Recommended Reading

How It All Began

Healing Civilizations: The Search for Therapeutic Essential Oils and Nutrients

Written by: Nadim A. Shaath
Published: 2017
Page Count: 320
Price (USD): 65.00

Extracted from Perfumer&Flavorist review: “With a foot firmly planted in a modern science and medicine, Shaath rekindles the magic and mystery of ancient herbal medicine and botanical extracts. This large coffee table book in vibrant color with lay-flat pages is a fascinating treatise on the history of the natural world. It includes an up-to-date review, monographs of 70 of the most important (in terms of use) botanical extracts of a wide variety, and their methods of extraction – all augmented with terrific photographs of exotic locations, botanicals and processes. The book begins with a historical perspective from Egypt and Greece and progresses through the various geographical, historical locations and events with a scientific and spiritual passion for the world of nature’s bounties and lessons.”

Sacred Luxuries: Fragrance, Aromatherapy, and Cosmetics in Ancient Egypt

Written by: Lise Manniche
Published: 1999
Page Count: 160
Price (USD): 73.29

From the publisher’s blurb: “The Egyptians attached great importance to perfumes and cosmetics, which men and women wore to make themselves attractive and alluring, to restore vitality and good health, and as a means of venerating the gods and of negotiating a passage to the realm of the hereafter. In this lavishly illustrated, oversized book, Lise Manniche looks at the role played by scents and cosmetics in ancient Egyptian society and discusses their preparation – in some cases providing actual recipes. Drawing on Arabic and other sources, Manniche explores the application of perfumes in ritual and on social occasions, and examines the erotic connotations of scent in Egyptian art and poetry. Fragrant remedies, the central element in ancient medicine, are fully discussed.”

Short History of the Art of Distillation

Written by: R.J. Forbes
Published: 1948
Page Count: 406
Price (USD): 25.00

Robert Tisserand on the book: “This book is not a modern, “how-to” distillation text. It is also not really a “short history” – it’s a very detailed one, spanning the years 1,000 to 1780. It includes an intriguing discussion of the years 100 to 900, and how close some came during this period to discovering true distillation. Includes over 200 beautiful black and white woodcuts.”

The Treasure of Euonymus

Written by: Konrad Gesner, translated by Peter Morwyn
Published: 1559
Page Count: 444
Price (USD): 73.29

Robert Tisserand on the book: “When I first saw a 1559 copy of this book in the Bodleian Library in Oxford in the 1980s, I really did feel I had discovered a hidden treasure. It struck me then that this was the first book ever written on aromatherapy, though the author did not use that word. As far as I know, this is the only 16th century text on essential oils and hydrosols that is currently in print, in English. The only catch is that it’s hard to read because it’s a facsimile reprint (basically a photocopy) of 16th century English very Gothic script. So “s” often looks like “f”, “the” is spelled “ye”, spellings are often weird, and so on. But it’s a truly fascinating read, full of recipes, practical if rather antiquated information, and references to much older knowledge from authors such as Dioscorides and Avicenna.”