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How to Make a Reed Diffuser

A simple, DIY method to fill your home with healthier fragrances this holiday season

Certain aromas have powerful associations with the holidays But many of the sugar-plum-scented candles and gingerbread air fresheners we can buy contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can pose myriad health risks

Swap the store-bought options for all-natural scents using this simple technique It requires only a handful of materials, and no flame or electricity

  • 1 8-oz glass jar
  • ¼ cup carrier oil (such as sweet-almond, olive, or fractionated coconut oil)
  • 1 tbs rubbing alcohol
  • 20–30 drops essential oils
  • 4–6 reed-diffuser sticks or bamboo skewers

1 Pour your carrier oil, rubbing alcohol, and essential oils into the glass jar Stir or shake to combine

2 If you’re using bamboo skewers, trim the pointy end Place the diffuser sticks in your jar

3 Turn the sticks over every few days to expose the ends that have been in the liquid to air This will help refresh the scent

Tip: Reed diffusers make great gifts! Mix the oils and alcohol in a jar with a lid or cork, and present it with a handful of reeds

Essential Oil Blends for the Holidays

  • Mix 10 drops cinnamon, 10 drops sweet orange, and 4 drops clove bud oil for a cozy, spicy aroma
  • Mix 10 drops frankincense, 10 drops cedarwood, and 4 drops fir-needle oil for a woody fragrance
  • Mix 8 drops cardamom, 6 drops cinnamon, 4 drops clove bud, and 2 drops nutmeg oil for a blend reminiscent of pumpkin pie
  • Mix 8 drops rosemary, 6 drops sage, 4 drops thyme, and 2 drops black pepper oil for an herby scent
  • Mix 10 drops peppermint, 10 drops bergamot, and 4 drops cypress oil for a bright, fresh fragrance

Photography by John Mowers

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