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02-14-14 | Posted by

I arrived at the scented air diffuser revolution a bit late, but now I’m a convert. Fragrant, attractive, and more reliable than candles, these mood setters can really change the aura of your home or office.

San Francisco-based Agraria was one of the first companies to capitalize on the power of room scent. Thirty years ago, Henri Bendel greeted shoppers with the brand’s Bitter Orange potpourri. Bergdorf Goodman followed in 1985.

But environmental fragrance has greatly evolved since the seventies. The new Agraria AirEssence ($110) diffuses scent through charming looking flowers sitting in a short crystal base filled with essential oils.

The description doesn’t do the product justice, as it is quite lovely. The flowers are natural, made from the dried leaves of the tapioca plant, and slowly absorb the essential oil and emit the scent into the air. It continues to work for approximately one year.

Available in eight different scents, my favorite AirEssence variety is Balsam, which is actually Agraria’s first ever fragrance. I love it because the scent reminds me of the smell of a damp forest and features notes of sweet balsam, California redwood, sage, and white flowers.

The Cedar Rose Essence makes a great Valentine’s Day present. The AirEssence packaging is stunning, and this one in shades of red holds an oil essence bouquet of Damask rose, violets, Lily of the Valley, and cedarwood,

Agraria PetiteEssence ($45) is a more traditional set-up using sticks to diffuse the aroma into the air. Try this in Bitter Orange with androgynous notes of clove, bitter orange, and cypress.

It was a seasonal scented candle that finally pulled me on the room scent train. Illume Balsam and Cedar is my go to winter fragrance. The candles retain their scent for a surprisingly long time, but the Illume Reed Diffuser ($33.50) can continue to scent your room long after the candle has been blown out.

From candles I moved to a pebble shaped diffuser that works like a mini humidifier. In the winter, I love Nancy Boy Hearth Essential Oil ($21), only available October, November, and December, but the San Francisco based bath and body’s Signature scent enlivens and soothes with French lavender, peppermint and rosemary.

After my initial essential oil purchases, it was a short jump to developing a home fragrance library, one that I change more frequently than my personal scent. It has really opened a new world for me, and maybe it will for you too.

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