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Smart Home

I tried a smart oil diffuser—now I can't live without it

It's helpful-smart, not annoying-smart

Pura smart essential oil diffuser on a blue background Credit: Reviewed / Pura

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When you have three young children, a dog, a cat, and you've never been the most tidy person yourself, keeping your home smelling nice can be a serious struggle. Obviously I'm speaking from experience here, but even childless, petless neat freaks want their abode to be pleasant and welcoming—undesirable smells achieve pretty much the opposite effect, and they can originate from so many sources. So I was intrigued when I stumbled across the Pura diffuser.

There are several ways to get your house smelling great—from air purifiers to candles to essential oil diffusers to sprays—but I've never found something that works well for me, mainly because I work from home. I rarely leave the house and would honestly not even know if my living room was smelling like my dog's breath or my toddler's diaper.

When I saw advertisements for the Pura diffuser, a smart scent diffuser that I can control from my phone, I bought it that day.

Here's what I think of the Pura diffuser.

What is the Pura Smart Fragrance Diffuser?

What coincidentally looks a lot like a smoke detector is actually the latest smart home device to get your home smelling right. The Wi-Fi-enabled Pura Smart Fragrance Diffuser plugs into a standard outlet and releases fragrance throughout the day. The scent comes from fragrance cartridges that are designed to be used only in a Pura diffuser.

You can input two cartridges at a time so that you can alternate scents throughout the day. All of the diffuser's settings are controlled through a smartphone app (available through Apple and Google Play).

The Pura diffuser can also connect to your Alexa so you can use voice control to adjust Pura's settings.

What we like

It has alternating scents

A Pura filter with two scents and a row of other scents.
Credit: Reviewed / Pura

The Pura holds two different scents at once and can switch back and forth on a schedule or at will via the app.

What excited me so much about the Pura diffuser was that it can alternate between two scent cartridges throughout the day. In the morning you can start off with one scent and program it via the companion app to switch to a different scent later in the day or to alternate back and forth.

That means your nose never gets completely used to either, and you can always smell something lovely.

You can choose from designer fragrances such as Pink Jasmine, Velvet Wineberry (which I love), Golden Mimosa, Vanilla Chiffon, Apple Orchards, Pink Peony and Silk, and many more. There are also seasonal scents like Pumpkin Chai and Holiday.

Beyond Pura's original scents, they also offer scents from fragrance favorites Capri Blue, Nest, Paddywax, and more.

The scent strength is adjustable

A person looking at the Pura app on their phone.
Credit: Pura

In the app, Pura users can adjust the intensity of each scent, and those settings are remembered each time Pura starts up.

Candles and air fresheners tend to give me a headache, so I love the fact that the Pura app allows me to adjust the strength of each scent. If there's one that I love that doesn't give me a headache, I can crank it up and it will always dispense that scent at the level I've selected. If there is another one that tends to overwhelm me, I program it to stay very low when it turns on.

I have my Pura diffuser set on a schedule, which I set up in the Pura app. We wake up to the Velvet Wineberry scent, which runs for an hour and then turns off.

A few hours later, the Pura diffuser cycles to the second scent, Vanilla Chiffon. I also have this one set to run for an hour. Then, a few hours later the scent changes back to Velvet Wineberry, and then Vanilla Chiffon for bedtime.

The Pura diffuser doesn't run all day, but it gives little scent boost at times of day when I know people will be entering the living area. The Pura plugs into the wall and can also double as a nightlight so you don't need to overload your outlets. Through the app you can select any color you like and adjust the brightness of the nightlight.

It has useful smart features

The Pura smart fragrance diffuser is technically a smart home gadget, it does not have the multitude of options and cluttered interface that many smart home products have. However, the features it offers are very useful.

It's extremely easy to manage in the Pura app, where you can easily create custom schedules.

Also in the app is a location-tracking feature called Away Mode, which, when enabled, automatically shuts the diffuser off when you leave home. It's smart, but not smart enough to be annoying. It has just the right amount of features to make it a useful device in my day-to-day.

It also works with Alexa voice control when you enable the Pura Skill for Alexa. With a nearby Echo speaker or using the Alexa app, you can ask her to turn on the living room diffuser or set the living room diffuser to blue (or any other color).

What we don't like

The scents are an additional cost

This isn't a gripe, but more just something to note that you will have to repurchase the scents when they run out. The scent refills start at about $16 and increase in price from there.

One refill cartridge should last about two weeks if run at level five intensity for about eight hours a day.

Should you buy the Pura diffuser?

Yes, it's a great way to keep your air smelling great at home.

As the former smart home editor at Reviewed, I'm swimming in smart home products over here, and the Pura smart fragrance diffuser is one of the few that actually makes me feel better about my home. It is well worth the continuous investment.

$44 at Pura

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