© The Royal Society of Chemistry. A method to acquire the Raman spectra of sub-surface components using diffusely focused radiation in a microscope sampling configuration is described. This procedure generates Raman scattering at various sample depths by producing a converging beam at the back aperture of the objective lens. This method requires illumination of the sample with a defocused laser, while simultaneously increasing the number of CCD pixels that are binned along the spatial axis of the detector. We applied this diffuse sampling method to the analysis of stored red blood cells (RBCs). During storage, biochemical changes to RBCs occur (the “storage lesion”). However, there are no existing non-invasive methods to assess this. We evaluated the instrumental parameters needed to maximize the diffusely scattered signal, including pixel binning, slit width, and bandwidth. We demonstrated the effectiveness of this diffuse resonance Raman spectroscopy (DRRS) method by detecting RBCs through a blood bag segment (1 mm wall thickness). We directly compared the DRRS method to the more common stand-off Raman spectroscopy (SORS) method using both 633 nm and 785 nm excitation. Time-dependent DRRS spectra were used in a multivariate model for classification of RBCs in polymer segments by storage age. Young (6-8 day) RBCs were differentiated from old (35-40) RBCs with 100% sensitivity and 98.5% selectivity. These data indicated that DRRS is a promising, non-invasive technique for acquiring the spectra of sub-surface components, and is particularly applicable when the underlying sample can be resonantly enhanced.