Diffuser Bracelets: Expert Tips On Use And Maintenance


Diffuser bracelets are a popular way to incorporate aromatherapy in your daily routine. I had some questions about them, so I asked some of the Artisan Shopper members who make them to contribute to this roundup of diffuser bracelet basics.

diffuser bracelets in a stack

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What is a diffuser bracelet?

Diffuser bracelets are generally made from porous materials that absorb essential oils, then release the scent as the oils diffuse back out. These materials can include lava stones, clay, wood, leather, or suede.

The oil is released slowly, allowing the wearer to enjoy the fragrance and benefits of aromatherapy.

Diffuser bracelets are a convenient way to wear a fragrance without putting the full amount directly onto your skin, and they’re also a fashion accessory.

Many beaded diffuser bracelets are also made with genuine gemstone beads, so if you have a preference for a specific bead, you can combine that with the porous stones that carry the fragrance to have jewelry that does double duty.

Lava stone diffuser bracelet by Nathalie D Cyr

What can diffuser bracelets be made from?

Diffuser bracelets can be made from any porous material that will hold essential oils and release them slowly over time. The most common type of stones used to make a diffuser bracelet are lava stones, and the most common non-stone material is leather or suede. Some have a locket-style container that holds a pad to put the fragrance on.

Diffuser bracelets are commonly made with gemstone beads and some porous beads, which are used to absorb the fragrance.

The gemstones provide a decorative element and allow the bracelet to act as a style statement as well as a fragrance delivery system.

Jennifer Gacek, owner of Essential Jewelry 4UOpens in a new tab., says “Diffuser bracelets will often have 1 or more lava stones in them as the lava stones are porous and absorb essential oils.”

Nathalie of Nathalie D CyrOpens in a new tab. agrees that “The lava stone or lava rock is a great bead diffuser because it has a porous surface.”

Beads can also include unfinished wood beads, because their porous qualities allow the essential oils to be absorbed into the bead.

Diffuser bracelets sometimes include a locket-style bead that holds a felt pad to put the essential oil on.This will prevent the oils from coming into direct contact with the skin, because this can cause irritation in certain situations (more on that below).

Leather or suede bracelets can be used as diffusers by applying a couple of drops of essential oil to the surface of the bracelet and letting it sink in.

These bracelets can be wide cuff styles or thinner braided strips that also include beads in their designs.

Wood diffuser bracelets by Essential Jewelry 4U

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How to use a diffuser bracelet

To use a diffuser bracelet, apply the essential oil directly to the porous elements of the bracelet and allow it to sink in. When the oil has infused into the bracelet, wear the bracelet as you normally would, and the fragrance will diffuse out throughout the day.

Apply the essential oils using a dropper or a roller bottle.

Using a roller bottle to apply the oils will avoid having them come in direct contact with your skin, and is a convenient way to freshen the fragrance throughout the day.

I’ve seen some suggestions that say you should rub the oils into the stones, but using a dropper or a roller will avoid having the oils on your hands and potentially spreading it around without intending to!

What is the best fragrance for diffuser bracelets?

In general, most diffuser bracelets are used with essential oils that are associated with different aromatherapy benefits. It’s possible to use commercial perfumes on diffuser bracelets, but most people use them with natural oils for a specific purpose.

Jes Ware of Sixth Spice Opens in a new tab.says “the best fragrance for diffuser bracelets is whatever your favorite is. They are very versatile and one of the great things about them is that they can be customized for the mood you are in. You can choose which oils you would like to wear on your bracelet at any given point.”

Jennifer Gacek agrees that “The best fragrance is your favorite. Some people like to use essential oils for energy (such as peppermint) or for relaxation (such as lavender.)”

Jes adds that “It’s best to use good quality oils from a reputable supplier, and depending on your preferences, organic oils. This is because organic oils help support sustainable farming practices and help keep our bees and planet healthy and happy. You are also most likely to have less contamination and better quality of your oils when selecting organic oils.

“As for which aromas to choose, which would be best is really subjective and depends on what you prefer. Lavender is relaxing and is also an aphrodisiac. Peppermint can be an uplifting oil but it also can help calm frazzled nerves and help clear your mind.

“Sandalwood is an all-time favorite for meditation practice and helps connect you to spirit. Citrus oils like lemon, lime, and grapefruit are great to raise your spirits and help you wake up and feel refreshed. But caution is advised to ensure you purchase a non-phototoxic oil for citrus oils such as bergamot. Citrus oils can react with the sun and cause burns on your skin, so be careful with those. There are lots of aromas to choose from to fit whatever you need in the moment.”

For an article about choosing pearl accessories, click here.

Do I have to dilute essential oils before using them on diffuser bracelets?

Because essential oils can be topical irritants at their full strength, it’s important to dilute them before using them when they will be in contact with your skin. To avoid skin irritation and possible serious sunburns from photosensitivity relating to the oils, make sure to dilute full strength oils before using them on your diffuser bracelet.

Jes Ware says “All essential oils must be diluted before applying to your skin. A maximum of 3% essential oil to a 97% base (such as fractionated coconut oil) is recommended for adults, 1% for children. It’s best to pre-dilute your chosen aromas into a roller bottle and use the roller bottle to apply the oils to your bracelet. This will ensure that you keep yourself safe from burns and that your favorite essential oils are close at hand to quickly grab and apply to your bracelet.”

For the FDA guidelines on aromatherapy, click here: Aromatherapy | FDAOpens in a new tab.

Gemstone diffuser bracelet by Essential Jewelry 4U

What are lava stone diffuser bracelets

Lava stone diffuser bracelets are made from natural lava rocks, either by themselves or in combination with other types of beads. Lava stones have a naturally porous surface, so they give essential oils nooks and crannies to settle into when applied to the beads.

Nathalie of Nathalie D CyrOpens in a new tab. says that “The lava stone or lava rock is a great bead diffuser because it has a porous surface.” Because lava stones have natural irregularities on the surface, they do act as the perfect place for the oils to sink into. Some diffuser bracelets are made entirely of these stones, and some only have one or two lava stones and are combined with other gemstones.

Lava stone and gemstone diffuser bracelet by Nathalie D Cyr

Lava stones are also naturally lightweight, and they’re said to have grounding and energizing properties due to the fact that it’s formed from magma erupting from a volcano.

Lava rocks cover much of the earth’s surface and are used in many applications like landscaping and backyard grilling as well as for jewelry making.

In diffuser bracelets, they’re not just functional, but they’re also visually interesting. and are a nice contrast with the smooth gemstones they’re often paired with.

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How to clean a stone diffuser bracelet

To clean a beaded diffuser bracelet, immerse the stones in warm water and use mild soap to clean them. Allow the bracelet to dry completely before applying more oils. Check the elastic that the beads are strung on regularly for signs of wear or damage since oils can sometimes weaken it.

You may feel nervous about washing your beaded bracelet, but remember that if they’re gemstones and lava stones, water won’t damage them!

A mild soap, including dish soap, shampoo, or body wash, won’t hurt the stones themselves.

Even if you never change the type of oil that you use on it, it’s important to clean your bracelet occasionally to remove body oils and perspiration from it.

Rubbing the stones will help to remove any dirt that’s built up on the bracelet.

Put the bracelet in a bowl of warm water with the soap, and scrub them gently with a soft toothbrush or a cloth. Using an unscented soap is best if that’s an option.

Make sure to clean all of the stone surfaces, and remove any obvious dirt and grime with a gentle scrub.

After washing, rinse the bracelets thoroughly under running water to remove the soap and loosened oils. If you can smell the soap that you used on the stones, keep rinsing!

Removing the scent of the soap is important as an indication that the stones are genuinely clean.

Once you can’t smell the soap on the bracelet, pat it dry and allow it to air dry. Make sure that it’s completely dry, including the elastic, before you wear it again in order to prevent any damage to the elastic.

Make sure to check the elastic occasionally to make sure that there aren’t any weak spots, because those can sometimes develop from having the oils on it and the beads rubbing against it.

It’s more important to do this if your bracelet has a single strand of elastic, since double strands can be an insurance policy against breaks.


How to clean a leather or suede diffuser bracelet

To clean a leather diffuser bracelet, wipe the surface with a damp cloth and mild soap, pat dry, and let it air dry. You may want to use a leather conditioner that’s designed to infuse moisture into the leather to keep it flexible, but make sure that you don’t apply anything that will waterproof the bracelet. Doing that will prevent the essential oils from being absorbed later.

The reason that you can’t immerse a leather bracelet in water to clean it is that doing so will remove the natural oils from the leather, and can damage it or cause it to shrink.

Cleaning a leather bracelet might be something that you do less often than a beaded bracelet as a result, but it’s important to pay attention to the bracelet and apply a leather conditioner if it starts to look dried-out or stiff.

For a suede bracelet that starts looking worn, it may be possible to use a soft, dry brush like a stiff toothbrush and revive the nap on the suede.

Don’t rub it too hard, and if it’s a thin band to begin with, you should be extra gentle.

For stained suede, you might be able to use a pencil eraser and remove the satin, unless it’s sunk into the leather itself.

In that case, a damp cloth with a little white vinegar could be a cleaning solution. Dab the vinegar onto the suede, blot it dry, then brush it when it’s completely air-dried.

For truly worn-out and damaged suede that you think is beyond repair, you might as well try to wash it in warm water! I know all of the leather fabricators are falling over in horror right now, but honestly, if it looks like it’s beyond repair, how much worse can it get?

Wash it, blot it as dry as you can, then let it air dry after pinning it firmly to a surface in the shape that you want it to dry in.

By pinning it into place using thumbtacks or push pins, it will help prevent it from shrinking as it dries. It might not look like new afterward, but like I said, if it was worn out to begin with, how much worse can it get?

To see diffuser jewelry and other jewelry options, check out the Artisan Shopper jewelry directory

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Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 53,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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