I have always been very sensitive to odors and regularly use scent oils, incense, candles and other aromatic devices to help relieve stress or just to create an inviting atmosphere.
Over the years I have found certain diffusion methods more effective than others. Here is a quick comparison and review.
Japanese Incense– No inner bamboo or wood core means it burns cleanly without that burnt wood smell that makes you cough. Prefer over regular incense.
Electronic Aromatherapy Room Diffuser – I found these convenient and very effective at dispersing fragrance and essential oils. The scents spread through the room pretty quickly and it is safer than the candle warmers. I also use a “Scent Ball” plug in diffuser that works OK for a couple of hours but after that, the oil loses it’s scent and smells slightly burnt.
Soy Candle– I like these because there is a large variety of scents and they are made of soy which burn cleaner and lasts longer than wax candles.
Effusion Lamp/Lampe Berger– these are beautifully crafted devices originally invented to disinfect the air in medical rooms. These effusion lamps consist of a catalytic ceramic burner with a wick that goes into a glass bottle that contains an alcohol/fragrance mix. It very effectively disperses the scent and is supposed to purify the air at the same time. However, I could not find any fragrances I liked as they tended to be per-fumy for me and expensive to replace the scent. Also, I could detect an alcohol odor behind the main fragrance. I gave mine to my mom.
Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser – This device uses a ceramic disc that operates at very high frequencies which creates a mist to dispense the fragrance oil that you mix with the water. I like the fact that it does not have to heat the oil and it disperses pretty good. I have used this unit for over a year and it has worked pretty good. Cleaning the inside is a little messy and the plastic top gets cloudy over time. The preset timer works good and it will dispense fragrance over several hours. Somewhat expensive but the best and most durable of the ultrasonic diffusers that I have tried.
Reed Diffuser Kit-I really like these but they tend to be expensive and some of them don’t last very long. Essentially small sticks placed in a bottle of fragrance. the sticks act as a wick which diffuse the the scent. Some of them are barely noticeable while other have a very overpowering aroma. The ones with the stronger fragrance tend to not last as long. However, they require no power and are “on” all the time.
Homedics BRT-150 Homedics Brethe Air Revitalizer– I purchased this device on a whim. Looked cool with it’s blue LED’s shining in a bowl of swirling water. I really like the swishing water sound and fan noise which helps me sleep. As far aromatherapy goes, the included scents seem to be mixed with some kind of antibacterial agent which give the scents a household cleaning (ie. Pine Sol) odor. Very overpowering and sort of reminds me of a rest stop bathroom deodorizer. However, I did try a couple of drops of lavender essential oil in the unit and it disperses the scent very nicely. The problem may be the plastic container which is easily damaged by the essential oil and can cause cracking and clouding of the bowl. I already see some permanent cloudiness in the plastic. Too bad the included scents are awful. I kept mine as a noise machine to help me sleep.
As far as the choice of fragrances go, find what resonates with you. I usually don’t reference any aromatherapy charts and just pick a scent that makes me feel the way I want…It’s all good.