* Prices may differ from that shown
I love a well-fragranced home and I'm a great believer in the power of essential oils to lift my mood or help me to relax. The Bliss Aromatherapy Diffuser first came to my attention when I spotted a selection of them on display in Zen, the Fair Trade shop in The Lanes at the Meadowhall shopping centre. The diffusers on display were blue (aqua), pink (rose) and amber and they looked very eye catching lined up on the shelf, emitting a warm, cosy glow. Clouds of scented mist were flowing from their funnel-shaped necks. I was transfixed and although I wandered round the shop to look at other things, I found myself being drawn back to the diffusers again and again. The product has a modern, vibrant, 'funky' appearance, yet its slender neck gives it an elegant quality. Some people have commented that the flowing mist reminds them of lava pouring out of a volcano. I agree with that, but it also reminds me of a shisha pipe, which gives it a slightly decadent feel. In a rather 'girly' moment, I ended up buying the rose pink version, although the other colours were just as lovely. This product can be obtained from Amazon for £33.99.
The product is mains operated. Its 12W power use means that energy consumption is low and it is designed with LED bulbs.
The Bliss Aromatherapy Diffuser is very easy to assemble. All you have to do is remove the funnel and the lower cover, then fill up the water tank with tap water to the specified mark, add 2-3 drops of your favourite essential oil or fragrance oil then replace the lid and funnel. You then plug in the adaptor, press the on/off button and immediately your diffuser will light up and start to produce soothing aromatic mist. I was surprised and impressed that there was no waiting for it to 'warm up.' As I subsequently discovered, the product doesn't warm up. That is the beauty of it. It uses ultrasonic technology to release water vapour without the need for heat. Heat can destroy or weaken the properties of essential oils, so this has an advantage over the traditional oil burner method where a tea light is used to heat the oil. I have found that the diffuser will produce mist for approximately 3-4 hours before the water tank needs refilling. There is a built in sensor which means that the diffuser will shut-down automatically if the water level is too low. In my experience, the product is easy to maintain. You just empty away any remaining water and it is recommended that you wipe the inside of the unit clean with a soft tissue and cotton bud, which isn't at all fiddly to do. The small ceramic disc which creates the diffusion will eventually have to be replaced (after approximately 3000 hours according to the manufacturer!) There is an illustrated guide provided on how to replace the disc. I have found out that replacement discs can be obtained from Amazon for £4.99. You can also go to the Madebyzen website to find a retailer where you can buy a replacement disc.
The Bliss Aromatherapy Diffuser disperses negative ions into the air. Inhaling these negative ions can be beneficial to health. When they reach the bloodstream, it is understood that negative ions trigger biochemical reactions that increase levels of serotonin, the 'feel good' chemical, helping to alleviate depression, ease stress and boost energy levels. Negative ions help the body regain its natural balance, resulting in less fatigue, a stronger immune system and an increase in the flow of oxygen to the brain, leading to better concentration and alertness. Air conditioned environments deplete the air of negative ions, so a diffuser like this could be a welcome addition to an office or hotel room.
My Experience of using the diffuser
As much as I love my scented candles, wax tarts and incense sticks, I find this a simpler and safer way to fragrance my home. When you have cats walking around your shelves, naked flames are not the most sensible idea. I would also recommend this diffuser to those with young children, or for use in the bedroom, where you want to create a relaxing, sensual environment but where candles can be particularly hazardous.
The diffuser stands approximately 8 inches high and is lightweight and portable. This means it can be easily moved from room to room. However, although it is light, it isn't so flimsy that it is likely to be knocked over (by a cat, for instance). I like to use lavender essential oil in the diffuser when it's in my bedroom to help me to fall asleep. In addition, the product's night light provides a soft, sleepy glow, which I don't find too bright or distracting for bedtime use. Because the diffuser shuts down automatically after 3 hours or so, I don't have to worry about getting out of bed to switch it off at night. It is fairly quiet. You can hear a slight whirring sound coming from it, but this has never kept me awake. During the day I like to bring the diffuser downstairs to use in the living room. Although we don't smoke and don't (I hope) have a smelly house, I've found it great for freshening the air in a natural, not overpowering way and getting rid of any cooking odours. I have a collection of oils and I like to vary them from day to day. What's good is that after I have emptied away the water and wiped the diffuser clean, I am able to add a few drops of a new oil without the last scent lingering. My favourite fragrance oils at the moment are Deep Violet Musk and Indian Summer (both by Ancient Wisdom). There are so many to choose from and a 10ml bottle will normally cost around £1.80 and last you a long time as you only need a drop or two. These oils are available from Amazon or can be bought in New Age shops and chemists. Unlike candles where the smoke can sometimes adulterate the scent, I find that the diffuser mist provides a very clean, fresh scent which lingers pleasantly for some time after the appliance has been switched off.
I have a bottle of eucalyptus essential oil and I add a few drops of this to the diffuser whenever anyone in the house has a cold or cough. Eucalyptus oil is used in aromatherapy to treat respiratory tract problems and is believed to kill airborne bacteria. I have been very lucky so far this year in avoiding colds, so perhaps this has been a contributing factor. Of course, not all essential oils are safe to use if you have certain medical conditions or if you are pregnant, so you should always obtain professional advice first.
The Bliss Aroma Diffuser has been a much-appreciated addition to my home. Whilst I cannot honestly state that I have noticed significant improvements to my health, I do find the diffuser a comforting, uplifting presence. It is aesthetically pleasing which, along with the gorgeous scent it creates, adds a touch of sensuous luxury to my day. For me a big part of stress management is surrounding myself with beautiful things and this diffuser falls into that category, in my opinion. There is something refreshing and cool about the cascade of mist that is produced which means that, although the diffuser is cosy to use in winter, it is also suitable for those summer months, reminding me of wind and sea mist against my skin on holidays. I would certainly recommend this product.