FAQ - Scent Diffusion
Q: How did Ajne get started in scent diffusion?
A: In 2005, Four Seasons Hotels wanted to scent premier properties. They had launched a "green initiative" with mandatory goals - reduce waste, increase recycling and use sustainable materials. Four Seasons contacted Ajne because Ajne had been featured in the Academy Awards gift basket and People Magazine as "a leading 100% natural perfumer." They asked Ajne to design a 100% natural scent that would "capture the ambiance of their resort and its local flora" and "mesmerize" their clients. It had to be subtle - not overpowering - or obtrusive.
Four Seasons also needed equipment that would diffuse the scent. So Ajne began its quest to produce state-of-the-art scent equipment and develop 100% pollen-free, natural scents, as well as bespoke blends - such as Palena'ole (Hawaiian for "without boundaries") the first scent we made for Four Seasons.
Q: What's the difference between Ajne and other diffuser companies?
A: Few companies in the world grow ingredients and possess the necessary skill, knowledge and education to construct exquisite 100% natural scents. Ajne does. While nearly all of our competitors buy stock synthetically-constructed scent blends from fragrance houses, Ajne doesn't. Ajne is first and foremost a natural fragrance company. In fact, others often hire us to make proprietary natural blends for them. A number of companies produce very good scent equipment. In fact, when we first began, we distributed some of their equipment. And yes, Ajne makes fantastic diffusers too, but what sets us apart is our expertise in crafting 100% natural scents.
Q: What is the difference between a synthetic scent blend and a natural one?
A: Most scents today - such as those from spray bottles, the plug in, a fan blowing over a cartridge, a reed diffuser, the perfume from your local department store and most candles - are constructed in a laboratory typically from petroleum and chlorine molecules. In fact, those that create them often refer to them as "molecules." Science is not yet able to mimic an entire plant scent molecule. So what they do is copy the the one or two most fragrant components. For example, geraniol and citronellol in rose. A complete rose molecule has 200+ constituents. That's why synthetic rose doesn't smell exactly like a real rose. It's just similar.
A natural scent on the other hand is similar to making fine wine. It begins with growing a plant in the proper terroir (soil, temperature, elevation, etc). Next the plant is distilled to intensify the strength of the aroma. In other words, the potency of thousands of flowers, seeds, spices, woods, citruses, fruits, nectars, nuts, barks, saps, roots, leaves or peels are "condensed" into a few ounces. This is called the essential oil or absolute, which is the distilled liquid scent and healing benefit of the plant. Perhaps as many as 85 plant oils are then carefully combined to create the fragrance accord. There must be a perfectly balanced combination of top, heart, bridge and base notes to create an exquisite and mesmerizing scent.
Q: Are there any benefits to natural scents versus synthetics or vice versa?
A: First let's discuss the naturals. Every essential oils is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and pollen-free. So besides smelling fabulous, they literally help purify and deodorize the air. And because the pollen is removed during distillation, people that are allergic to the pollen are typically unaffected.
Regarding synthetics: They don't have to be grown. So synthetics are less expensive to produce. Since they are produced in a lab, it is easier to reproduce each batch identically. There is typically no need for a perfumer or chemist to adjust the batch to mimic earlier batches. Production in the lab removes color or allows for clear, pink, blue or uniquely colored batches. Lab molecules are typically stronger and a bit longer lasting than naturals due to the petroleum or chlorine influence. The potential "down-sides" of synthetic scent chemistry are discussed below.
Q: Do natural scents cost more than synthetic scents?
A: Typically they are very comparable. We have perfected natural scenting to make it reliable, efficient and affordable.
Q: Is there any independent research that indicates natural fragrances have benefits that synthetics do not?
A: Besides smelling fantastic, plant-derived ingredients have numerous proven health benefits according to the US National Library for Medicine and numerous scientific studies indicate they improve concentration and reduce sick days. Studies have proven that natural scents actually kill the tenacious MRSA virus in hospitals better than antibiotics. Synthetic scents have a significantly higher instance of allergic reaction with some studies indicating a whopping 30+% of people (1 in 3) experience mild to severe allergic reactions including headaches and respiratory responses. The Environmental Working Group says that many synthetics "build up in the body creating a body burden" and "many are proven allergens, mutagens, immuno-toxins and carcinogens." The very same studies indicate that natural scents are generally considered safe (GRAS - Generally Regarded As Safe) with a very low instance of allergic reaction. And please - don't take our word for it - investigate for yourself!
Q: How does Ajne create scent?
A: Our perfumer, Jane Hendler, is widely recognized for her skill in creating 100% natural, supremely sophisticated aroma blends. She has been featured in hundreds of magazines, television and news programs. She has created scents for hundreds of famous celebrities. Her education as a Certified Master Plant Oil Therapist and Herbalist combined with her skill in perfumery gives her the uncanny ability to craft blends that enchant the senses and capture a unique "scents of place." Her work has been featured in the legendary Academy Award gift basket and hundreds of the most prestigious businesses - even hospitals. (PS: And she is really grateful for all the accolades and support!)
Q: How do Ajne diffusers work?
A: They use a powerful pump and patented nozzle system to micronize pure essential oils into particles approximately 1 micron or less in size - so small they can pass right through air filters. Within inches of the port, the 100% natural aroma becomes "scented air." It is completely dry and leaves no residue on surfaces or ducting or furniture or floors. A tiny amount goes a long way.
Q: What are the choices available in diffusers in today's marketplace?
A: There are currently 6 types of diffuser technologies: 1) Reed Diffusers - this type uses reeds to draw the scent up from a bottle. The scent evaporates into the air from the reeds. 2) Ultrasonic - this type is basically a humidifier that you fill with water and put in a few drops of scent. The unit vaporizes the water which comes out of the machine carrying a bit of scent in it. 3) Aerosol or Atomizer - this type sprays out of a can or a machine as you push the spray button or based on a timer such as you see in bathrooms at some businesses.4) Plug Ins - these devices use electricity to melt a solid or gel chemical causing it to evaporate from the top into the air - similarly to how a candle scents the air. 5) Glass Nebulizers - this type typically has a glass vial with small glass tubes in it. It typically uses an aquarium pump to blow air from one tube over the other creating a vacuum that "nebulizes" the scent causing it to float up and out of the glass vial. 5) Fan Devices - this type uses a fan to blow over a pad or gel chemical cartridge pushing the scent out into the air. 5) Micronizing Diffuser - this type uses a pump and nozzle to micronize the liquid scent into a dry mist which is typically emitted from the top of the unit in timed bursts with rest periods between the bursts.
Q: Which diffuser technology is the best and why?
All of our scents are pollen-free, chemical free, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. They are subtle, not overpowering and actually help purify and deodorize the air as they smell fabulous. And they're affordable too.
Superior to Ultrasonic: We don't use water. Consumer Reports tests revealed that ultrasonic machines (even those labeled as "germ free" and "anti-bacterial") emitted mold within 3 days unless cleaned daily! Our machines are nearly maintenance free and never emit germs or mold.
Superior to fan systems: Unlike loud, high-energy-use fan systems that blow air over a synthetically-scented gel cartridge (typically made of non-recyclable materials), our machines are 1) quiet, 2) low energy-use, 3) produce zero waste, and 4) do not use chemicals of any kind. Also fan systems cannot efficiently regulate fragrance output because the scent cartridge usually starts out extremely strong and grows weaker each day.
Superior to Aerosols and Atomizers: Aerosols and atomizers produce large moist particles of +/- 100 microns. They tend to float down to surfaces and furniture where they attract dirt and dust. They also require a propellant that may harm the ozone/environment or contain ingredients that are not considered ideal for the body, sinuses or lungs.