Review: Aera Smart Diffuser Makes Good Scents

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We have dogs and we have teenagers. We clean and vacuum and do all the things you should, but without extraordinary intervention, when we come home at the end of the day, the first thing we notice coming into the house is an aroma that’s not putting our best nose forward. So we got into the habit of using those plug-in aroma devices you get at the supermarket. They do an okay job, but they aren’t subtle. The scents can end up being overwhelming, and if the outlets available to you are situated below things like shelves, the oils they diffuse can end up staining surfaces. Plus, there’s no on/off switch; if you don’t unplug it, you’ll use it up quickly.

Which is why I was interested when Area offered me one of their “smart” diffusers for review. The Aera isn’t just a glorified heater, warming up scented oils so they flood into the air. The hardware is a bit more sophisticated than that, breaking infusions into a much finer mist that is dispensed at cooler temperatures so that it diffuses over the space in a room more evenly. The result is far better coverage and a far more subtle aroma in any given space.

Aera smart diffuser

The “smart” part of the package is that you can hook it up to your wifi and control it from your phone. While a simple feature, it’s nice that you can set a schedule for the diffuser so that, much like your thermostat, you can set it to turn on just a bit before you get home, so you’re not running it all day while you’re not there. There are 10 intensity levels for scents, and I’ve found that a 5 does quite nicely for our 400sf living room/foyer area, making the room smell/feel warm and festive (we’re currently using one of their holiday-focused scents).

That’s another feature of the system (as the press materials like to point out): because of the more subtle delivery of aromas, they can also create more complex scents, designed to evoke moods and feelings as much as just smelling nice. Many of them are interesting combinations of spices, fruits, and woods with fancy names like “Celebration” or “Odyssey.” The capsules aren’t cheap–$39 to $49–but they are supposed to last for about two months each if you run your device at the 5 setting 24-hours a day. You can certainly improve that by using the smart features to schedule downtimes when you don’t need the device on, so it’s certainly possible to stretch a capsule out for four or more months, making the cost a bit more reasonable. Also, quite important to folks with allergies or sensitivities to aromas, all the fragrances are made with hypo-allergenic natural ingredients or, where more appropriate when the natural ingredient can’t be sustainably sourced, “safe synthetics.”

The capsules are, of course, proprietary, and can’t be refilled. Challenge accepted?

We’ve had the Aera Smart Diffuser running in our home for a couple weeks now, and the bottom line is that we really like the results. Compared to the AirWicks we’ve used for years, it’s WAY more effective. It doesn’t feel like we have an infuser running, overwhelming the room in some heavy-handed (-nosed?) aroma. It’s subtle, complex, and elegant. And we can’t wait to explore more of the interesting scent capsules that are available (and they promise new scents in the future). So, if you like infusing your home, but want more control, and a more subtle delivery, consider the Aera Smart Diffuser.

The Aera Smart 2.0 Diffuser is available starting at $149 from Aera.com (with sample scents) or at Amazon.

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