Well, I just spent over $100 to discover that my old trusty, noisy diffuser may do the best job at scenting my teaching space after all. The land that contributed to world culture such brilliant things as Champagne, Debussy, the Curies, and french kissing has, malheureusement, struck out bigtime with their fancy-schmancy room deodorizing system.
Lampe Berger, my derrière — it burns my buns to realize that it's just a glorified bunsen burner:
Actually, it looks pretty gorgeous all lit up like that, non? I so much wanted this thing to be the thing. And maybe eventually one of you will be able to instruct me on how to make it work satisfactorily. Anyone out there have any good ideas? Maybe I'm doing something wrong. After all, there are so many people raving about these things on blogs — not to mention that incredibly beautiful and satisfied-looking actress on the Lampe Berger website demo video — can't any of these people smell the truth?
Here's the problem: the Lampe works by burning isopropyl alcohol. Which, when ignited, smells a lot like. . .isopropyl alcohol. No matter how many drops of essential oil you add to the mix — and, believe me, I've gone WAY over the maximum amount of 10-12 drops recommended by the recipes I've found online (I'm really good at going over maxima, if you haven't noticed.) — the alcohol fumes vastly overpower the delicate fragrance of those few (or many) drops of scented oil and make the room smell like a hospital ward. Which should not be too surprising, since the Lampe was invented to deodorize hospital wards in 19th-Century France. In any case, it's not very Zen, unless you're the type to find surgical prep soothing and ethereal.
Whichever shrewd reader warned against any scenting system that involved burning substances, I now understand what you were talking about. How can alcohol fumes (or soot or incense particles or whatever other fallout) be healthy to breathe? (Apparently soy-based candles are safe, thank goodness, because I LOVE the Aroma Naturals candles my sister Sara recently s(c)ent to me, and I plan on using them. All 6 of them, in 3 different sublime smells. Thanks, Sis. And congratulations on your recent raise!)
After all this ranting, I figure I should leave you with a little laugh, so I've posted a video of Freddy & Willy guarding our territory against a menacing intruder: the plumber that came over this week to unclog our bathroom sink. Freddy in particular was pretty much phoning in this performance, which might have been a little more intimidating if he'd bothered to come out from under his purple sheet.
Make sure your volume is up high enough to catch all the nuances of Freddy's monologue; his last few utterances in particular are pricelessly pathetic. God, I love those crazy dogs!
Tomorrow: I'm back in the kitchen with a new cook-along recipe! Better buy some fish....