How To Make Reed Diffuser / Car Air Freshener / Vacuum Disc Fragrance Oil

Posted by andrew sanderson on

Reed diffusers are quick and easy to make and are a great addition to your fragrance collections. To make a reed diffuser you will need:



  • fragrance oil
  • reed diffuser base (the most common base being Augeo clean multi)
  • reeds
  • Glass or ceramic container for finished product


  • Scales
  • Container(s) suitable to weigh the base and oil.


Once you have chosen your fragrance oil you need to look at the IFRA document for that fragrance oil. Ours are available to open and download from each fragrance oil listing on our website. At the time of writing this blog the current amendments (versions) are IFRA 49 and 50. Category 10A lists all the products that this category covers. Reed diffuser is towards the bottom of this section. This is not the working amount but it is the maximum amount you can use. For example, our sandalwood fragrance oil states 100% on the IFRA but we would suggest trying 10% to 25% fragrance oil. Many people assume you need the full 25% because most CLP is for 10% or 25% but with our oils being so strong that is not necessary.


The percentages of fragrance oil to base are by weight not volume. The density of different bases and fragrance oils vary so they need to be weighed and not measured as a volume. If you were making a 20% concentration you would weigh 20g of fragrance oil and 80g of your diffuser base.


Mix these together, pour in to your container, add your reeds and you have your diffuser. 100g of the mixture would not necessarily be 100ml so keep that in mind if you are selling by volume. It might be easier to sell by weight but you would need trade approved scales if selling by weight. After a few hours flip your reeds to help speed up the diffuser soaking up the reeds. Do this away from furniture, perhaps over the sink and then wash your hands. Skin contact turning the reeds is why a lot of oils were restricted in reed diffusers between IFRA 48 and 49. 

Once you have made your reed diffuser you need an appropriate CLP label. Most suppliers CLP templates or labels are shown in a non hazardous base unless they state otherwise. Our Diffusol reed diffuser base is non hazardous. CLP from different suppliers will differ so please read each CLP before you use the fragrance oil as a reed diffuser. You need to ensure that your CLP includes your base if the base is hazardous. You can tell if your base is hazardous  by looking at the SDS (safety data sheet). If you have any questions please email us or ask in our Facebook group. Reed diffuser mixture  is also used to fragrance vacuum fragrance disks and car diffusers.

 Factors affecting strength of fragrance.

We have tested some of our fragrance oils as diffusers at 15% in a large open plan room and this percentage is more than strong enough. There are lots of factors affecting the strength of the fragrance in a room. These factors are room size, temperature and airflow. The choice and number of reeds, your choice of base and the choice of fragrance. 

Reed diffusers work by drawing the mixture up the reed where the mixture then evaporates into the air in the room. The mixture evaporates quicker if there is more airflow or if the room temperature is warmer. The more reeds you have, the stronger the scent in the room will be but the diffuser oil will be used up quicker. If the scent is too strong, remove some reeds. Never place your reed diffuser in direct sunlight and ensure that it is out of reach of pets and children. Stand your reed diffuser on a surface that won’t be damaged eg a coaster. Note fragrance oil and diffuser bases can damage some surfaces. 

The most popular reeds are fibre or natural rattan. Bamboo ‘reeds’ can be used but these contain nodules which can hinder the scent travelling up the reed. Rattan reeds are a good choice if natural is important for your brand. Fibre reeds are synthetic and have been created specifically for diffusers. They are available in various colours and sizes. 

We have included a list of all reed diffuser friendly fragrance oils on our website along with the maximum permissible percentage. 


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