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Reed diffuser

Certain aromas have powerful associations with the holidays. But many of the sugar-plum-scented candles and gingerbread air fresheners we can buy contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can pose myriad health risks.

Swap the store-bought options for all-natural scents using this simple technique. It requires only a handful of materials, and no flame or electricity.


  • 1  8-oz. glass jar
  • 1/4 cup carrier oil (such as sweet-almond, olive, or fractionated coconut oil)
  • 1 tbs. rubbing alcohol
  • 20–30 drops essential oils
  • 4–6 reed-diffuser sticks or bamboo skewers


1. Pour your carrier oil, rubbing alcohol, and essential oils into the glass jar. Stir or shake to combine.

2. If you’re using bamboo skewers, trim the pointy end. Place the diffuser sticks in your jar.

3. Turn the sticks over every few days to expose the ends that have been in the liquid to air. This will help refresh the scent.

Tip: Reed diffusers make great gifts! Mix the oils and alcohol in a jar with a lid or cork, and present it with a handful of reeds.

Essential Oil Blends for the Holidays

Give one of these five holiday blends a try:

  1. Cozy and spicy: Mix 10 drops cinnamon, 10 drops sweet orange, and 4 drops clove bud oil.
  2. Woodsy: Mix 10 drops frankincense, 10 drops cedarwood, and 4 drops fir-needle oil.
  3. Pumpkin pie: Mix 8 drops cardamom, 6 drops cinnamon, 4 drops clove bud, and 2 drops nutmeg oil.
  4. Winter herbs: Mix 8 drops rosemary, 6 drops sage, 4 drops thyme, and 2 drops black pepper oil.
  5. Bright and fresh: Mix 10 drops peppermint, 10 drops bergamot, and 4 drops cypress oil.
Photography by: John Mowers

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