Home-made tatami air fresheners?
September 19, 2012 2:11 AM   Subscribe

Can I make aromatic oils that will diffuse through tatami sticks myself?

I have store-bought air-fresheners that are little bottles of perfumed oil with what I believe are tatami sticks semi-immersed in the oil. The oil diffuses through the sticks and releases the aroma in to the air.

I find them aesthetically pleasing and also a very subtle and non-gaggy air deodorizer. I've had them in my bathroom and they work well and last a long time. Now I've put some in my living room too. Annoyingly now my supermarket has failed to re-stock them.

As I have some time up my sleeve, I was wondering if I could make perfumed oil myself, using essential oils and something else to dilute it I suppose?

What sort of oil or other agent should I use to dilute the essential oil so that it diffuses through the tatami sticks? Will this work?
posted by evil_esto to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You can buy reed diffuser base from soap or candle suppliers (probably someone like Majestic Mountain Sage has it, for eg), which you dilute with your fragrance, at different rates according to different sources, I tried 1 part fragrance, to three, four and five parts carrier oil (this rate depends on the fragrance, and your taste, I think). It's a dilutant and carrier, and has no fragrance of its own, it permits the fragrance oil to travel up the reeds. Most people use fragrance oils, and say that essential oils are too expensive, or not very effective in diffusers. I just made a few using fragrance oils, and they make me feel sick, so I have one that I put together just today with essential oils - I can let you know how it goes, if you like.
posted by thylacinthine at 3:51 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you tell me what "tatami sticks" are? I suspect that I still won't have an answer for your question, but I'd really like to know, and there is always the chance that if I did know, I might be better equipped to formulate an answer to your question.
posted by segatakai at 4:04 AM on September 19, 2012

Response by poster: yeah, "tatami" seems to be "cane" or "young bamboo" My google-fu failed as well, hence why I asked the internet.
posted by evil_esto at 4:08 AM on September 19, 2012

Response by poster: They look no different from what you might skewer to satay some meat.
posted by evil_esto at 4:09 AM on September 19, 2012

When I had this same question, I found The Diffusery, which sells oils, reeds and containers.

The reeds are rattan, which work because of their spongy insides. I don't know if that's a tatami reed, but bamboo does not work.
posted by freshwater at 6:12 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by AmandaA at 7:21 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: yay! and more reasons to buy vodka...
posted by evil_esto at 8:43 AM on September 19, 2012

Best answer: If you have trouble with the DIY route (I'm personally skeptical of "look how easily you can make this store-bought thing yourself" blog posts, as they often turn into CraftFails), I recommend the reed diffusers from Pier One. They seem to last the longest and have the best scents.
posted by radioamy at 9:12 AM on September 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: reed diffusers from Pier One.

Read the wikipedia entry on "air fresheners." Or Google that phrase with "FDA."

The FDA recommends not to use these products. They are neither food nor drug, and are unregulated. They can say that they are natural and organic, without any meaning. They use volatile phthalates, which are a kind of evaporating plastic. The scent you smell is not in the air, its glued to your smelling receptors. And your eyes, ears, nose and throat.

They glue the scents there, and they also glue materials that block other scents. No one knows exactly how long these materials stick to you, or indeed if normal perception ever returns. When you leave the house and go to a restaurant, your sense of smell remains diminished.

Relatively little testing has been done, because they don't have to. Even short exposure to normal room concentrations has had adverse effects on laboratory animals.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:20 AM on September 19, 2012 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Those grapeseed oil/essential oil/vodka concoctions did not work AT ALL. $180 worth of essential oils later I can attest only that Vodka is relatively good value.

Supermarket suddenly stocking product again - I bought the whole shelf.

Please remind me never to 'craft' again. Like scuba-diving and horse-racing, craft is in my "Things I just don't do" basket.

Thanks for all the answers guys!
posted by evil_esto at 2:01 AM on November 10, 2012

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