Mother Earth Living

Try This: Reed Diffuser

Unlock the power of essential oils with this simple bathroom project.
By Susan Wasinger
July/August 2004
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Look for a bottle, glass, jar, or vase with an interesting color or texture.

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Potpourri is so last century, but wonderful, sensual smells never go out of style. Add an accessory to the bathroom that’s both aesthetically and aromatically pleasing. Natural, sculptural plant stalks act as a simple, subtle diffuser for fragrant essential oils that gently sweeten the air and cleanse stagnant smells.

Use thin peeled branches from a tree, woody cuttings from a bush, hollow or spongy stems from a weed, or dried stalks from a field of tall grasses. Stalks are engineered by nature to draw liquids upward.

Essential oils come in a dizzying array of possibilities, from the tingly clean scent of peppermint to warm, sweet florals, to strong astringent scents such as tea tree oil. Aromatherapy has been credited with everything from killing bacteria to fighting depression. But even without all that, aroma evokes emotion, and no one can deny the poetic power of a pleasant scent.

1. Look for a bottle, glass, jar, or vase with an interesting color or texture.

2. Find a cork stopper to fit (try the hardware store’s kitchenware or plumbing section). Drill a hole in the cork (1 inch or smaller) with a paddle bit.

3. Make sure your plant materials are thoroughly dry so they will absorb more of the fragrant liquid. Use scissors or garden clippers to cut the stalks to an attractive length for your bottle.

4. Stir in 20 to 30 drops of pure essential oils for every 8 ounces of hot tap water. The oils will bead within the water but still scent it effectively.

5. Fit the cork into the bottle’s neck. Use a utility knife to shave an over-large cork to size or wrap the stopper with a rubber band to make a slightly small cork fit snugly. Then simply push the stalks through the hole in the cork and fan them out.

Over time, you can refresh your simple diffuser by turning the stalks upside down to expose their saturated ends. Add more drops of essential oil to the water as needed.

The best aromatic scents for the bath

Tea tree

Try this blend for a fresh-scented bathroom

15drops lemon
6 drops eucalyptus
 drops rosewood

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