A few months ago I had to disable my browser’s ad blocker to test something out.
At that point an ad snuck through, I wasn’t able to shut my eyes in time, and my life was changed forever!
I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Someone said they could make my house smell like Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay. And they wouldn’t do it with Glade PlugIns that any homeless person could buy at a gas station. No! They would do it by selling me the same exclusive oils that resort hotels use to scent their properties.
I was skeptical, but I do love Mandalay Bay…
In 1991 a guy in the fragrance industry named Mark Peltier started a company called AromaSys. AromaSys struck gold when they started working with resorts to develop signature scents for their properties. They would then sell those resorts aromatic oils and the refillable diffusers that would spread those fragrant oils throughout properties using their own ventilation systems.
AromaSys has gone through two different acquisitions since then and the brand is long gone, but the legacy that Mark Peltier created lives on. And now those same scents are available to the public!
Essential Oil vs Fragrance Oil
Fragrance oil is better than essential oil. Let’s get that out of the way first.
Essential oil is new age hippie shit. You take a bunch of lilacs or whatever, send steam through the petals to pull out the volatile compounds that create aroma, then condense that steam back into a highly-concentrated liquid. It’s a long, manual process. That’s why essential oils cost so much.
It doesn’t help that the MLM world has gotten its weak-minded army to start pushing essential oils as treatments for everything. Maybe they have some health benefits. Who cares?
You’re supposed to dilute the oils you’re using based on your specific application, but at that point you’re basically a witch casting spells. No thank you.
The benefits of essential oil? It’s “all natural” and peer-reviewed studies show they can actually have some minor health benefits. The downsides are the absurd and variable prices, and you’re limited to using only the scents that exist in nature.
Right now Doterra currently charges $366 for 5 mls of rose essential oil. That’s 1/9th of a shot of whiskey. For $366. I don’t even think you can buy whiskey that costs that much. I don’t even think you can buy HP printer ink that costs that much. So no, we do not want essential oils.
Fragrance Oil Is Better
Look, we’re not trying to cure eczema or ward off evil spirits here. We’re just trying to make our house smell nice.
What we want is fragrance oil.
Fragrance oils are synthetic. They can contain essential oils, but definitely don’t need to. They’re created in a lab, and they can smell like anything you want. And they’re sold by the gallon!
Fragrance oil designers have the freedom to create any scent in the world, even if that scent didn’t start its life in the petals of a flower or the roots of a tree.
What To Buy
You’ll need to buy a fragrance oil diffuser and fragrance oil. That’s it.
Fragrance Oil Diffusers
You’ll need to get what’s called a nebulizing diffuser. It holds your fragrance oil in a reservoir, vibrates the shit out of it to break it into micro-droplets, then ejects those droplets of fragrance into the air of a room where they float until they find a nose.
A nebulizing diffuser does not use heat or water. It uses fragrance oil only and doesn’t require dilution or a heat source.
These diffusers don’t work continuously. They run for about 10 seconds, then pause for 110. That’s just enough time to allow the oil to scent a room, start to fade, and then re-scent it to create an even, neverending nosescape of wonder. And you can modify all of these timings to suit your preference.
The king of the fragrance diffuser world is a Chinese company called Crearoma. They make about a dozen different models and white-labeling seems to be the name of the game for them.
I’ve got a Crearoma “Pro 300”. (300 because it holds 300ml) It’s been solid and reliable for the year+ I’ve had it. I like that I can program it from my phone (Bluetooth or wifi), from the buttons on the front panel, or from this mysterious website.
Someone slapped a JCLOUD logo on the Pro 300 and is currently selling it on Amazon for $175. That’s great! You could have it in your hands by tomorrow!
Or….you could buy it right now on AliExpress for $73 with free shipping if you don’t mind waiting a few weeks for it to show up.
The Pro 300 just happens to be the diffuser I use. If you don’t like being told what to do, go buy a different one from anyone, anywhere. You just need a nebulizing diffuser. You do not want an ultrasonic or humidifying diffuser – those are for essential oils. Shitty, expensive essential oils.
This is where the magic happens.
You can buy fragrance oils from a few different places. One great source? Aroma Retail.
Their Resort Collection covers over four dozen resort properties and you can buy the fragrances used at every single one.
I’m not sure if these are the exact formulations used by those resorts, or if they’re smell-alikes. Every single one of them has perfectly matched my memories, and that’s good enough for me. Oh look, there’s Mandalay Bay now!
They don’t only sell resort fragrances. They also sell others that just smell nice, even if they haven’t been made famous by multi-million dollar hotel chains.
Salty ocean air? Done. A snowy winter forest? You got it. Coffee ice cream in a waffle cone? Yes, it’s been done!
A 4oz bottle of fragrance oil lasts me about 3 months.
Aroma Retail is what got me into this mess. They’re a woman-owned business, their scents are fantastic, and their customer service is incredible. Their site is what lured me into this whole scene in the first place! But they charge $40 for 4oz of oil.
Doing a quick search brings up a few alternatives for fragrance oils:
There’s Simbi Fragrance at $11.00-$20.00 for 4oz, also with a “resort collection” catalog.
Cheaper still is Northwood Distributing with most 4oz bottles coming in at just about $10!
My employer’s health benefit plan paid for my diffuser and continues to pay for all of my refills…because it counts as aromatherapy. How great is that?
For a comedy option, look into UK-based AromaPrime. They create scents that they sell directly to museums, theme parks, and first-responders-in-training. While they carry the requisite dozens of “normal” scents, they also carry some with very specific uses that reflect the needs of their commercial customers. For example: they carry sinky poo, blocked urinal, rotting flesh, burning plastic, chlorine gas, and of course, vomit.
The Best Scent
There are hundreds of scents to choose from. I’ll save you some time.
The best scent is White Tea.
You’ll usually find it in the common areas of Westin hotels worldwide.
If you only buy one scent, make it that one.
You can buy 0.8oz of it directly from Westin for $69.95, but they only sell it in weirdo proprietary refills that work with their own special diffuser.
No, the best way to make your home smell like a Westin is to either buy 4oz of White Tea at Aroma Retail for $39.95 or Swan & Dolphin at Simbi for $19.
Spread the Word
I thought this whole fragrance oil thing was going to be one of those weird niche things that I find on the internet that nobody but me would care about.
But guess what? It turns out that people I actually know in real life care about it! They get amped! Their eyes light up when you tell them they can make their house smell like the Bellagio or MGM Grand.
People like it when things smell nice!
Half a dozen of my friends now have diffusers and regularly buy fragrance oils and it’s all my fault!