Reed Diffusers: what's to know

Four Scents Team


‘Scent is our most primitive sense, it’s the closest thing to the emotional brain. It penetrates you. You love it and you want to be part of it.’
– Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone

‘Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.’
– Helen Keller

Reed diffusers can add a whole new level of fragrance to your home and are another way to scent your home alongside your favourite candles.. But you could be in danger of overpowering your home with a synthetic, cloying scent if you don’t choose your reed diffuser carefully. So here are some things to look out for when choosing a reed diffuser for your own home or to buy as a gift.


How to choose the best diffuser for you

There’s a huge choice of reed diffusers in stores and online in terms of price point, quality, design and scent. A reed diffuser as a low price point might smell pretty but the chances are it won’t last long, and the ingredients will be largely synthetic and less environmentally friendly. When choosing a diffuser, we recommend you:

  • Check for organic or sustainable ingredients.
  • Look at what the diffuser reeds are made from.
  • Check how much alcohol (usually ethanol) is used within the diffuser oil. Not all diffuser oil contains alcohol, but it is used to bind the scent oil with the carrier oil. The higher the percentage of alcohol, the quicker your oil will evaporate and the less time your diffuser will last.
  • Try and sample the scent if you can in order to check its potency and aroma. If it matches your favourite candle or room fragrance, you’ll already know you like it!


What makes a good reed diffuser?

There are several characteristics that combine to make a ‘good’reed diffuser, but a lot comes down to personal taste. Here are the factors we’d look out for:


Probably the most important factor in your choice. Because reed diffusers disperse their fragrance constantly, you need to be happy with the scent you choose. Anything too overpowering can change the ambience of a room. The ideal scent is one with a well-crafted blend of notes that use appealing ingredients.


The word ‘reeds’ generally refers to all materials used but diffuser reeds can be bamboo, rattan, synthetic or charcoal. Each carries and disperses fragrance at a different rate and effectiveness. Many reed diffusers say they have bamboo reeds, but bamboo is really not very effective as a diffuser because of its internal structure. You might see what look like lots of hollows in a bamboo reed, but there are actually divisions between the parts of the bamboo which stop the oil being transported. Rattan is the perfect choice as it does have clear channels throughout, ideal for transporting and dispersing the fragrance.

A reed that’s too thick will absorb your oil more quickly so you get less use from your diffuser. Four Scents reeds are 5mm thick, the optimum size for an even and lasting diffuse. They are also not overly long at 180mm which is enough to disperse the fragrance effectively without absorbing the oil too quickly.


A diffusing vessel with a wide neck will allow the oil to evaporate quickly rather than being transported by the reeds. The Four Scents diffusing bottles have narrow necks for this reason and once the reeds are inserted, leave very little room for the oil to evaporate.


This is key to the Four Scents philosophy and we have done our utmost to extend this to our reed diffusers. Our glass bottles and all packaging are completely recyclable and the reeds can be composted. The essential oils used to fragrance the oils, just like those in our candle range, are botanically sourced and naturally extracted. The ethanol used to bind the fragrances with the carrier oil is organic and the carrier oil itself is… All the component parts of our reed diffusers are made and packaged in the UK.

An environmentally sound reed diffuser will be paraben, chemical and phthalate-free, and will have a small quantity of a high-quality binding agent, such as alcohol. Our reed diffusers tick all those boxes and look and smell incredible too. They remain true to our brand values as well as giving you the seasonal scents you love.

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