Diffuse Essential Oils in Offices or Waiting Rooms?

Ask the Aromatherapist:
Hi, I work for a holistic and integrative physician and we want to add aromatherapy to our office, my question is what is the best type of diffuser for a large waiting room.

A couple of people have written to me asking about diffusing essential oils in offices or waiting rooms. In this sort of situation, I think it's important to bear in mind that when you choose to diffuse essential oils in a public space, you are subjecting your patients, clients, and/or coworkers to potent aromas they may or may not appreciate. Different people have different reactions to aromas, based on personal preferences and emotional associations with particular scents. And, diffusing essential oils using a potent method - such as with an electric nebulizer - may cause headaches or irritate some people's eyes, nasal passages, or airways. In addition, it wouldn't be good for anyone - an employee who is in the office all day, for example - to continuously be exposed to a heavy mist of essential oils all day, day after day.

For those reasons, I would take a conservative approach to diffusing essential oils in public spaces and use passive diffusion. You can passively diffuse essential oils without any costly equipment by placing cotton pads or stone oil diffusers around the room. Each morning, you could add a couple of drops of an oil or blend to the pads or stones to refresh the scent.



Bergamot Oil

About Bergamot Essential Oil

Botanical Name: Citrus bergamia

Usually produced through expression (cold pressing) of the bergamot orange peel, bergamot essential oil has a pleasant citrus aroma.

Aromatherapy applications for bergamot essenital oil include acne, depression, viral and fungal infections, and anxiety.

In natural essential oil perfumes, bergamot essential oil has a pleasing scent that combines well with most other essential oils. It combines well with floral, woody, and other citrus essential oils; try blends with lavender, cedarwood, or mandarin orange essential oils.

If used topically, any exposure to sunlight must be avoided, as bergamot may a phototoxic essential oil. Use furo-coumarin free bergamot essential oil to reduce these risks. Please thoroughly familiarize yourself with safety information before using any essential oil.

Bergamot Essential Oil Resources

Bergamot Essential Oil Profile
Wikipedia: Bergamot



Black Pepper Oil

About Black Pepper Essential Oil

Botanical Name: Piper nigrum

Black pepper essential oil is derived from steam distillation of the fruit and stems. It has a warm, spicy aroma that is distinct but not unpleasant.

Because of its warming properties, black pepper essential oil is used to alleviate muscle aches and cramps. It also may be useful for improving circulation, especially to the skin when used topically.

In natural perfume blends, black pepper essential oil lends a warm, masculine, spicy note. It blends well with woody, warm, or herbaceous oils, such as cedarwood, ginger, or rosemary essential oils. Used in small quantities, it adds a spicy hint to floral or fruity blends.

Please thoroughly familiarize yourself with safety information before using any essential oil.

Black Pepper Essential Oil Resources ~
Black Pepper Essential Oil Profile
Black Pepper May Help You Stop Smoking
Essential Oil Blend with Black Pepper



Essential Oil Encyclopedia

Learn About Essential Oils:
Black Pepper Oil
Bergamot Oil

Essential oil entries will be added above, one at a time....
In the meantime, here are some great resources:
Take a look at Essential Oil Profiles and Properties and Uses for Essential Oils at
Wavelengths Natural Health Aromatherapy.



How to Make Essential Oil Reed Diffusers?

Ask the Aromatherapist:
Two different people wrote to me asking about making reed diffusers....

I like the new bamboo/reed diffusers and would like to create some home fragrances with essential oils using all natural ingredients, but from what I've been reading people are adding chemicals so that the oils don't evaporate and will travel through the reeds more effectively. I was thinking maybe grapeseed oil but just don't know. Any suggestions? Also do you think there is a difference between bamboo and reed diffusers?
Hi: I’m trying to find out how to make my own reed diffuser oil…….I’ve searched to no avail…I was wondering if you knew where I could find the instructions and ingredients……..I need to know everything….what is used for the reed diffuser base? How much of the essential oils do I add? Do you have any suggestions as to where I would be able to find this out? Thank you so much

I have a "lavender" scented reed diffuser in my living room, and as it's quite clear the fragrance is synthetic, I also have wondered about making an essential oil reed diffuser.

Most essential oils are quite volatile and by themselves will evaporate much too quickly in an open container such as a reed diffuser jar. Plus, the aroma of an undiluted essential oil could quickly become overwhelming, depending on the oil. So, it's necessary to dilute the essential oil in another carrier substance. But, the usual aromatherapy carrier oils - sweet almond, grapeseed, olive, etc - probably won't work. These oils won't wick up the reed because they are much too viscous.

I haven't tried this myself, but there is a reed diffuser oil recipe on the Snowdrift Farm website that sounds as though it would work. Here's another recipe for reed diffuser oil. You'll see the recommended carrier is dipropylene glycol, a common cosmetic ingredient. It has the suitable properties of low volatility and solubility with both water- and oil-based ingredients. Perfect for reed diffusing with essential oils.

As to the reed wicking material, from what I understand, materials such as bamboo or any old type of skinny "stick" do not work well. Reed diffusers work well because reed is not a wood but a porous fiber that is very well-suited to absorbing and wicking the oil, and then slowly releasing the fragrance. So I'd stick to reed. It's not expensive: you should be able to find bundles of 100 reed diffusers - enough for several diffusers - for less than $10. See these instructions for making your own reed diffuser for more info.

For more detailed instructions for making reed diffusers, take a look at:
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