Monday, December 8, 2008

Sometimes you just can't win!

People have been asking how to create the popular Reed Diffusers, using our oils and a natural dispersant. My answer has always been, I don't think you can.

But I saw this suggestion somewhere on a list. Dilute the essential oil into Polysorbate, add distilled water, and voila. I was going to post this suggestion, but thought "I need to try this first."

Ordered some reeds. With shipping, they became really expensive reeds. Didn't know I could have bought them in a local craft shop.

Came home, with my reeds, some Polysorbate 20, a bottle of Balsam Fir essential oil (yes, I want it to smell like a Christmas Tree!) and remembered that the reed diffusers are always in a very small necked bottle. (To prevent evaporation? I guess.)

Well, I had this lovely vase. A gift from someone. Lead Crystal. Shaped like a small ball, with a VERY slim opening to a V shape above the circle. I should take a picture, but the camera is at work. Anyway; added the polysorbate, added the Balsam Fir oil, and dribbled in distilled water.'s cloudy. Smells wonderful, but it's cloudy. Obviously one needs an opaque bottle or vase. But, I thought, perhaps if it stands, the cloudiness will clear.

So I set the experiment in the middle of my dining room table, and left the house.

Came home to find the whole front of the house wonderfully aromatic, smelling of fresh fir boughs. GREAT! It works! Went to look at the experiment.

Obviously BlueKitty, my very small once feral grey cat was intrigued by the experiment.

No, the vase did not break. It's very sturdy crystal. But the place mats on the table are totally soaked. And the vase was, unfortunately, standing within a few inches of a pair of Rosenthal china salt and pepper shakers, part of a set of china that we bought in Germany about 40 years ago.

It landed on the pepper shaker, and broke just a "corner" of the top off.

Rosenthal no longer makes salt and pepper shakers in "Maria - Blue Garland"... even the china replacement companies don't list them. They make dinner plates. This is a picture of one, snipped from Thank goodness she didn't break one of THEM!

Sometimes testing out ideas before putting them in the newsletter gets very complicated indeed.


Marge said...

A few days later, T tried again, at work.

Our conclusion? The "Reed Diffuser" method really does not work well with all natural ingredients. In order to use enough essential oil to really scent a room well, you have to use so much polysorbate that the mixture won't saturate the reeds well. Thinning it with enough water makes the aroma far too weak.

Any of the diffusers offered on our accessories page will do a much nicer job of scenting your home for the holidays!

suzanne said...

For my reed diffuser, I used bamboo skewers. I just trimmed them down to size. I added the essential oils to jojoba oil. So good.

Marge said...

Suzanne, I'm wondering how long you have used the Jojoba based mixture. Seems to me that if the jojoba does rise in the reeds, it would really attract dust. My mental image is that it would, eventually, turn rather yucky.

I think I'm going to stick with my aromalamp, or one of the diffusers.