Recommended Reading - Aromatherapy

M.J. Nightingale
Are you ready to take your aromatherapy knowledge to the next level? Whether you're just starting out or already an intermediate learner, understanding the basics of aromatherapy and essential oils is crucial, especially if you're an essential oil reseller.

But with so much misinformation online, it's tough to know who to trust. That's why I've compiled a list of my top five favorite books on essential oils and aromatherapy. These books are written by true experts in their fields, providing valuable insights and knowledge that you won't find on "mom blogs" or TikTok videos.

And don't worry, even if you're intimidated by chemistry, three of these books are beginner-friendly and easy to understand. They'll help you make informed decisions about the essential oils you use in your everyday life or recommend to your customers. So, let's dive in and discover the essential books you need on your shelf!

The Fragrant Pharmacy
by Valerie Ann Worwood
 is a masterpiece that has stood the test of time. First published in 1990, this book has been a trusted guide for aromatherapy enthusiasts and practitioners alike. Worwood has managed to condense her years of experience in aromatherapy into a comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide that covers everything from the history of aromatherapy to the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.

What sets "The Fragrant Pharmacy" apart is its emphasis on the practical applications of aromatherapy. Worwood provides detailed information on how to use essential oils for a range of ailments, from common colds and flu to more serious conditions like arthritis and depression. She also provides advice on how to use essential oils safely and effectively, including dosage recommendations and tips on blending oils.

But "The Fragrant Pharmacy" is more than just a practical guide to aromatherapy. It is also a celebration of the power of scent and its ability to heal the body, mind, and spirit. Worwood's passion for aromatherapy is evident on every page, and her enthusiasm is infectious. She makes a compelling case for the use of essential oils as a natural and holistic approach to health and wellness.

One of the most impressive things about "The Fragrant Pharmacy" is its scope. Worwood covers over 200 essential oils and provides detailed information on their properties and uses. She also includes recipes for a range of aromatherapy blends, from massage oils to room sprays. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced practitioner, there's something for everyone in this book.

Overall, "The Fragrant Pharmacy" is a must-read for anyone interested in aromatherapy or natural health. It is a comprehensive and practical guide that is sure to become a well-thumbed resource on your bookshelf. Worwood's passion for aromatherapy shines through on every page, and her expertise and wisdom make this book a true gem. Highly recommended!


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

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.

Aromatherapy: An A to Z by Patricia Davis is an informative and comprehensive guide that has remained a staple in the field of aromatherapy since its first publication in 1988. This book is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the fascinating world of aromatherapy.

The author, Patricia Davis, is a well-known and respected expert in the field of aromatherapy. Her vast knowledge and experience are evident in the way she presents the information in this book. From the very first page, Davis captures the reader's attention with her engaging writing style and her passion for the subject.

The book covers everything from the history of aromatherapy to the benefits and uses of various essential oils. The alphabetical format makes it easy to navigate, and each entry is clearly and concisely written, with practical advice and guidance on how to use the oils effectively.

What sets this book apart from others on the same topic is Davis's emphasis on safety. She stresses the importance of using essential oils properly and provides detailed instructions on how to do so. This is particularly important, as many people may be unaware of the potential dangers of using essential oils incorrectly.

In addition to the alphabetical entries, the book also includes a glossary of terms, a list of resources for further reading, and an index. This makes it a valuable reference tool for both beginners and experienced users of essential oils.

Overall, Aromatherapy: An A to Z by Patricia Davis is an excellent book that is both informative and engaging. It is a must-read for anyone who is interested in aromatherapy or who wants to learn more about the benefits of essential oils. Despite being published in 1988, this book remains relevant and useful today, and is a testament to the author's expertise and passion for the subject.

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 Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Sourcebook is an absolute treasure trove for anyone who is interested in the world of aromatherapy and essential oils. First published in 1997, this book is a classic that has stood the test of time, and is still as relevant today as it was when it was first released.

At its core, this book is a comprehensive guide to the world of essential oils, providing readers with detailed information on over 200 different oils, their uses, properties, and therapeutic benefits. What sets this book apart from other guides to essential oils is its attention to detail and the level of research that has gone into each entry. Each oil is presented in a clear and concise manner, with information on its chemical composition, historical uses, and practical applications.

But this book is more than just a reference guide. It is also a practical guide to using essential oils in your daily life, with detailed instructions on how to blend oils for different purposes, such as relaxation, skin care, and pain relief. The author also provides information on the various methods of using essential oils, including inhalation, topical application, and massage.

What I love most about this book is the author's passion for the subject matter. It is clear that Julia Lawless has a deep knowledge and understanding of essential oils, and her enthusiasm for the subject is infectious. Her writing is engaging and accessible, making even the most complex scientific concepts easy to understand.

Overall, The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Sourcebook is an essential addition to any aromatherapy enthusiast's library. Whether you are new to the world of essential oils or a seasoned practitioner, this book is sure to provide you with a wealth of information and inspiration. Highly recommended!

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.

"The Essential Oils & Aromatherapy Workbook" by Marcel Lavabre is a comprehensive guidebook on the uses and benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy. Originally published in 1990, this book has been updated several times and remains a trusted resource for beginners and experienced users alike.

The book is divided into three parts. Part one covers the history and theory of aromatherapy, including the properties of essential oils, their methods of extraction, and their various uses. Part two discusses the practical applications of aromatherapy, including how to blend essential oils, how to create your own natural skin care products, and how to use aromatherapy for therapeutic purposes such as stress relief, pain management, and emotional support.

Part three of the book provides an in-depth reference section that lists over 70 essential oils and their properties, along with detailed descriptions of their therapeutic uses and precautions for use. The author also provides a glossary of terms, as well as a comprehensive bibliography and resource list for further exploration.

One of the strengths of this book is the author's emphasis on safety and responsible use of essential oils. Lavabre provides clear guidelines for proper dilution, recommended methods of application, and potential side effects to watch for. He also encourages readers to seek out qualified professionals for guidance and advice, and to approach the use of essential oils with respect and mindfulness.

Another strength of this book is its accessibility to beginners. The author's writing style is clear and concise, and he avoids technical jargon or overwhelming scientific explanations. However, the book also contains enough detail and depth to be a valuable resource for experienced practitioners.

One potential drawback of the book is that it focuses primarily on the uses and benefits of essential oils, and may not provide enough information on other aspects of aromatherapy, such as the use of hydrosols or other plant-based products. However, this is a minor issue and does not detract from the overall value of the book.

Overall, "The Essential Oils & Aromatherapy Workbook" is a well-written and informative guidebook that is suitable for anyone interested in the benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy. Its emphasis on safety and responsible use make it a particularly valuable resource for beginners, while its in-depth reference section provides useful information for experienced practitioners. Highly recommended.

Advanced Aromatherapy by Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD
Originally published in German in 1995.
It became available in English in 1998.

"Advanced Aromatherapy" is a comprehensive and informative guide to the therapeutic and medicinal uses of essential oils. Written by Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD, a renowned aromatherapist and chemist, this book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring the therapeutic potential of essential oils.

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.”

The book begins with an overview of the history and science of aromatherapy, including a discussion of the chemical composition of essential oils and their various therapeutic properties. Schnaubelt also covers the methods of extraction and production of essential oils, as well as the importance of using high-quality, pure oils for maximum therapeutic benefit.

One of the strengths of this book is its detailed and thorough exploration of individual essential oils and their uses. Schnaubelt provides a wealth of information on the properties and benefits of over 70 essential oils, as well as specific instructions for their safe and effective use. He also includes a comprehensive directory of essential oils, including their chemical composition, therapeutic properties, and suggested uses.

In addition to discussing individual oils, Schnaubelt also covers a wide range of topics related to aromatherapy, including blending oils for specific purposes, using oils for massage and other therapeutic applications, and using oils for emotional and spiritual healing.

Another noteworthy aspect of this book is Schnaubelt's emphasis on the importance of using essential oils as part of a holistic approach to health and wellness. He encourages readers to view essential oils as a complement to other forms of healthcare, rather than as a replacement for conventional medicine.

Overall, "Advanced Aromatherapy" is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about the therapeutic and medicinal uses of essential oils. Schnaubelt's expertise as both an aromatherapist and chemist is evident throughout the book, and his emphasis on safety and the holistic use of essential oils makes this book an invaluable reference for both professionals and enthusiasts alike.


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.
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