a tray. A fan in the device blows across/through the oil to distribute the fragrance.
  • Reed diffusers use wooden sticks to help distribute fragrance into the room. The sticks are placed into a bottle or container holding the fragrance, which then soaks into the sticks and travels upwards where it disperses.

How to Use Fragrance Oils in a Room Diffuser

Fragrance oils and essential oils have similar physical properties. For this reason, you can generally swap out essential oils for fragrance oils in any style of diffuser that is meant for essential oils.* Just be sure to follow the instructions for whichever diffuser you’re using.

For example, humidifying diffusers only work when there is enough liquid in the device for it to run. Because you’d get an overpoweringly strong scent by using pure fragrance oil or essential oil in the device, you need to dilute it.

Most people use distilled or filtered water, but keep in mind that oils won’t mix well with water. Instead, you can use our room spray base in a humidifying diffuser. Room spray base is formulated to incorporate fragrance oils and essential oils, while also helping to disperse the fragrance more effectively.  

* Room Spray Base is not recommended for reed diffusers, and has not been tested for compatibility.

How much fragrance oil should I use in a room diffuser?

Essential oils—like fragrance oils—can have different potencies. Some oils will smell super strong and you will find that you can scent the whole room with a smaller amount. Others may have a milder fragrance. It will take some trial and error to find the perfect concentration of fragrance whether you’re using essential oils or fragrance oils.

Likewise, scents can have different aromatherapeutic effects. For example, lavender helps some people feel more relaxed, which can ease anxiety or make it easier to fall asleep.

In trying to achieve the perfect scent, you will want to avoid adding too much fragrance, as it can affect how the diffuser works. A concentration of 20% fragrance oil added to our room spray base is roughly the maximum amount you would want to use. This should be a very strong-smelling mixture that still allows your diffuser to work properly.   

The instructions for your oil diffuser will usually tell you what amount of oil is recommended. If not, it’s generally a good idea to start with just a few drops of oil diluted in room spray base and increase the amount if you think it needs to be stronger. A plastic pipette works great for dispensing oil neatly!

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