The Joy of Diffusers

flowers2 Nothing, oh but nothing at all, alters the atmosphere faster than scent. Last night I returned home to find that Alice had been rooting in the bin and the entire house absolutely reeked of Quorn mince and vacuum cleaner dust. Oh joy. There's one aromatic blend I won't be recommending in a hurry.

After banishing said naughty kitten to her room, I set about restoring fragrant order: opening windows and doors, lighting tea-lights everywhere and poring a blend of peppermint and lavender into the diffusers in each room and before I knew it I was supping my bedtime chocolate in olfactory bliss- for the fastest way to make things smell sweeter is with a diffuser and I really must insist, here and now, that you own at least one - if only for stinky emergencies.

 I first discovered the joy of the aromatherapy diffuser when I owned a darling little two story home store called Rooms, when I was twenty three. Filled to the rafters with painted furniture, scented candles, table linen, art and much other loveliness, I was inspired by Anita Roddick to let the scent of my shop waft out into the little covered arcade in which it was situated, to entice the twitchy noses of the local floral-loving ladies inside...

Since then I have always used aromatherapy burners in the house and thoroughly enjoy the ritual of carrying my fragrance basket around with me, pouring the water in, mixing up a suitable blend for the required benefit or atmosphere required and lighting the candle underneath it. This is a quiet, meditative task that feels both necessary and nurturing and people frequently comment on how delicious the house can smell almost in an instant...

At school, Finley's classroom is fragranced by one of three Ayurvedic oils in an electric burner throughout the day and I can't even begin to tell you how heavenly it is to pop in and see his teacher first thing in the morning,  and to notice the change in scent and mood at the end of the day. While I can't really speak for the benefits it has on the mood or behavior of the children, I do know that diffusing these very time-specific scents offers a sense of place to the school that could equally be applied within our own four walls to create the same kind of fragrant memory.

 While I recognize that an electric burner is the safest option in school and I have myself dabbled with various electric diffusers, I personally, still prefer a deep dish water burner. Though I have long used Body Shop oil burners,  I recently discovered one in a tiny boutique locally that has a lovely cream ceramic deep dish that lifts out from above the candle, making it easy to clean, to top up with water and to allow the scent to diffuse for as long as the candle burns without drying out and leaving unsightly, sticky scorch marks in the bowl...

The most important thing to remember when using a burner is to keep the water topped up regularly while the candle burns. It is good practice to wash the dish out after each use with hot soapy water as this reduces scorch marks and scent contamination and if you do accidentally burn the water all away, simply fill the dish with a little bit of fairy liquid, then cover with baking soda and allow to sit overnight, before gently rinsing away with a soft cloth and some warm water...

Fragrant, homely bliss. 

On My Wishlist...