The English Aromatherapist


Make Your Own Reed Diffuser

Make your own aromatherapy reed diffuser with essential oils

Have you ever made your own aromatherapy reed diffuser? I’ve had a lot of requests about these, so I thought I’d investigate and make my own version. I’m going to be honest with you here – I’m a trained therapist, NOT a chemical formulator, so I needed to research this subject. I’m used to working with clients and skin care products, rather than making home accessories!


Watch my video below to see a basic “how to” video for an essential oil reed diffuser – and keep watching for my honest update at the end!


What is a Reed Diffuser?


A reed diffuser uses rattan reeds inserted into an open bottle, in order to add fragrance to a room. The reeds use a straw-like action to draw up the fragrance and release it into the surrounding air.


Reed diffusers are a visually attractive way of scenting your home, and offer several benefits over other types of home fragrance. It’s a good idea to have a reed diffuser in your hallway, with a welcoming aroma to greet guests as they enter your home. They’re also perfect for bathrooms or small spaces where it’s not practical (or possible) to plug in a device.


What are the benefits?



Most commercial air fresheners are made from synthetic ingredients – which can be sickeningly overpowering, not to mention potentially harmful to your health.


Essential oils are a more natural way to scent your home, and offer added therapeutic value alongside their beautiful fragrances. Once you start using them, you’ll probably find that most synthetic room sprays and ‘plug-in’ air fresheners smell repulsively artificial!


0% Power

Unlike nebulizer-style diffusers and plug-in air fresheners, reed diffusers do not require a power source. This means you’re not restricted to where there are wall sockets – a reed diffuser works anywhere! What’s more, these eco-friendly beauties will have zero impact on your electricity bill.



Reed diffusers are a much safer alternative to candles, which are a fire hazard (and may also contain potentially toxic ingredients). As long as your reed diffuser is placed out of reach, it should be safe to use around children and pets (always check the specific safety data of each essential oil before using).



The beauty of making your own aromatherapy products is that you can create a scent that is personalised to your own preferences. Have you ever smelled every candle or spray in a store, and still not found the ‘perfect’ one? Essential oils can be blended to create a combination that you really LOVE!


Save £££

There are some fabulous reed diffusers available to buy – at a price! On average, you’ll pay around £20-50 for a good quality reed diffuser on the high street. It’s far cheaper to make your own – especially if you can upcycle a glass bottle you already own. Homemade reed diffusers also make fabulous gifts for friends and family, and you can really get creative with decorating your bottles!


What You Will Need


  • A glass bottle with a narrow neck (to minimise evaporation)
  • Fractionated coconut oil (FCO) or any light carrier oil
  • Vodka (the highest proof you can find)
  • Rattan reeds
  • Essential oils of your choice (see below)


Exact quantities will depend on the size of your diffuser bottle. In my tutorial video (see below) I used a 150ml bottle with:

60ml carrier oil

2 tbsp vodka

15-20 drops of essential oils


What to Do


Watch my video tutorial below to find out how quick and easy it is to make your own aromatherapy reed diffuser using essential oils!





  • It will take a day or so for the reeds to start diffusing the oils into the air
  • Remember to flip the reeds every few days to refresh the scent
  • After a few weeks, the reeds will become saturated and no longer efficient at drawing up the liquid, so will need replacing. Replacement reeds are inexpensive and easily available online – you can buy a bunch of 50 for less than £5
  • For a coloured effect, you can use a few drops of natural food colouring – this is something I haven’t personally tried, but feel free to experiment!
  • Thicker, heavier essential oils might not work as well in a reed diffuser
  • A larger room will require a larger reed diffuser to sufficiently scent the room
  • Lots of online recipes just use carrier oil and essential oils, without any alcohol. This is an option – although it’s not likely to be as effective, because the alcohol helps to carry the oils up through the reeds.


Homemade Essential Oil Reed Diffuser


Blend Suggestions


As a general guideline, use around 15-20 drops of essential oils per 60ml carrier oil + 2tbsp vodka

For a stronger scent, you may wish to increase the number of drops. Some essential oils smell more strongly than others!


Fresh & Floral

6 drops Lavender essential oil

6 drops Lemon essential oil

6 drops Peppermint essential oil


Relaxing Herbal

7 drops Lavender essential oil

6 drops Frankincense essential oil

6 drops Marjoram essential oil



6 drops Basil essential oil

6 drops Lemon essential oil

6 drops Rosemary essential oil


Autumnal Spice

8 drops Ginger essential oil

8 drops Sweet Orange essential oil

4 drops Cinnamon essential oil


What are your favourite reed diffuser blends? Let me know in the comments below!


My Honest Update


Watch the video above to find out what I really discovered after experimenting with various reed diffuser recipes over a couple of months!


What to read next: Make Your Own Aromatherapy Inhaler Stick


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