Diffuser 101: How to Get the Most Out of Your Reed Diffuser

Where it all began...

I have such fond memories of when my sis and I started Alora Ambiance. We were often on the road introducing small boutique owners across the country to our reed diffusers, a concept that most had never seen, at least not here in the United States. 

Armed with our product samples (so sacred, we'd often leave them at stores for the day and return later to pick them up!), we would walk store owners through the process of swapping our wooden caps, inserting the sticks and flipping them for a full soak while our signature scents permeated the shop. At times we fumbled, yes, but eventually we had our presentation perfected and enjoyed a few years being the only diffuser on the market, landing Alora in some of the top retail locations across the country. Fast-forward 20 years later and when someone asks me about my business, I no longer have to make hand gestures explaining the concept of "fragrance in a bottle and flipping the sticks to naturally scent the air" - folks now know what reed diffusers are!

Whether you are new to using reed diffusers to scent your space or you've been using diffusers for decades, I hope the responses to these frequently asked questions will serve as helpful reminders to ensure you get the most scented joy out of every Alora diffuser.

1. How do reed diffusers work?

The power of a diffuser comes through its porous reeds (or "sticks", as I often refer to them). The fragrance evaporates up the reeds and into the air naturally scenting the room - no flames or electricity needed! Flipping the sticks controls the amount of fragrance in your space. If you have a bigger space or want a stronger scent, you can flip all of the sticks at once. If you have a smaller space or prefer a more subtle scent, flip only one or two sticks at a time. 

2. How do I assemble my reed diffuser?

Start by unscrewing the closed wooden cap from the bottle. (Insider tip: I like to pop any extra closed wood caps in a towel or sock drawer for a little boost of scent!) Replace it with the wooden cap with the hole in the middle. Take the sticks out of the paper sleeve, and insert all of them through the open cap and into the bottle. Immediately flip all of the sticks over so both sides are fully saturated (Note: Make sure to do this over a sink or trash can, as the fragrance can damage finished surfaces!) Enjoy as the scent permeates the room and flip sticks again based on your preferences (see answer 1 above). Below is a video showing exactly how this process is done. 

3. What are Alora fragrances made of?

Our fragrances are a blend of high-quality fragrance including natural and essential oils. They are DEP, paraben, and phthalate free. 

4. Can a reed diffuser be closed and reopened at a later date?

Closing the diffuser for later use is totally fine. Longtime customers who travel south in winter often tell me how much they love the ability to close up their diffusers until they return home in the spring. Just make sure to keep both caps and the box for easy storage! 

5. Can Alora fragrances be used as perfume?

Yes, our fragrances are very similar in composition to perfume and can safely be used on the body. I suggest you test a small amount of fragrance on your skin first before using regularly as perfume. I'm a big fan of dabbing a little Bella on my wrists, especially in the summer! 

6. Why are some Alora fragrances stronger than others?

Our base formula is the same for all of our fragrances. However, depending on the note combination within each fragrance, the level of intensity will vary from one fragrance to another. For example, heavier notes like vanilla and cinnamon are more noticeable compared to lighter citrus notes like orange and grapefruit. The note combinations also lead to variations in the fragrance's color. For example our warm Tre fragrance is deep amber in color while citrus-forward Agrume's fragrance is clear.

7. Are diffuser refills available?

We do not offer refills for three reasons. First, after use in one bottle of fragrance the sticks become completely saturated and will not wick additional bottles (i.e. they won't be able to absorb any more liquid and therefore can't diffuse more fragrance). The photo below shows the comparison between a set of fully saturated sticks (on top) and set of fresh sticks (on bottom). Second, pouring a new bottle of fragrance into an old bottle may alter the fragrance. Finally we package and ship our liquid diffuser fragrances in glass bottles, so customers receive a new glass bottle regardless.

8. What is the shelf life of reed diffusers?

We encourage you to use unopened bottles of Alora fragrance within 3 years.

9. How long do reed diffusers last?

Our 8oz diffusers last 1-3 months, and our 16oz diffusers last 3-5 months. This can vary based on variables mentioned in the answer to question 10 below. 

10. Why does the evaporation rate vary from bottle to bottle?

Different air conditions will affect the rate at which our fragrances evaporate. Dry climates, heated spaces, air conditioning and air purifiers may all increase the evaporation rate, whereas more humid conditions may cause the fragrance to last longer. How often the sticks are flipped will also affect the evaporation rate: flipping the sticks more often will cause the fragrance to evaporate faster and vice versa.

11. Why does the fragrance color occasionally change over time?

The essential oils used in our fragrances naturally darken with time. This will occur in both opened and unopened bottles and varies based on the notes within each fragrance. Avoid placing your diffuser by a heat source or sunlight. Both increase the darkening of the fragrance, and, if excessive, may alter the fragrance. 

12. Why doesn't my diffuser smell as strong as it used to? Have you changed the formula?

This is a question I occasionally receive from longtime Alora fans, and the answer is no, we have not changed our original Alora formulas. What has happened is a common occurrence: your nose has grown accustomed to the fragrance, therefore you don't notice it as much or at all. To avoid this (as hard as it is when you have a scent you love!), I recommend alternating fragrances rather than always using the same ones.

13. What are the benefits of using reed diffusers to scent my home?

Reed diffusers are a terrific way to bring luxurious scent into your home. The "always on" factor combined with the safety of no flame is pretty hard to beat. Whether welcoming guests into your foyer, scenting your bathroom, or providing a finishing touch as a piece of home decor in any space, reed diffusers offer the best of both worlds.


Ensuring that you are 100% satisfied with your Alora reed diffuser is important to me, so please let me know in the comments below or send me an email if you have additional questions. I always love a chance to connect with you!

Happy diffusing!



  • Jennifer

    I’ve learned that to maintain an optimal level of scent in my very small home, I use just 5 or 6 of the wicking reeds each time I open a new 16 oz. bottle. (Agrume, so far, is my absolute favorite.) I found that using all of the supplied reeds imparted an overwhelming scent in my living space. I’m really looking forward to sampling the upcoming fragrance, Mare!

  • Therese

    Claudia, it is so fun to hear how much you love our Verde fragrance! It’s one of our best sellers! It’s a great scent for spring but so are Uno and Bella, which like Verde, have just a hint of sweetness to them and are nice florals to welcome the change of seasons!

  • ronny

    I love the idea of putting used sticks in a sock drawer for example. also sometimes I pour the oil into a really beautiful glass or crystal bottle for a more feminine look. also my favorite is ISOLA. I’ve been getting that one for at least 20 years!

  • Linda Wallman

    When my bottle is empty, I bundle up the used sticks and place them in a small utility closet, drawer, or anywhere I want to enjoy the scent of my favorite, Tre. The scent lingers on the sticks well after the liquid has been used.

  • Claudia Baker

    I absolutely love Verde! My diffuser is still going over a year now! What other fragrance would you recommend with the same notes? I don’t care for strong fragrance.

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