Expand Your Skills with an Aromatherapy Book

The world of aromatherapy is enormous. Take a look at the dozens of bottles of essential oils in your favorite organic grocery store, and you get an idea of how much there is to learn. Depending on your interest, an aromatherapy book could be just the right guide for you.


Aromatherapy has probably been around as long as humans have been smelling flowers. The Egyptians used essential oils to prepare mummies; the Chinese used them to make incense. Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume is a fascinating aromatherapy book that traces the history of harvesting scents.

Plant Guides

If you're new to essential oils and think you might like to make your own products someday, start by picking up an aromatherapy book that includes a photographic guide to plants. Look for one that gives the scientific name as well as the everyday name for each plant. Some will also include bits of superstition and folklore associated with the plants and suggest aromatherapeutic uses.

Specialized guides focus on plants that yield oils for specific purposes. An encyclopedia of medicinal plants, for instance, would make a great aromatherapy book. So would a collection of beauty recipes. Check old family cookbooks, too. You might find some great suggestions from your great, great, great grandmother, back in the days when people had to rely more on their environment rather than going to the doctor or grocery store.


Once you know your plants, you'll be ready to move on to an aromatherapy book that details creating crafts and lotions - even potions! - using essential oils. These books can range from the very simple (mixing a bergamot-scented hand lotion using store-bought oil and lotion, for example) to complex (multi-step distilling of the oil from the plant itself).

Look beyond a dedicated aromatherapy book to get new ideas. The magazine section at the local bookstore, or the library, will have dozens of titles with craft ideas you can use to incorporate into your aromatherapy projects after you understand the basic principles.

You might also think about ways to use those nifty handcrafted products. Again, a good book comes in handy. Are you an expert at whipping up massage oils? Why not learn how to give a great massage? Or how about planting some of your favorite flowers in a garden where you can harvest their essential oils whenever you want?

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