Do you remember those obnoxious commercials for air freshener spray? Crotchety old women were depicted as coming into a younger woman's home, saying things like, “Fried fish last night, dear?” and “I thought George gave up cigars.” Which, as an aside, I would not let people that snarky into my house, just sayin'. But this was supposed to freak you out and make you panic about how your house smells. (Just like deodorant commercials are designed to make you obsess about your armpits.)
I think we all bought into the idea that we had to spray a variety of chemicals in our house so nobody would come in and think we were horrible people. But did you know that recent research shows that air fresheners and other fragranced products cause adverse reactions? A 2015 article in Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health showed that “34.7 % of the population reported health problems, such as migraine headaches and respiratory difficulties, when exposed to fragranced products.” An article in the Journal of Toxicological Sciences recommended further research on the topic, as “deleterious effects do not manifest for many years, making it difficult to identify air freshener-associated symptoms.”
I've stopped using candles, incense and air freshener in favor of my diffuser. Not only do I have 2 Dewdrop diffusers, I also have the Rainstone, which has a remote control! These diffusers are called cold-air diffusers. They are designed to “atomize a microfine mist of essential oils into the air, where they can remain suspended for several hours.”* This atomizing of oils alters the structure of molecules that create the odors, rather than just masking them. Many essential oils, including Frankincense, Lavender and Orange, are effective in eliminating and destroying airborne germs and bacteria.
But you know what? I simply love the smell of diffused oils. One of our favorites I like to diffuse as we're settling down to go to sleep at night is a combination of three drops each of Lavender and Copaiba, and two drops of Stress Away. This blend is a relaxing and soothing way to end the day.
What's your favorite diffuser or diffuser oil combination? I'd love to hear from you in the comments.
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*Essential Oils Desk Reference, 7th edition, p. 56.