Reed diffusers have recently and rather rapidly grown to be become one of the best alternatives to candles, mainly because they offer wonderfully vibrant aromas and, for the fire-conscious, they are absolutely flame-free.
Their popularity has spread across Europe, the United States and other countries, and their fascinating history coincides with the advent, art and science of aromatherapy in which oils are blended for a variety of purposes including the heightening of a sense of well being and the introduction of a luxury scent for any home or celebration. In the midst of their growing popularity, however, current reed diffusers have also presented a number of limitations, often providing inferior performance and causing consumers to experience a disappointing purchase.
The limitations of existing reed diffusers sticks
- Even though the make up of the reed diffuser base oil being supplied may be sufficient, most wooden reeds are often not porous enough, so they frequently get clogged and don’t allow the fragrance to evaporate at a constant regulated pace.
- As a result, consumers often need to repeatedly flip reeds, sometimes daily, just to refresh fragrance potency.
- Consequently, consumers are left with oils on their fingers, potentially and inadvertently staining clothes, furniture and other fabrics.
With these shortcomings in mind, we asked ourselves — what if there were a reed diffuser system that required no fuss, no maintenance, no flipping and provided a consistent, even evaporation of fragrance oil throughout a 30-day period? We not only asked the question, we assembled a team to innovate and provide exactly that.
The following blog explores the business of reed diffusers, how they work, the top selling fragrances in the marketplace today and a detailed description of how we’ve applied certain scientific innovations to evolve reed diffuser systems to their next, optimal level for manufacturers, distributors and consumers.
Sales and statistics concerning reed diffusers
Americans love fragrance and not just for their bodies but also for their homes and offices. The air care market today, which includes premium-priced luxury candles, sprays, oils; plug-ins, warmers; wax melts, potpourri; sachets and reed diffusers, is a diverse and sophisticated market sector. According to a report published by Kline & Company, a New Jersey-based market research firm, home fragrance retail sales reached nearly $5.6 billion in 2012, posting the highest rate of growth in the past five years.
In 2016, fragrance diffuser sales experienced a 36 percent spike. Dollar and unit sales of home scents have grown by double-digits for the last three years, with candles and reed diffusers driving the growth. During the last two years, sales have nearly doubled in volume, with the average retail price of a diffuser increasing by 7 percent to nearly $37.
How reed diffusers work & the challenges of traditional sticks
Reed diffusers offer a subtle yet very complex method to wrap your home or office in a favorite scent. Unlike candles, they do not require any heat and disperse scent into the air naturally. Each reed stick contains 20 or more individual cellular sections that are totally open so that they can draw liquid in from the bottom of the reed to the top. The process is known as capillary action, which occurs when a liquid’s surface comes in contact with a solid, causing it to rise, fall or become distorted in shape. The fragrance is thus released naturally.
The flow of fragrance that eminates from a reed diffuser works much in the same manner as a bouquet of flowers might, since the scent is strongest when you pass by, but the scent is not necessarily capable of carrying throughout the whole room. So reed diffusers work best when the reeds are wet and are placed in high traffic areas. Outside a powder room, closet or basement are perfect spots for placement of reed diffusers. Other ideal spots might be near the source of an airflow, such as a vent or a window. This helps the fragrance disperse throughout the desired area, but it also has a downside, as this will also cause the oil to dissipate at a faster rate, resulting in a dry reed in need of flipping.
Therein lies the problem — existing reeds that are made of wood, rattan, plastic or other materials have limited absorption and consequently a lack of evaporation. Also, since the wood in existing reed diffusers is not porous and has an absorption limit, once the oil penetrates the reed, it begins to lose the top notes of the fragrance, so users end up not benefiting from the full intended fragrance, all of which adds up to unhappy consumers and diminished repeat monthly sales for reed diffuser marketers.
The practice of flipping reeds
Reeds work like a wick drawing the fragrance up and into the air as the fragrance oil evaporates over time, but in order to keep the fragrance flowing, users are required to flip the reed, which can be done every few days or every day. It’s advised that flipping reeds should really be done over a sink or trash basket, and you should make sure to check that the vessel holding the oil has no oil drips before placing it on a counter top. The drawback, however, is the more often they are flipped, the sooner the fragrance evaporates, and according to consumers, this process is inconvenient and flat out annoying, as well as smelly and wet for your fingers. Suffice it to say, as innovative as the invention of reed diffusers has been, there’s always room for improvement!
Enter Alpha Aromatics flow cell technology
Alpha owner, Arnold Zlotnik, explains, “‘Flow cell’ was invented and mastered by our chemists to enable a hassle-free technique, eliminating any need or fuss with flipping. It’s a better ‘mousetrap,’ and the secret to its creating perfect, regulated scent diffusion lies in altering the reed material itself.” Instead of wood, flow cell reeds are made from an entirely different material that eliminates the need for flipping because their wicks are designed to absorb and retain the oils. The novel process also allows for fragrance to be diffused in the air at a much higher, regulated rate.
How Does Flow Cell Science Work?
The efficiency of Alpha’s innovative ‘mousetrap’ lies in its double action. The flow cell material flows through two membranes; an inner casing that feeds the outer membrane, which in turn allows the evaporator function. This ensures continuous fragrance replenishment from the reservoir bottle, a process known as migratory evaporation.
The advantages of flow cell reed sticks as opposed to others
Flow cell technology is both practical and innovative. When the reed combines with higher quality essential oils, the end result is a reed diffuser that needs no flipping and a fragrance that lasts longer with a stronger throw. The reed, which acts as a wick, absorbs and diffuses continuously. The flow cell reeds are much more porous than those made of bamboo or rattan, and they are made by extrusion, a process which is defined as “something formed by forcing semi-soft material through a specially shaped mold or nozzle.” As far as reed diffusers go, this means that any shape under the sun can be transformed into a wick, which in the case of flow cell reeds, is usually like a tube, but anything from bamboo shapes to straight wooden reeds to just about any form can be created to meet your specific creative desire or tastes.
Alpha’s Flow Cell Reeds offer many advantages
Alpha flow cell reeds are a tremendous improvement and mark significant innovation over conventional wooden reeds. In addition to the fact that these reeds continually absorb and evaporate from the surface, their unique formula allows them to replenish themselves, which completely eliminates the need for flipping. The Flow Cell material can also be saturated ahead of time and dyed to a specific color, and can even be dyed or tinted to match the color of a bamboo or natural reed stick. In fact, the material can be molded into any extrudable shape you can imagine, so you’re not locked into the traditional stick-like wick form.
Further enhancing reed diffusion, we have designed fragrances with custom blended “evaporatory” components that allow the scent to evaporate at a regulated rate over the course of the 30-day period. And while our oils can be used with any other reed diffuser system, they have been specifically developed to provide the longest, most effective, consistent, regulated fragrance throw with our flow cell reeds. On average, five reeds will evaporate 2-4 ounces of oil per day over a period of thirty days!
Reed Diffuser Base Oils & Refills – The Most Popular Fragrances
Of course, any reed diffuser system is only as good as its fragrance, and we have decades of experience working with companies to create fragrances for a vast array of personal care products, perfumes, scented candles and more. Having studied market trends across a number of variables, we’ve designed a vibrant mélange of unique scents around consumer trends and blend perfectly with any reed diffuser system. The following are just a few the most popular, top-selling reed diffuser fragrances:
- White Sands: An exotic tropical scent with floral ozone overtones that whispers of a fresh, clean, spring rain falling on a garden, this scent is marked by radiant top notes of citron and bergamot which carry hints of fresh lemon and bitter orange that drift into the middle notes of sweet, calming jasmine; earthy and strong white tea leaf, sweet, green and delicate violet and spicy, honeyed neroli. A woody and soft base note completes the scent.
- English Garden: Through the rolling mist of an early English dawn, the air is saturated with the lingering bouquet of lush flora. Top notes of mild, sweet and delicate amaryllis; distinctively sweet jasmine; rosy and a little peppery geranium blossom and pungent, musky, sharp marigold give way to middle notes of a creamy, rich pronounced fragrant rose that culminate in a base note that is woody, green and leafy.
- Bai Hai: Conjuring images of remote, fragrant islands surrounded by emerald waters and luxurious tropical blooms, the top notes of this exotic scent explode with a fruity blend of succulent, peachy mango; a guave blend of orange, papaya, guava, peach strawberry and violet; mildly sweet kiwi, fruity-floral tangerine, fresh, fruity, green pineapple and floral citrusy passion fruit. The middle note is comprised of creamy, sweet magnolia with its whisper of citrus, zesty, fiery neroli, sultry night blooming jasmine, and deep, rich, exceptionally delicate yiang. A warm, smooth and woody touch of sandalwood and feminine powdery vanilla base note complete the scent.
- White Persimmon & Pear: A masculine, fruity-floral blend suggestive of falling leaves and chilly autumn winds, the warm, spicy yet subtly vanilla-bean sweet fragrance of white persimmon blended with sugary, fresh Anjou pear and peach-plum mango dominate the top note of this intense fragrance. A middle note of soft jasmine, fresh, sweet, green violet, and light, fresh, floral and tart apple blossom flows into a base note comprised of rich and earthy ambery tones. Warm, sensual nuances of musk finalize the scent and are included because they evaporate very slowly, making the fragrance last.
- Hibiscus & Sea Jasmine: The top note of this fragrance has several nuances, including earthy, herbal-floral and citrusy melon. The middle note blends tangy, fruity hibiscus with sweet violet, strong jasmine, woody rosemary and the complex composition of fig-leaf, which blends bitter green and milky sweet aspects with ripe fruity notes. The base note is musky, woody and earthy with a touch of pungent and mossy patchouli complemented by driftwood’s woody mix of vanilla, sandalwood and warmed musk.
- Pink Peony & Peppercorn: This haunting fragrance opens with a trace of spicy and fruity-floral, with a top note infused with piquant wine-mulled apple; mellow and fruity tangerine; lemony-orange citron and fresh, rich and fruity wild berries. As if dancing on a soft summer breeze, the sparkling, unique and intensive scent of luxurious pink peonies dominate the middle note of this fragrance coupled with strong, sweet intoxicating hyacinth; rosy and milky almond lilac blossom and peppery, floral carnation. Spicy and robust base notes of earthy patchouli finish the fragrance.
- Grapefruit & Vanilla Sugar: This complex scent has a top note consisting of sweet, delicate pink grapefruit, which renders a fresh, happy, uplifting and zesty beginning to this fragrance composition. Sweet and comforting vanilla sugar and potent orange citrus close the top note. This sets the stage for a middle note of fresh, light, citrus blossom; almond-smelling, vanilla-like, heliotrope and redolent violet. A base note of soft, musky, aromatic vanilla finishes the scent.
- Pineapple Papaya: This scent brings to the mind’s eye images of pristine beaches, sparkling azure waters, swaying palm fronds and warm, fragrant, gentle winds. Top notes are a tropical mélange of juicy, sweet peach, nuances of waxy, fruity, candy-like pineapple; pleasing, sugary mango; fleshy and sweet papaya and a trace of zesty, intoxicating lime. This leads to a unique middle note of heavy and rich lotus blossom. The base note finishes the scent with its nuances of earthy musk, warm sandalwood and sweet vanilla.
- Sea Fennel Musk: This aquatic fragrance is a floral ocean mist that draws its power from the sea. Closing one’s eyes and breathing in this scent calls upon a kaleidoscope of colors and images reminiscent of an organic mineral sea garden. Its top notes are fruity citrus and grapefruit. Fresh, lemony and lightly sweet green water lily form the middle note that sails, as if on summer winds, across serene lakes and ponds. The base note is earthy musk blended with green and slightly sharp vetiver.
Having recognized that reed diffusers are fast becoming an alternative to conventional candles, we pioneered advances through unique quality diffuser base oils blended with our innovative flow cell technology. Our mantra — we aim to address each of our client’s dynamic customer base, filling needs as always with even more than what is requested or even expected. If you are manufacturer, distributor or you’re an entrepreneur that’s interested in the reed diffuser industry and would like to learn more about our flow science technology, reach out to our team today!
Final thoughts on fragrance:
May your love for me be like the scent of the evening sea drifting in through a quiet window… ~ Sanober Khan