What to do when your diffuser stops smelling

Firstly - a reality check. Reed diffusers ARE more subtle than automatic diffusers, candles or incense. Don't expect to get the same strong aroma.
And essential oil/ soy based diffusers like ours again tend to be more subtle than alcohol based diffusers made with synthetic fragrances.

But they're much less hassle - once they're unpacked all you need to do is turn the reeds over periodically. And in my opinion natural fragrances smell way better even if they're not as strong.

There are a couple of things you can do to make sure your BALMY reed diffuser (or any reed diffuser that is!) does give a nice subtle fragrance in the room


This is probably THE most important thing to get right, and it will be a bit of trial and error. I've found the same diffuser will work brilliantly on a shelf next to my wardrobe in my bedroom (where it gets a lot of air wafting from the opening and closing of my wardrobe door as I have my daily panic about what to wear), but isn't quite as happy in our downstairs WC - where it doesn't get a lot of traffic or airflow

Top tip - choose an area that:

  • gets a lot of air movement from passing traffic/ opening & closing of doors/ draughts from the window (the opposite of candles!)
  • isn't too hot. In hotter rooms, the exposed ends of the reeds dry out more quickly and when they're dry, evaporation won't happen
  • isn't too big. Reed diffusers tend to get lost in big rooms. Some diffusers work better in larger spaces (like our patchouli, black pepper & bay or our lavender, bergamot & cedarwood blends), whereas others tend to thrive more in smaller spaces. We provide an indication of diffuser strength on our website but if you're ever unsure just ask the brand you're buying from what they would recommend for your space


Turning the reeds
Reeds are the second most important factor in how well your reed diffuser performs. Turn your reeds regularly to make sure they are completely saturated. The ends exposed to the air do tend to dry out over time, so turning them over helps start the process over again. They need to be saturated for evaporation to work effectively.

I turn my reeds over every week - sometimes even more often. This will result in the diffuser being used up more quickly than if you were to turn the sticks every fortnight or month, but will result in better scent diffusion.

Reed material
We use natural rattan (wood) reeds because of our strong sustainability ethos. Many other brands use synthetic reeds because they're claimed to be better than wooden reeds. Mainly this is because wooden reeds have a tendency to get clogged up and stop diffusing after a while. We find this doesn't tend to happen in the time you would be using our diffusers. Normally our diffusers will last around 4 months if you turn the reeds over weekly. In this period the wooden reeds should continue to work. If they stop diffusing for any reason - do get in touch and we will replace your reeds for free.

Number of reeds used
The more reeds used, the stronger the scent. There will be a limit to this however once the reeds start bunching up against each other and limiting air movement. We suggest using the 8 reeds we send out with our diffusers, but if you feel you need more do get in touch and we will send you extra ones for free, no problem

Hope that helps - let us know in the comments below how you get on!

1 comment

Hi I can’t smell my defuser could it b I need new reeds?

Amanda February 26, 2024

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