Note:  There are Amazon Affiliate links in this post!

We currently have a three-bedroom apartment.  One bedroom is for the roommate, one bedroom is for the spouse and I, and one bedroom is the study/office/cat room, where the desk, office supplies, and cat boxes are kept.  We have two large boxes because one of the cats is highly territorial, and has been known to make messes if she does not have sufficient space.  Even with cleaning the boxes twice a day, and investing in good cat litter (which has helped so much!), there’s still a lingering cat smell that makes the room less than pleasant to spend long periods of time in.

At first, we were using Glade plugins to help mask the scent a bit, but the scents are too perfumed, tended to give me headaches, were expensive, and ran out quickly.  Then we switched to candles and incense.  I have a bunch of nice incense left over from a trip to Thailand years ago that I’ve just never been able to get through (I think I’m halfway?), and for some reason we always have scented candles around.  We don’t buy scented candles (except once), they just show up at our apartment.  I think they breed.  Anyone else have this issue?

Well, at the end of the day, incense makes a mess, and candles eventually burn out, and I wanted something that would be constantly “on” but that didn’t take electricity or fire.  We thought we’d stumbled onto a good idea with a reed diffuser, except then the scent all evaporated, and when we went to get more we realized that the company that made the scent we liked didn’t sell just the oil.  We’d have to get a new bottle and new reeds as well!  I thought that seemed like an environmental waste, so we looked into making our own diffuser scent, and it turns out it’s super easy!



You can make diffuser scents with either an oil base, or a water base.  I chose to go with a water base, since it comes out of the tap and is practically free, whereas the suggested oils were closer to $1 per oz.  Add some rubbing alcohol (the suggestion is about a teaspoon of 99%, my store only had 70%, so I added a dash, rather than a teaspoon), and 15 to 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice.

I chose jasmine and cedar wood.  The scent that the spouse and I agreed on was jasmine and bamboo, and was just a nice, clean scent.  I wanted to recreate that, but apparently essential oils don’t come in “bamboo” so I chose something with a little more musk to balance out the sweet floral of the jasmine.  I did 10 drops of jasmine, and 5 of cedar wood.


Water – N/A, out of the tap

Alcohol – $1.39 for a large bottle, so pennies for the dash I threw in

Essential Oils – $15.10 for two bottles, each 1 oz, of jasmine and cedar wood.  But, you only use a little bit of each.  They’re also just slightly cheaper on Amazon, and apparently Prime available.

Total: $16.49 for like two years’ worth of air freshener.  I’ll need new reeds at some point, since they do eventually get gummed up, but since these only went through one round so far, I think they’ll be fine for a little longer.

In comparison, the Glade plugins at Target were $2.26 each (6.79 for 3), and lasted about a month, so we were buying about $20 worth of air fresheners a year.  Not a whole lot, but noticeable.


The finished product!  It’s not so exciting to look at, but the smell is fantastic, and not overpowering!  It really makes the difference when sitting in the study working or studying for hours!  If you’re interested, give it a try yourself.  We got the oils at Sprouts, but they’re also available through Amazon, and come in a variety of scents so now we can experiment and mix and match what we like.