DIY Reed Diffuser Base

DIY Reed Diffuser Base

Reed diffusers are a gentle and passive way to diffuse essential oils in your space, without the need for a flame or electricity - making them a safe and cost effective way to fragrance your home or office. While conventional reed diffuser bases are often made with a concoction of fragrance oils, alcohols and glycols, you can very easily make your own natural and vegan base oil with a few simple ingredients.

While simple, reed diffusers give a luxury aesthetic to any space and make a lovely gift. You could even wrap up the individual ingredients as a set and let the receiver make it up themselves - it’s easy enough for anyone!


Making The Base

A reed diffuser base oil needs to be neutral scented, so as to not interfere with the scent of the essential oils, and relatively thin so it can travel up the reeds. We find  safflower oilalmond oil and  fractionated coconut oil to be the best options here. Fortunately they are all reasonably priced too, so pick your favourite. 

Depending on the size of your diffuser jar, you will need about 50-60ml of oil.

Some like to add in 2 tablespoons of  isopropyl alcohol, to thin out the oil even more and help the scent travel up the reeds. This is optional, but if you find your reeds aren’t drawing the oil up then you can add it in.


Essential Oils For Scent

For every 50-60ml of base oil you will need around 25-50 drops of essential oils. This variance is because some essential oils are stronger than others so you may need to use less or more. Do a smell test after adding every few drops to determine whether you may need to add in more essential oil.

As for which essential oils you can use in a reed diffuser, well the list is endless! You can go simple and just add your favourite for a clean scent, or you can mix up a blend for a more complex scent.


Here are some scent blend ideas:





We also have essential oils blend recipes available here:  Essential Oil Blends


Natural Reed Diffuser Fragrance

50-60ml of base oil such as  almondsafflower or  fractionated coconut oil 

Essential oils of your choice

Reeds or you can use  wooden wicks (just remove the stabiliser)

Pretty  container with a narrow neck

Optional:  isopropyl alcohol to further thin out the mixture

Blend the carrier oil and the essential oils together until you get a nice strong scent. 

If you want to thin out the mixture, add 2 tablespoons of isopropyl alcohol to the carrier oil first, mix well to incorporate it, and then add in the essential oils.


Add the oil to the jar and insert the reeds. It will take a few days for the reeds to wick up the base and begin effectively diffusing the scent. You can top up the essential oils in the mixture as necessary when the scent fades, and don’t forget to flip the reeds every now and again. Replace the entire mixture once a month or as required.


Please note that using natural scents and solvents will yield a much softer scent in your space than using artificial fragrances. It may be best to place your reed diffuser in a smaller space such as an office or bathroom, rather than trying to scent your entire living room for instance.