Recommended Reading - Aromatherapy

Jan 25

Whether you're a beginner or an intermediate learner, and especially if you are an essential oil reseller, you need to understand the basic concepts of aromatherapy, and learn the fundamental chemistry of essential oils.

With so much misinformation on the internet, and so-called "experts" giving misleading and sometimes dangerous advice, it's best to learn from the experts in their respective fields, and not rely on "mom blogs" or TikTok videos.

Here are five of my favourite books on essential oils and aromatherapy. Two of them are advanced and focus on the chemistry, but don't let that scare you! They are extremely digestible and will help you to make wise choices about the essential oils you use in your everyday life, or recommend to customers. 

The Fragrant Pharmacy
by Valerie Ann Worwood. First published in 1990.

This book was recommended by my tutor in 1997 and was my aromatic ‘bible’ when studying Aromatherapy. It remains just as valuable today.

The fragrant pharmacy shows how each essential oil can offer many diverse benefits. It offers comprehensive information about essential oils with hundreds of synergistic recipes.

As one Amazon reviewer states
, “The author has a great way of giving information without being too elementary; the recipes are not complicated but more sophisticated than ‘put some lavender oil on your cuts and bruises.’.”

Aromatherapy: An A to Z by Patricia Davis.
First published in 1988.

Entitled the most comprehensive guide to aromatherapy ever published and described by the International Journal of Aromatherapy as “one of the most thoroughly researched books written on aromatherapy.”

It’s an encyclopedia of aromatherapy with over 400 entries covering 82 essential oils and more than 200 conditions. As the titled suggests, everything is in alphabetical order, so remains one of the easiest aromatherapy reference books on the market.

It’s refreshing to be able to find information about an essential oil or condition in a matter of seconds.

The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Sourcebook
by Julia Lawless.

First published in 1997.

Entitled a practical approach to the use of essential oils and aromatherapy for health, beauty and well- being, the book is thorough and beautifully illustrated throughout.

It’s go-to reference book written by leading aromatherapist Julian Lawless who “guides readers through the healing powers of essential oils and features visual profiles of over 100 essential oils and 15 carrier oils.”

The Chemistry Books!

Essential Oils & Aromatherapy Workbook by Marcel Lavabre.

First published in 1990.

The author, “a founder of the American Aromatherapy Association, explains the mysterious and powerful influence of scent on our mental state, emotion, and sexuality.”

My favourite chapter is the second; Aromatherapy: A Multi- Level Therapy. Where he discusses the power of living substances, provides a holistic perspective, and discusses olfaction and psychotherapy.

Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD
Originally published in German in 1995.

It became available in English in 1998.

The book describes itself as. “Drawing on broad based research to demonstrate how essential oils interact with the different systems of the body and how they affect emotional states as well as physical ones.” AND “A chemist and aromatherapy practitioner provides scientific proof for the effectiveness of using essential oils.”

Page 102 is where I found a recipe for scar healing, and I added a touch of spike lavender. It worked wonders on my husband's post op scar.

Created with