Essential oils haven't changed much over the millennia, but the way in which they are diffused has.

The process of dispersing incredibly aromatic oils like Bergamot into the environment has developed over the centuries from simple to sophisticated. You don't need a qualification in chemistry or physics to understand how aromatherapy diffusers work.

You will find it helpful, though, to know the ins and outs of how each different type of essential oil diffuser works. Once you do, you'll be able to choose the right diffuser for the surroundings you want to use it in.


Evaporative diffusers

Although evaporative aromatherapy diffusers work by the same principle of evaporation, they're a little more technologically advanced. Contained in the base of the diffuser is a small battery or electric fan. The fan generates a gentle breeze inside the diffuser which blows through a pad you soak with essential oil. The movement of air through the pad causes the oil to evaporate. The main advantage of an evaporative essential oil diffuser.


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volant energy essential oil blend made with pure Grapefruit, Lime, Bergamot and Amyrisvolant clay diffuser using energy essential oil blend made with pure Grapefruit, Lime, Bergamot and Amyris
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Get energised

If you've procrastinated and left your reed diffuser or evaporative diffuser to dry out, try replenishing it with this essential oil.

With this wonderful aroma circulating your home or office, you'll soon begin to feel more awake, more efficient, and able to complete those mundane housekeeping tasks while singing the latest number one hit.


Pottery diffusers

The way these essential oil heat diffusers work hasn't changed much since the times of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks who used them to burn Frankincense. Produced from glazed ceramics, this type of diffuser has a hollow interior where a candle or tealight can be inserted. They have decorative holes in the body to allow air to circulate and a small well-style dimple on the top surface to hold water and oil. When the candle is burning, it warms the oil and releases its scent. The only set-back with this antiquated method of diffusing aromatherapy oil is that you can't regulate the amount of heat reaching the oil - too little and there'll be no lovely aroma, or too much and it will damage the properties of the oil.


Electric aromatherapy diffusers

Modernity began to catch up with essential oil heat diffusers sometime after the convenient invention of electricity. Electrically operated essential oil diffusers contain a heating coil inside a waterproof casing. The casings can be either durable plastic or ceramic, but both will have a depression in which to place your preferred mix of oil and water or carrier oil. One good thing about how electric essential oil diffusers work is that the coil temperature is controlled by a thermostat to prevent overheating. Many models are also fitted with timers that will shut the heating process off automatically after a certain length of time.