I tested a Lampe Berger catalytic diffuser versus the Moda sonic diffuser to see which one was more effective at distributing essential oils in the air.
The Lampe Berger, diffuser, and Améo essential oils were purchased by me with my own funds.
All opinions and evaluations are my own.
The Lampe Berger was invented in 1898 by Maurice Berger to purify the air of enclosed rooms. He took a simple alcohol lamp and added a ceramic stone at the top of the wick. When heated, the stone continues to catalyze the alcohol without flame. The alcohol fuel travels up a woven cloth wick to the catalytic stone.
In the 1930’s fragrance was added to the lamp fuel to enhance ambiance as well as purify the air. Now there are many lamp designs. Some have become collectible and are quite beautiful. (http://www.lampeberger.ca/the-origin-of-LAMPE-BERGER-PARIS)
Many beautiful lamps are available at a variety of prices. The one I used for my test is a Lampe Ondine and can be found on Amazon.ca for CND$92. There are many in the $40-$50 range with very affordable starter kits.
This is a typical ultrasonic diffuser that uses water and essential oils. It is from Zija International. I am a Zija Independent Distributor (my website) and my price was CND$ 62.50. Prior to becoming a Zija Distributor, I had little interest in essential oils. The Améo essential oils are of such superior quality that I had to try them and have, so far, been very impressed. I thought that the sonic diffusers must be THE way to aerosolize essential oils because everyone seems to have at least one. I love the Améo oils. My favorite blend is Lemongrass, Peppermint, and Lavander. I want my whole house to smell of it, rather than dog/cat/cooking with the occasional “I think that needs to go to the compost”.
At first, I thought that perhaps the difference was in the Lampe Berger fragrance blends. There are many and several of them are very pleasant. They can be quite strong.
I cleaned out one of my lamps and soaked the wick in plain isopropyl alcohol. Then I set up a little experiment. I don’t have access to a device that measures particles in the air but I decided for this test my nose would be a fine substitution.
My nose is the highly sensitive measuring device.
I made up 100 ml of lamp fuel = 100 ml isopropyl alcohol and 5 drops of Améo Lemongrass essential oil. I chose Lemongrass essential oil because it is a very strong scent. Then for the Sonic diffuser, I made up 100ml of water with 5 drops of Améo Lemongrass essential oil.
Lampe Berger results
First I “ran” the Lampe Berger. Very rapidly the entire downstairs smelled of Lemongrass. By the 10 minute mark, I could smell Lemongrass in the hallway at the top of the stairs. This is a fair distance for the scent to travel. It must move from the Living room to the entrance hallway up the stairwell and into the upstairs hallway.
Moda Diffuser results.
When the house was clear of the Lampe Berger Lemongrass I turned on the Moda diffuser. It was right beside the Lampe Berger in the living room. The Lemongrass scent was fairly strong in a 3-yard radius of the diffuser. It did not move into the other downstairs rooms and never was detectable in the entrance hallway or the upstairs hallway.
To make this properly scientific I should have repeated this a number of times. I didn’t. The difference was so extreme I felt any question as to which device succeeded in my goal of making the whole house smell good was answered. The difference is very likely a product of hot air versus cold air. The hot air from the lamp moves faster, with more energy and therefore carries the scent further.
To make the house smell like lemongrass, peppermint, and lavender I will make up an alcohol solution with those oils and burn them in my Lampe Berger. My Moda diffuser will be placed in a smaller room where I might like to have a different scent.
If you have been thinking about a Lampe Berger I can highly recommend them. They work well with the Lampe Berger fragrances and you can make your own with some Isopropyl alcohol (99%) and 5-10 drops of essential oil.
Here are a few of the really lovely ones available on Amazon.