To spray, light, or diffuse, that is the question.

Whether it is better to glow the ember, spritz, or simmer is all relative to your aroma control strategy in the moment.

Incense Sticks vs. Diffusers vs. Sprays

Your Aroma Control Strategy

Aroma control is one of the most powerful Jedi mind tricks that you can do in real life. Simply by changing the way a room or a person smells, you can change people's assumptions and first impressions. This is because scent is the unspoken sense. Scent tells us what other senses could not. You know a room is clean when you smell cleaner, without ever seeing a mop.

Fresh cut grass on the wind tells you someone's been mowing, even if you can't see their lawn. Your stomach knows there's breakfast before your brain because the smell of toast and coffee is in the air. And your mom knows when you've been stoning because she can smell the dank smoke on everything in your room.

That's why it's so important to strategize your aroma control. If you can control how something smells, you control how people think. Seriously. So which aroma control tactic is best?

What gives you the best experience depends on your goals. Incense sticks set the mood, diffusers run all day, and sprays are instant area control. Let's dive into the pros, cons, and best-uses for each type of aroma control approach.  


Incense Sticks

Best Uses:

  • Quick whole-room aroma control
  • Setting the mood
  • Bathrooms

Incense sticks are the most universal aroma control tool used across the globe. Many cultures have their own versions of the incense stick, or sometimes incense cones. Incense is lit and then the fire goes out, leaving a burning ember. Because of the consistency of the incense coating on the stick, the ember glows and slowly turns the scented powder into light smoke that fills the room.

Smoke's dissipating nature makes incense sticks excellent for changing the aroma of an entire room in a few minutes. Incense sticks tend to be mild in odor and are favored by those who enjoy meditation. With the glowing ember and the natural style, it's no wonder that incense sticks are also perfect for setting a mood. Romance or inner peace are both easier to find with an incense stick burning.

Lastly, incense sticks are uniquely effective for bathrooms and other places with organic smells. The smoke eliminates and replaces organic odors which can provide instant freshness in rooms that often freshness-challenged.


  • Ash control

  • Burning ember caution

  • Picky landlords

Incense sticks do have a few considerations for use. First, they leave a little line of ash below the stick as the wood and powder burn. Incense holders are designed to catch the ash, but it's important to be careful. You can't use an incense stick everywhere, as they pose a (very minor) burning and fire hazard with the hot ember.

Do not use incense sticks around young children. Finally, most commercial buildings, hotels, and many rented homes will discourage incense use, as it's technically a smoke thing.

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Cool Water

Night Queen

Nag Champa


Best Uses:

  • 24/7 scent
  • Automated aroma control

Diffusers are electronic devices that turn oil or water-based liquid into a cloud of fragrance. Some do this by spraying it in a light mist into the room like a misting nozzle. Some do this by heating oil into a cloud of oil-steam which fills the room. Diffusers range in size between teacup-sized and large kettle sized. They are often decorative and sit on a table or desk to provide local aroma control.

Depending on the size and power of the diffuser, they can effect a small local area or fill an entire room with a desired scent. Diffusers do not "stop" other odors, but they add a pleasant aroma to the mix and can overpower other lesser scents. 

The right kind of diffuser, they can run for a day or more with a full reservoir. This can be useful for providing all-day scent control, or even 24/7, which is something unique to duffers compared to incense or sprays. Because they are electronic. it's also possible to automate so that your diffusers releases aroma during specific times of the day or even remote command.


  • Large and stationary
  • Power outlet (or batteries)
  • Refill liquid

If you're considering a diffuser as your go-to aroma control method, remember that they require power. They must either be plugged in near an outlet or supplied with batteries. Some diffusers can be transported, but they are inherently a table-top item. They will need a surface and most are designed to be entirely stationary. You will also need to refill the reservoir regularly.


Air Freshener Sprays

Best Uses:

  • Instant local aroma control
  • Clothing, fabric, and hair
  • Away from home

Air freshener sprays project a fine mist of aromatic liquid into the air, creating a cloud of good smells. Depending on the formula, an air freshener spray can actually eliminate odors as well as providing a new scent for the room. Air freshener sprays are localized, reaching as far as the mist particles. The spray mechanism is a mechanical pressure pump that pulls in liquid from the bottle and projects it at high-pressure through a very fine sieve to create the mist.

Air freshener sprays are most effective for immediate use. If you need to instantly change how an area, room, item, or person smells, an air freshener spray can do the trick. The spray is manual, so you carry it with you and use it whenever and wherever it is needed.

Unique to sprays is the ability to impact fabric and items. By spraying a mist of aromatic liquid onto fabric, hair, or solid items, you change how the target smells. This means you can get smells off your cloths and person, out of your bag, and also quickly change the smell of the entire room around you with a few sprays.

Lastly, air freshener sprays are the most mobile solution, since they don't require fire or electricity. You can keep one in your pocket, purse, or glovebox. Sprays can be used in public, in your car, and when you're walking on-the-go.


  • Manual operation

The one operational difference between an air freshener spray and incense or diffusing is that the spray is manual. Incense fills the room over time, as does a diffuser. But your finger gets a small workout when freshening with a spray. Of course, that's also what makes it so portable and tactical when you need to change the scent of something fast.

Try Some Of Our Most Popular Air Fresheners

Hip Hop Breeze

Cotton Candy

Egyptian Musk

Which is Best? You Be the Judge

The differences between incense, diffusers, and sprays don't define one as better than the others. It's all about what you need, when you need it. So really, it's up to you. Which aroma control method is the best for your current and future plans? Here at Blunt Power, we've got you covered either way.

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