Live sessions every Tuesday starting July 31st

2pm Pacific Daylight Time


Fundamental Chemistry with Dr. E. Joy Bowles, PhD, BSc Hons

This three-part online course will help you understand the building blocks of essential oils. With her signature enthusiasm, Dr. Joy Bowles will introduce you to the world of organic chemistry.

As both a scientist and an experienced aromatherapist, she has a unique insight into how essential oils interact with our body on the cellular level, and will help you gain that insight through the amazing language of chemistry.

Understanding the molecular makeup of essential oils will help you make better therapeutic decisions, as well as accurate safety assessment. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to learn fundamental chemistry from the expert, and join us on our unique Tisserand Institute learning platform!

Enrollment closed
Registration Closes July 29, 2018 @ Midnight
Sign Up Soon to Guarantee Your Spot!

What You Will Get in the Course

(hover over each box to learn more)

3 Weekly Lessons

3 Weekly Lessons

3 Live Sixty-Minute Sessions with Dr. Bowles

Q&A Sessions

Q&A Sessions

Each Live Session Includes a Q&A with Dr. Bowles



Each session includes handouts and printable notes for you to keep.

Dedicated Group Discussions

Dedicated Group Discussions

Exclusive forum with Dr. Bowles, Hana Tisserand and students on the Tisserand Institute Learning Platform.

Recordings and transcripts

Recordings and transcripts

You can rewatch each session as a recording, as well as go through transcripts of Q&As.

4 Extra Weeks!

Ongoing Course Access

Ongoing access to recorded sessions and course materials for 4 weeks after course completion.

Enrollment closed

When You COMPLETE the Fundamental Chemistry course you’ll receive

A Certificate of Completion of The Tisserand Institute’s Fundamental Chemistry course.

Fundamental Chemistry Certification

Essential oils are powerful health and wellness tools, and as such need to be treated with the respect they deserve.

Your Certificate of Completion will be evidence that you understand the fundamental principles of essential oil chemistry.

Course Breakdown:
What You’ll Be Learning Over 3 Weeks

What does chemistry help us explain?
Types of atoms found in essential oils
Why do most atoms form bonds to make molecules?
Examples of molecular bonds

You will be able to:
Describe the bonding capacity of Hydrogen, Carbon and Oxygen atoms
Represent atoms and molecules with chemistry symbols
Draw simple carbon-based molecules using symbols

Types of molecules found in essential oils
Molecular features that have an impact on therapeutic properties
Over-view of essential oil chemical families
Relationships between essential oil chemical families, and clinical significance of these relationships e.g. alcohols + esters; phenols and phenyl-methyl ethers

You will be able to
Describe an isoprene unit, and explain how many isoprene units are found in monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and diterpenes.
Describe biological effects of important chemical families


You will be able to
List the therapeutic properties of the five different constituents, and the oils they are found in
Compare therapeutic activities of different oils relating to the proportion of their active constituents

Enrollment closed

About the Tutor: Dr. E. Joy Bowles, PhD, BSc Hons

Dr. Joy wrote the first course in essential oil chemistry in Australia in 1991, and her book “The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils” was published in 2003. It is used as a course text for many aromatherapy courses around the world. For her PhD, awarded in 2007, Dr. Joy investigated how essential oils might affect cognitive function in dementia. After several years on a diabetes management project in primary health care, she has returned to essential oil chemistry, creating training packages to disseminate the evidence-based therapeutic effects of essential oils. Helping people understand the chemistry and pharmacology of essential oils is one of her life’s passions. Joy has been talking to audiences in Europe, the USA and of course, her home country, Australia.

About her book, The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils: “This revised study of the chemistry and pharmacology of aromatherapy oils offers a practical approach to learning the basics of essential oils. Moving step-by-step at the molecular level through 89 essential oils, this work includes useful diagrams as well as techniques for oil extraction. Discussed are techniques for applying the benefits of aromatherapy to different body systems including muscles and joints, the respiratory system, and the immune system. An ideal handbook for those interested in aromatherapy as a holistic therapy, this work also provides many tips for how even the most simple applications of aromatherapy can improve one’s quality of life.”

Dr. Joy is currently working on a new edition, and the knowledge she will be sharing with us comes with a thorough layer of extra research!

Responses to Dr. Joy Bowles’ book
“The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils”

I am currently enrolled in an Aromatherapy class and this was one of the recommended books. It certains goes a long way to demystify the chemistry of essential oils. Plus, it’s not a “dry” chemistry book … it’s actually a fairly easy read.

Seriously, if you want to learn essential oil chemistry and how it applies to your health, start here. If you are starting from zero, definately start here. If you are starting from half way up the rung, like myself, this book is still a good read because it answers many annoying questions – like are my monoterpene dominated essential oils going to be any good in assays for anti-inflammatory capacity – answer is not really….

I studied chemistry over 40 years ago, and have forgotten a lot of it.

This book not only is the best book I’ve found on the chemistry of aromatherapy oils, but it is packed with additional priceless information too.

It is well-written, well-organized, and simply superb!

There’s a lot of good information in this book. All of my other books have a little info and a lot of recipes, this book answers questions about chemical compounds and elements and atoms. I wanted more and this definitely is giving me something to chew on.

Joy Bowles is a hoot!!! Thoroughly enjoyed myself in her live seminar, and learned a lot, too!

Registration Closes Sunday, July 29 @ Midnight


The sessions will take place at 2pm PDT (11pm GMT). To check what time that is where you live, go to

Not a problem. Each live session will be recorded so you can watch it later, and you will be able to ask questions through our learning portal. The sessions will be available for the remainder of the course, plus an extra four weeks after the last session.

Almost certainly. While Dr. Bowles’ book has been a staple in many aromatherapy school curricula, she has updated the knowledge and will share it with you first hand.

Absolutely! While chemistry may seem daunting at first, this course is set up to help you master the fundamental principles needed to be confident in your use of essential oils. You will be learning during the live sessions, and also in the student forum.

Each session will be followed by a short quiz, and there will be a summary test at the end of the whole course.