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The Complete Fragrance Lamp Guide

The Complete Fragrance Lamp Guide

Decorating your home is more than furniture arrangement and displaying art and collectibles.  The way your home smells leaves a lasting impression, a memory, on all who enter.  Most people are not aware of their home’s aroma blueprint, that is, the unforgetable smell others automatically record in their minds when they enter your home.  The sense of smell is a great source of information that is subconsciously processed at all times.  Nothing triggers memories more than aroma.  It reminds us of our grandmother’s home, a spring day, a friend’s perfume, even the dentist’s office.  Fragrance blueprints stay with us for a lifetime reminding us of people, places, and experiences, both good and bad.  It is a fact, bad smells trigger danger in our minds, and good smells are welcoming and invite postive feelings.     

Fragrance lamps, which operate on the process of catalytic combustion, are the quientessential answer to taking control of your home’s fragrance blueprint.  The main function of these stylish perfume bottles is, first and foremost, to purify the air of household, pet and smoke odors, eliminate bothersome bacterias and germs, and ultimately increase oxygen levels while emitting beautiful fragrance.  This process is what sets a fragrance lamp apart from candles, reed diffusers, oil burners, incense, room sprays and sachets.  All of these other home fragrance products merely mask odors and in some cases, emit additional smoke and pollutants into the air. 


Fragrance lamps use a method of catalytic combustion to move large volumes of air through the lamp’s heat chamber (wick/stone).  This heat mixes with the room’s cooler air creating a continuous flow of air, a process known as catalytic conversion.  Airborne molecules that contain bacterias and cause odors are filtered through the lamp’s chamber and converted into oxygen.  The catalytic burner reaches 140° Farenheit to combust a special alcohol based fuel.  The burning fuel releases molecules (negatively charged ions) into the air that capture and destroy odors, resulting in purified air.  In just 25-40 minutes of burn time, a fragrance lamp will deodorize and fragrance 1000-1400 cubic feet and the effects will last for hours.   



The catalytic stone/wick is the workhorse of your lamp that works in conjunction with high grade fragrance oils specifically formulated to complete the catalytic conversion. The following information is vital to the proper operation and maintenance of your fragrance lamp, which when properly cared for, will continue to work to purify the air of your home for a lifetime.      

1.   ALWAYS KEEP THE SOLID CAP ON THE LAMP WHEN IT IS NOT IN USE. Failure to do so causes most wick problems.  The alcohol based fragrance oil remaining in the lamp, wick and stone tends to evaporate causing a build up of essential oils in the stone.  Furthermore, alcohol seeks to absorb moisture out of the air causing condensation inside your lamp.  The moisture dilutes the fragrance lamp oil, causing it not to burn.  By simply securing the cap snugly back into place when your lamp is not in use, will prevent this problem.  

2.   IF THE WICK FAILS TO STAY HOT after 2-4 minutes of burn time, place the solid cap back on the lamp for atleast 20 minutes before trying to relight the lamp again.  Relighting the lamp too soon can destroy the stone.

3.   EXTINGUISH THE FLAME AFTER 2-4 MINUTES.  Leaving the flame burning for a longer period of time can cause irreparable damage to the stone.  2-4 minutes is sufficient time to heat the stone to full capacity.   

4.   NEVER FILL YOUR LAMP MORE THAN 2/3 FULL. Use as little oil as you like, but never fill it more than 2/3 full.  For the combustion process to work properly, there must be a sufficient air space between the oil and the stone.  For optimum performance, only use the amount of oil you intend to burn at one time to avoid leaving remaining fuel in lamp.  Your stone will work at peak if you burn your lamp completely out each time.  Just remember to cover the stone with the solid cap after it burns out.  

5.   WHITE SMOKE? Some fragrance oils have a tendency to produce “white smoke” temporarily.  The white smoke is harmless and occurs occassionally in every brand of oil.  The white smoke is a result of incomplete combustion of very long chain molecules in certain essential oils.  The white smoke is harmless and is to be expected from time to time if the catalytic process is working efficiently in your wick.   

6.    REJUVENATE YOUR STONE WITH PURIFIER.  Lengthen the life of your stone with regular maintenance.  Burning PURIFIER, an oil without fragrance specifically designed to clean your wick and stone, will keep your wick healthy.  We recommend burning a small amount of PURIFIER or NEUTRAL when changing fragrances.  Sometimes the essential oils in different fragrances clash, causing the stone to clog.  Avoid this by burning PURIFIER between fragrance changes even of the same brand. If your stone is already clogged, soak the entire wick and stone in a small plastic covered container of PURIFIER for several hours and then place it on a paper towel to dry.  Once you have cleaned the wick, simply replace it in the lamp and start over as if it were a new wick.  

7.   NEVER MIX YOUR OWN FUEL.  Effective catalytic fuels contain high grade ingredients that are not available in stores.  While some claim that these “recipes” work, they are not effective in creating the catalytic conversion necessary to oxygenate and purify the air.  While a homemade fuel may emit a nice fragrance, it will not capture air molecules and convert them into oxygen and will inevitably destroy the catalytic stone.  

8.    EVENTUALLY, A NEW WICK WILL BE REQUIRED. A healthy wick will last for up to 350 burns.   Over time, the catalytic metals in the wick get used up or coated with deposits and the stone is finished.  We recommend wicks by Lampe Berger and Lampe Paradise.  



Most fragrance lamps begin at $40.  Special addition lamps created for Lampe Berger by comissioned designers can cost $300.00-$5,000 and are generally acquired by collectors.  Lampe Berger is the only manufacturer that offers very expensive lamps. 

For lamps intended strictly for daily home use, a nice $40-90 lamp will suffice.  This one time purchase will give you a lifetime of purified air.  From time to time, a replacement wick may be needed and will cost in the range of $10-$20.  Recommended fragrance oils can cost between $8-$15, about the cost of a nice candle.  When you consider the lifetime of use and the healthy air quality a fragrance lamp provides, the cost to own and operate a fragrance lamp is quite affordable.  



All Catalytic Wicks Work the Same Whether you are buying Lampe Berger, Lamp Paradise, Les Provencales Ambiences, or some other established brand, all catalytic wicks use the exact same technology and function the exact same way. Each brand uses a unique stone shape, or rim color to distinguish itself from other brands. Some wicks are silver, some are gold, some are black, some are scalloped, some are smooth, etc. Gone are the days of one fragrance lamp brand controling the entire market. Fragrance Lamp enthusiasts now have a wide array of styles and fragrances to choose from, as well as, variety in price range. Be aware however, there are couterfeits out there. As long as you buy replacement wicks from a reliable dealer, your wick is almost certainly good.

Feel free to experiment with different brands and you will discover fragrances and lamps you adore outside the world of Lampe Berger.

Isn’t Lampe Berger the Best?

Lampe Berger was the first to bring this technology to the home fragrance industry and is also the most expensive brand, but it is not necessarily the best. A closer look at the simple, well-documented technology reveals that all catalytic processes produce the same result regardless of whether you call it Lampe Berger, Lampe Paradise, etc.

A fragrance lamp (base), whether Lampe Berger or another brand, does nothing more than act as a vessel to hold the fragrance oil. However, it is the lamp wick and fragrance oil that performs the action of purifying and perfuming the air. As pointed out above, all wicks use the exact same technology.

Picking a Good Fragrance

The issue of fragrance choice is the only real issue to concern yourself with. All fragrance oils are NOT the same. Choosing a reputable brand and a reputable dealer of fragrance oils is a good place to start. BEWARE of homemade fragrance oils. While there is a secret chemist in us all, homemade oils are not precisely nor properly formulated to effectively clean and/or purify the air. The ingredients necessary are not available for home use and the process of master mixing requires more than some essential oils and isopropryl alcohol. So, while a homemade oil may seem to smell good, that’s all it is doing, and you will find yourself constantly buying new wicks because homemade mixtures will CERTAINLY destroy your lamp stone.

At The Scented Room ( ) you will find trusted brands by Lampe Berger, Lampe Paradise, Greenleaf Aroma Decor and Les Provencales Ambiences.  You will find everything you need to purify the air in your home at The Scented Room.

Jamie Dulaney PhotoAbout Author
Wishing you gracious living in a beautifully scented home, Jamie Dulaney The Scented Room Petite Fleur de Lis

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