Breathe In, Breathe Out: How To Make a Reed Diffuser Smell Stronger

A wooden reed diffuser alongside monochromatic lit candles and knit sweaters

Reed diffusers are divine essentials to use at home, whether you are incorporating aromatherapy into your self-care routine or just trying out a new fragrance system for your abode. Basically, reeds are rattan or synthetic sticks that you insert into a bottle of scented diffuser oil to cast a lovely smell around your room. They have tiny tubes or pores that help absorb the aromatic compounds from the oil itself and drive them towards the upper end of the reeds, allowing the solution to evaporate and disperse scent into the air for you to enjoy. 

Typically, reed diffusers can last a few months with proper care and maintenance. But this will depend largely on a few factors, including room ventilation, humidity levels and the quality of the essential oil you use. And since everyone has different tolerance levels to scents, some people may find their reed diffusers either more powerful or more subtle than others. If you are the kind of person who prefers stronger scents and you feel like your reed diffusers are not as effective as before, there are a few methods you can use to adjust their scent to your liking.  

A person wearing a pink tee holding a dark brown reed diffuser 

How To Make Reed Diffusers Work Better

Here are a few things you can do to make sure your reed diffuser keeps giving off a stronger and longer-lasting fragrance at home. 

Add More Diffuser Sticks

Reed diffusers often arrive with six to 12 sticks. The latter may already radiate an optimal aroma, but you can always place as many reeds as you want until you fill out the space of the bottle’s neck and achieve your desired scent. This approach works best for bigger rooms or open spaces. The more reeds you add to your diffuser, the more aromatic compounds are absorbed and released into thin air, giving the scent the punch it needs to fill much of the room. One thing is worth mentioning, though. It’s that adding more reeds would also mean the essential oil may tend to run out more quickly, which often shortens the lifespan of your diffuser. It’s best to have a spare in hand in case it needs some replacing. 

Flip or Replace Your Reeds Regularly

The general rule is to flip the diffuser reeds at least every two to three weeks or as often as you think is needed. Depending on the quality of your diffuser, the scent may lose its freshness sooner than expected. In some cases, dust clogs the pores of your reeds, affecting their ability to soak up the oil’s natural scent and give your desired extra burst of fragrance. If adding more reeds and turning them over won’t work, then this might call for a replacement. Essentially, reeds must be changed every six months. We suggest choosing a high-quality reed (such as those used in 96NORTH diffusers) that can hold the scent for a longer period to avoid frequent disposal. 

A closeup of a hand caressing a bunch of lavender flowers

Play With Different Scent Notes

Another potential reason why some reed diffusers don’t seem to smell as nice as they used to is that your olfactory nerve is probably used to that particular smell. Diffusing the same scent of essential oils over the course of time gives your olfactory system a steady flow of the same aromatic molecules you inhale. So when you get used to that smell, you start doubting your reed diffuser for not giving you the same level of fragrance as the first time you smelled it. You might even ask yourself, “Why has my reed diffuser stopped working?”. But in reality, you might just have adapted to the very scent that no longer ignites your senses. In that case, we recommend exploring other scent notes to get an unusual olfactory experience. For instance, if you’ve had enough of those fresh scent notes, such as the usual citrusy and aquatic scents, you may switch to warmer notes like cinnamon for a more sensual vibe or opt for wood and florals if you wish to indulge in a nature-like sanctuary. 

Find The Perfect Placement 

Where you put your reed diffuser can have a monumental effect on its performance. As stated before, dust buildup in reeds can stop your diffuser from giving off much scent, so aim for areas at home that are dust-free. Other great spots include your entryway, bathroom and hallways between bedrooms. High-traffic zones help keep the scent rolling due to increased air movement, which often leads to better circulation of the scent. Choose areas with good airflow but not necessarily alongside air conditioners, open windows, or front doorsteps, as this type of air motion may cause the fragrance to escape your home. 

Give Your Diffuser Some TLC

Reed diffusers do not need as much maintenance as electric diffusers, which require regular washing of vessels to avoid mould buildup and foul odour over time. But it doesn’t hurt to give your reed diffusers proper care every now and then to make them more efficient and durable. When making an oil refill, make sure to wash the bottle with soap and water and let it dry completely before you fill it up with new essential oil. Likewise, avoid adding water to your oil in hopes of making it last a bit longer. Water can cause non-synthetic reeds to warp and become less effective in the long run. 

Final Thoughts

Those tips should help you bring out the best in your reed diffusers and achieve a long-lasting aroma at home or in your office. If you’d like to consider a new line of fragrance essentials to complement your reed diffusers, feel free to browse our collection of luxury soy-scented candles and discover many of the natural aromas we offer. 96NORTH is a provider of all-natural candles and reed diffusers tailored to your personal style and needs. All of our candles are crafted from 100% soy wax with guaranteed zero levels of paraffin, while our reed diffusers contain only high-quality ingredients to ensure a long-lasting scent. Connect with one of our specialists today to learn more about our candles and diffusers, their incredible benefits and the perfect scent for your home, or shop them on our site.

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a reed diffuser?

A reed diffuser is a home fragrance essential that includes a bottle of essential oil dipped with rattan or synthetic sticks called reeds. Reed diffusers give a well-ventilated room fragrance without the use of heat or electricity, making it a subtle and popular option among homeowners.

Where should reed diffusers be placed in a room?

Good airflow helps throw the fragrance in the room, so set your reed diffusers on areas with high foot traffic to keep the scent moving around.

Can you reuse reed diffuser sticks?

Essentially, it’s not ideal to reuse old reeds if you want to keep the freshness in the scent. Reeds must be flipped every two to three weeks and replaced every six months in general.