Oils from India
I have bottles of jasmine and nine-flower oils from Mysore, India. How can they be used as a room fragrance? The hotel we stayed at had a brass "incense burner" (I think that's what it would be called) that had lighted white wicks placed into a liquid - am I incorrect in thinking that the liquid was the oil? They also placed flower petals around this "incense burner" so if the liquid was not oil, did the lobby smell so good just because of the petals? Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!!
Re: Oils from India
I am no expert, but the best way to diffuse smells is heat. So ways to diffuse the smell would be to place a rag or piece of cotton with some oil in it next to a heat vent or another source of heat. The lamp burner will work as well. Other techniques could work as well, but it really depends on the substance. Some room diffusers now simply use porous sticks placed in the bottle to diffuse smell, but this works only with certain mediums. If your oils are true oils, this method won't work, and heat is the only way.
As for the petals, it depends. Very fresh petals of certain flowers can indeed be very fragrant. But when they're dried they're much less so. Dried things are made into potpourris, which are combos of petals and herbs, enhanced with lots of additional oils (possibly even oils like the ones you have). These can smell intensely for a while, but eventually you also need heat for these (hence the little potpourri "stoves" you see around).