Why Your Essential Oils Diffuser Doesn’t Smell and How to Fix It

I absolutely love essential oils and a diffuser is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. However, some people complain they are not getting the intense aroma they were expecting. Others even claim they’ve suddenly become nose blind and can’t feel the essential oils anymore. ‘Why can’t I smell the essential oils in my diffuser?’ you may ask.

Among the most common reasons why it may not be possible to feel the essential oils in a diffuser are using low-quality essential oils and improper dilution of the oils. Using the diffuser for too long or not cleaning the device frequently enough can also diminish the intensity of the aroma.

If you can no longer smell the essential oils in your diffuser, don’t worry. There are several things you can do to address this issue and make sure you get the best results from your essential oils!

Is Nose Blindness Ruining My Essential Oils?

This is a surprisingly common concern, so let’s address it.

You don’t really go “nose blind” to a scent. What happens is called sensory adaptation. When you sense something new, like a fresh scent in the room, your mind is going to pay a lot of attention to the new sensations in the room. Your brain hasn’t yet decided how important this new information is, so it is almost like your senses are heightened. Really, your mind is just paying more attention to it.

As you’re around something more often, you get used to it.

This doesn’t mean the fragrance isn’t there. It just means that you aren’t giving it as much of your attention.

While the essential oils may not smell as strong to you, in this case, you’re still getting the benefits of breathing in the essential oils.

If you notice that you don’t seem to be getting the same benefits you used to, or you’re sure there is something else off, then you can troubleshoot this by using more of the tips below. Just keep in mind that what is new will always smell stronger to you.

Are Your Essential Oils Too Diluted?

Diluting your essential oils is an important part of the process. While it’s important not to use too much essential oil in your diffuser, it’s also important not to use too little. Double-check your recipe for your essential oil blend.

Typically, for 100 ml of water, you want to add between three to five drops to your diffuser. If you have only put in three or four drops, try one more and see how the experience goes for you next time. Just make sure to stay within the safe range.

What Do You Know About the Quality Of Your Essential Oils?

Essential oils can be pricy. Paying somewhere between thirty dollars and seventy dollars for 10 ml of liquid is a lot for a lot of people. Knowing this, a lot of companies come online and sell less expensive essential oils. These look like a real deal! And who doesn’t want a deal?

Here’s the trouble with these “deals”.

The bottles are often labeled making it look like they are pure essential oils. They say they are just nutmeg oil. They say “natural” and of a “high grade”. So of course this is what you’re looking for. Right?

When you’re buying essential oils, you always have to check the ingredients list. There, you should see the scientific plant name for the essential oil. So if you were buying lavender oil, it would list one ingredient which would likely say, “Lavandula Angustifolia”.

In a lot of the less expensive essential oils that seem like a real deal, you’ll see lavender, but first, you’ll see a carrier oil, likely jojoba oil.

Essential oils

Carrier oils are substances like fractionated coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and jojoba oil, just to name a few. They are often used as massage oils. In texture, they are a lot thicker than essential oils. They can be blended with essential oils (at safe dilution ratios) and applied topically during a massage.

While carrier oils have a lot of unique benefits when used in that specific context, they don’t have benefits when you’re trying to diffuse essential oils. Instead, they dilute your essential oils. This can often be at a ratio of 70% carrier oil to only 30% essential oils.

When less than a third of the bottle is actually essential oils, you’re going to have a much different experience than you will with 100% pure essential oils.

On top of this, you have been following guidelines to properly dilute your essential oils before diffusing, and your essential oils were already diluted to a different amount.

While carrier oils can have great benefits for a massage, they don’t offer benefits for diffusion like essential oils do.

Some people may attempt to adjust their recipes and still use the essential oil blend they purchased in their diffuser. While you can find instructions on how to do that online, it’s not a good idea.

Your diffuser was made to be used with light, clean essential oils. The carrier oil is much thicker. This will eventually gum up the works within your machine and can permanently damage it.

This also makes it very difficult to actually get a proper dilution rate for your essential oils. Why can’t I smell my essential oils in my diffuser? Because there’s not enough. But if you try to add more of this diluted solution, you may easily add way too much for your health.

As much as I love a good deal, if the blended essential oil breaks your diffuser, doesn’t give you the benefits of essential oils, and possibly is bad for your health, then these inexpensive blends actually end up costing more in the long run.

The bottom line: make sure you’re using 100% pure essential oils. Check your ingredient list to be sure.

Are Your Essential Oils Well-Cared For?

One more note on your essential oils themselves is to take a look at their condition. Have they been stored in a dark bottle? Ideally, you want them to be stored in a dark amber or blue-colored glass bottle.

This keeps them fresh and assures they’re still working for you.

You May Not Enjoy the Blend You’re Using

It may be that the blend of essential oils you’re using is just for not you. If you’re experimenting with adding a couple drops of two or three different essential oils, it may be time to try a different blend.

When it feels like you can’t smell the essential oils in your diffuser, it may also be time to try your next session with just one pure essential oil. Have a day where you take advantage of lemon oil or lavender oil. Give yourself a chance to experience the benefits of just that one essential oil. Sometimes this can cleanse the palette, so to speak.

Are You Diffusing In A Large Room?

All right, how large is the space you’re using an essential oil diffuser in?

If you’re in a large room, you may need to turn on the “heavy mist” setting if your diffuser has one.

If your room is around 1,000 square feet, you likely need to use two diffusers. Strategically place them in different areas of the space.

Again, you may want to look at how much of the essential oil you’re using. If you’re using three drops per 100 ml, go up to four and see how that works for you. Stay within the safe ratio, though.

Note that buying a diffuser with a higher capacity won’t actually help in a large room. Some diffusers boast that they can hold up to 500 ml. This sounds like a great solution for a large room. In truth, the higher capacity means the diffuser can run for longer. It does not mean that it will work better in a larger room. The only thing the diffuser itself can do for a larger room is to use a heavy mist setting if it has one.

How Long to Use a Diffuser For

Essential oils have so many exciting benefits. A lot of people mistakenly believe that means using the diffuser more and for longer will increase the benefits.

In fact, it’s recommended that you use your diffuser for about thirty minutes and then take a break for at least an hour. This will give your body better time to adapt.

When Was The Last Time You Cleaned Your Diffuser?

Ideally, you want to clean your diffuser after every time you use it. If you have been going weeks without doing it, you are unfortunately not alone. Don’t worry, now you know.

Why do you want to clean it that much?

Because mildew and mold can grow in your diffuser quite quickly. Never leave water sitting in the machine and always clean it right after. Otherwise, you’ll be breathing in diffused mildew! This will definitely dampen the benefits of the essential oils for you.

Get The Most Of Your Essential Oils With Proper Use

Essential oils are a fun and beneficial way to help yourself add a little more relaxation to your day. The more you learn about them, the better your experience will be. Make sure you’re using good practices, like buying high-quality essential oils and cleaning your diffuser regularly, and you’ll get the most out of your experience. Enjoy!