If you’re tired of keeping an eye on burning candles or refilling traditional diffusers, the Moodo is an intriguing alternative. You can customize scents and control dispersal with your phone, while replaceable capsules eliminate messy cleanup. The Moodo also delivers stronger, faster, and longer-lasting coverage than you get with oil or charcoal diffusers, plus it has impressive smart home integration via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and If This Then That (IFTTT). However, all this convenience comes at a price. The Moodo starts at $189, not including replacement capsules. And its app, while useful, can use some work.

Features and Scents

The Moodo is a squarish box made of black matte plastic with rounded edges. It’s small enough to fit on a bookshelf, at 7.5 by 8.7 by 5.9 inches (HWD), though its utilitarian design isn’t particularly attractive, especially compared with the chic Aera Smart Home Scenting Starter Set.

The top has four divots where you place the scent capsules, while the controls are located in the back. You’ll find four circular buttons that turn on or off each of the diffuser’s individual fans, as well as a horizontal plus/minus bar that determines the fan’s strength. Underneath that is the power button and a jack for the included power plug.

The scent capsules themselves are reminiscent of Keurig K-Cups. Each capsule has a perforated top, and at its center is a sticker with the name of the scent. Inside each capsule are scented beads, meaning there’s no oil, powder, or wax to clean after use. This might be a turn-off for strict aromatherapy followers, as many of the therapuetic effects are said to come from the natural ingredients in essential oils or incense.

Moodo says the capsules last about two months, or sixty hours of continual use. There are 20 base scents and you can choose from six preset “scent families” consisting of four capsules for $29.95. For nowyou can only buy scent families, but Moodo says it plans to make four-packs of individual scents available, also for $29.95. While Aera’s capsules are more expensive at $50 each, they contain a mix of natural and synthetic oils, and are estimated to last up to 120 days.

The Moodo is available in a few configurations. You can get a starter pack with the diffuser and three scent families for $189, or $209 if you want to include a battery. There’s also a starter pack that comes with all six scent families for $234.13 (no battery) or $251.78 (with battery). The battery makes the Moodoo portable, allowing you to use it without a power cord. Unless you want to bring it somewhere without a power source, however, it’s probably not necessary.

Our review unit came with two scent families: Beach Party and The Gardens of Kanazawa. Beach Party consists of four scents: Amber Marine, Monoi de Tahiti, Sea Breeze, and Sweet Sand. The Gardens of Kanazawa set contains Divine Rose, Grandma Vanilla, Neroli Citrus, and Sandalwood Mahara, and Neroli Citrus. The scents are powerful—you can smell them even before they’re out of the box. Many are reminiscent of strong cologne or potpourri, which is a little too much for my taste. But I was eventually able to find a combination I liked after tinkering with different mixes and intensity levels in the app, which I’ll explain in more detail below.

Once I had the Moodo running, it quickly diffused throughout my workspace in just a few minutes. It’s not an enclosed area, so it’s impressive that colleagues 20 feet away were able to pick up the scent. In terms of efficacy, this means you won’t have to run the Moodo for long, especially compared with certain candles, diffusers, and incense which can take a while to work. The Moodo is rated for up to 600 square feet, which should take care of apartments and very large rooms. If you want more coverage, the Aera can handle up to 2,000 square feet.

Setup and Security

Start the setup process by downloading the Moodo app (available for Android and iOS), then putting it in pairing mode by pressing the top left fan button and the plus button until the power button starts blinking. After that, the app guides you through the rest of the process. It involves directly connecting to the Moodo’s own Wi-Fi network in your phone settings before manually entering your home Wi-Fi network name and password.

The Moodo network you initially connect to has a hardcoded password of 12345678. It’s easily searchable on the company’s website, in the product manual, and in the app itself. This seemed fishy to me, so I consulted with PCMag’s resident security analyst Max Eddy. He confirmed that using a hardcoded password that is universal to all devices does not follow digital security best practices. While this doesn’t make the Moodo inherently insecure, it could introduce a weak spot in your home network.

App and Smart Home

Once connected, navigating the Moodo app is straightforward. On the main screen, you’ll see a graphic of the four capsules currently loaded Moodo, as well as their individual intensity levels. Underneath, you can see preset mixes, and to the left, a sliding scale to adjust strength. If you hit the shuffle icon, the Moodo will automatically switch mixes every fifteen minutes to keep your nostrils guessing. You can also customize a scent mix, save it, and use it later by tapping the heart icon at the bottom of the screen. There’s also a separate tab for the Moodo store.

You can schedule intervals from the clock icon located at the bottom of the main screen. This will automate how long the Moodo runs for, with three modes to choose from:Powerful, Efficient, and Saver. InPowerful mode, the Moodo takes a five-minute break after every 10 minutes; Efficient mode is a 10-minute break every 10 minutes; andSaver is a 10-minute break every five minutes.

While the Moodo app is functional, it doesn’t always feel quite polished. It often said that no internet connection was available, even when everything else was working just fine. The app would then freeze and I would have to restart it. It was also unable to recognize a test capsule, as you can see in the screenshot. In another instance, the app misidentified a capsule as the wrong scent. Some issues improved after an app update while I was testing, so here’s hoping the company continues to push out fixes.

In addition to app control, the Moodo has the ability to integrate with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants, as well as IFTTT. For Alexa, you can ask your Amazon Echo (or other Alexa device) to start or stop the Moodo. To connect with Google Assistant, you have to tell it “Ask Smart Moodo” or “Talk to Smart Moodo.” With IFTTT, you can program applets to turn the Moodo on or off at various times, such as when you arrive home, based on your phone location.

The Nose Knows

The Moodo does a decent job of alleviating some of the hassles of traditional aromatherapy. It’s particularly handy if you want a fresh-smelling home without doing much work, thanks to its third-party smart home integration. And compared with the Aera, you get a wider degree of scent customizability at a more affordable price. That said, replacement capsules are still quite expensive, and the app could benefit from updates to ensure better reliability. If you’re an aromatherapy nut with a nose for tech, however, it’s worth checking out.

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