500 Commerce Dr., Quakertown, PA 18951 Phone: 215-538-8552 * FAX: 215-538-8175 The Skinny on Reed Diffusers Reed diffusers have taken the home fragrance market into a new era and they are here to stay! It’s a perfect way to enjoy your favorite candle fragrance without the risk of fire making them very appealing to a wide variety of people who cannot burn candles in places such as classrooms, offices, nursing homes, dorm rooms or any unattended space. Candle and soap manufacturers worldwide are adding reed diffusers into their product lines to compliment their candles and bath products. This captures a market of consumers who wish to enjoy scenting their home without electric, flames, soot, or batteries. The concept of reed diffusers is very simple and consists of a combination of reeds, a bottle or vase and fragrance. The fragrance is placed into the bottle or vase, the reeds are added and then the scent is absorbed up through the cavities in the reed. The fragrance is released through the reeds leaving a strong and vibrant aroma 24/7 naturally making it a no-fuss, safe and effective product. Making and/or selling reed diffuser kits are easy as long as the correct products are selected. Selecting the wrong reed material will result in the scent not absorbing up the reed and not using the correct fragrance formulation will also give you poor results. Diffuser reeds should be very porous so that they work like straws to absorb the fragrance from the bottom to the top of the reed. Some items may look like reeds, but they do not have the cellular scent soaking sections like reeds do and therefore will not work as well. For example: Would you use a sponge or a piece of paper to clean up a water spill? The paper will soak up some of the water, but the sponge will be a much more effective way of soaking up the water. There are a few different types of materials that are used for diffuser reeds that work very well. The most popular is rattan which contains up to 20 cellular sections in each reed giving it the most fragrance absorbing cells. Rattan reeds are readily available and cost effective too. Marsh reed and curly ting ting are other good choices for reed diffusers however they tend to be thinner and not hold as much scent as rattan. Toko grass and star bamboo are also popular choices but they are generally not as easy to obtain and are more expensive. Any other types of dried natural materials like dried flowers, bamboo or wood can be used as a diffuser in an arrangement of reeds, but they will not be as effective as rattan in scenting your area. We recommend using rattan in combination with the other dried floral materials for best results. Other dried materials should be used as more of a decorative accent because the fragrance may get “trapped” in any nodes or blooms that are in your bouquet and not release as effectively as rattan. Colored reeds can also give a diffuser arrangement a nice splash of variety. Some of the reed materials such as curly ting ting can be purchased already dyed in a wide variety of colors. Rattan is generally only available in a natural color but can easily be dyed to the color of your choice. Mix a few drops of water soluble dye with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and soak the reeds until they reach the color that you desire. Let the reeds dry completely before using or packaging. Food coloring will work but dyes for soap work much better since they are generally much stronger than food coloring. The alcohol evaporates quickly and easily and the water soluble dyes will not clog the pores in the reeds so that the fragrance can still be absorbed properly. Liquid candle dyes will not work to dye the reeds because they are oil based do not dry out enough to be colorfast on the reed. The reeds will take on the scent of the candle dye and the color will also bleed out onto anything that comes in contact with the reed. Using paint to color your reeds will clog the pores and therefore the scent cannot escape. You can use liquid candle dyes to color your fragrance mixture and the color will appear in your reeds as the liquid travels up the reeds. It’s really cool to watch how quickly the reeds absorb the scent! Most fragrance oils are too thick and concentrated to “wick up” the reeds and will therefore just sit in the bottom of the bottle and not be effective. A dispersing agent must be used in conjunction with your oils so that your scent is thin enough to travel up the reeds and disperse the fragrance. Using a fragrance oil enhancer or diffuser base as a dispersing agent will actually make your oils smell stronger instead of becoming weaker. It’s true that some straight fragrance oils will wick up the reed perfectly without an enhancer but after a few weeks the fragrance oil becomes a gooey, thick mess that will clog the reeds and not perform. The dispersing agent that you choose for your fragrance is extremely important and there are many different variations of this type of product on the market. An alcohol based formula is not the favorite choice because it’s flammable, may not mix with your fragrances properly, will evaporate too quickly and is also not as safe as a non alcohol based solution. Using a Dipropylene glycol (DPG) based solution is a safer choice than alcohol and it does a nice job of diluting fragrance but it is also tends to be too thick and may not wick up the reeds effectively with all fragrances. Water is totally unsuccessful because fragrance oil and water do not mix and your reeds will soak up the water, warp and then get moldy while your fragrance oil sits at the bottom of your bottle or vase. The best choice is a fragrance oil enhancer that is not DPG or alcohol based and is extremely thin like water so that when it is mixed with your scent, it will be absorbed up the reeds as quickly as possible without excessive evaporation. You can use essential oils to fragrance your reeds but generally they are too thick to travel up the reeds properly. Essential oils are generally much more expensive than fragrance oils and they generally do not work as well as fragrance oils in reeds. Since the scent mixture never really comes in contact with your skin, any of the benefits that a Mix your fragrance oil and dispersing agent according to the manufacturers recommendations (generally at a 50/50 ratio) and fill your diffuser bottle half full. You can use 10 to 12 reeds for a really excellent scent throw in a room. If you want less scent – use less reeds, or more scent – use more reeds. Remember, you can’t turn the fragrance off – the reeds scent all of the time so you may want to change fragrances at any time. If you decide to change fragrances in your container make sure to use fresh reeds so that the fragrance do not mix. Reeds that have already been soaked with fragrance can be used in potpourri but should not be used again in a different scent. The fragrance should wick up the reeds within a few hours and you can turn the sticks over to expose the oil- moistened side to the air for quicker results. Diffuser reeds should last anywhere from 1 to 6 months. All you need to do to refresh the fragrance is turn the reeds over so that the bottom of the reed that was sitting in the oil is now on the top of the diffuser bottle. If this doesn’t help to refresh the scent, your reeds may be totally saturated and clogged. If this is the case, then just discard them and add fresh reeds to your oil. There is no totally successful method to clean the reeds for reuse however they are cheap enough to replace or you can put the saturated reeds into a closet or drawer to use as an air freshener. A wide variety of decorative bottles or vases can be used for reed diffusers with the most popular sizes being anywhere from two to eight ounces. Vases or bottles with a slender neck seem to be a popular choice since the reeds look more organized when arranged in them. Jars with wire mesh lids are a great choice too because they not only have a vintage appeal but the mesh wire lid is extremely functional when arranging reeds and dried flowers. Dollar stores usually have a great selection of decorative bottles that you can use for your diffusers. Reed diffusers are one of the best money making product opportunities available right now. Reed diffuser sets retail anywhere from $14.99 to as high as $95.00 for a bottle, a few reeds and fragrance. You can easily triple your cost or more depending on the packaging and bottle that you select. If you have not experienced reed diffusers yet or are not sure if you want to add them to your line, the holiday season is the best time to spark new product interest and get customers buying!
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