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.



Em said...

In my experience most people are accepting of fruity scents. Mandarin and lime seem to go over well. :)

Amie said...

Hi Em, thanks for your comment. I agree - while some people may find floral aromas too cloying, woody aromas too masculine,, etc, nearly everyone likes the fruity oils. And fruity oils work well with almost any other aromatic category. Plus, many of the citrus essential oils are some of the least expensive ones available.

Bob said...

Personally, I think that I would be turned off by having a strong fragrance anywhere that I'm "stuck", like a waiting room. Even though it may be a pleasant scent, if it's lingering, I'm not going to appreciate it unless I'm in the right mood. Some people, like my mother, are incredibly sensitive to smell, and would probably agree. As much as I believe in the power of aromatherapy, there are better ways to use this than in a waiting room.

Amie said...

Thanks for your comment, Bob. It's important to get different viewpoints like yours on this sort of issue. Not everyone enjoys being aromatherapied!

vincent said...

Totally agree. Can someone please tell my boss don't turn on the diffuser in the make my head spinning like hell.

Amie said...

Vincent, sorry you're stuck with an unpleasant diffuser at work - how irritating!