Recommended Reading

Older Classic Texts

Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy: The First Book on Aromatherapy

Written by: René-Maurice Gattefossé (edited by Robert Tisserand)
Published: 1993 (original French edition: 1937)
Page Count: 164
Price (USD): 27.95

Robert Tisserand on the book: “An English translation of the 1937 book that coined the word ‘aromatherapy’, this book is mainly of historical interest. Gattefossé was a chemist who worked in his family’s fragrance business, and in the early 1900s he began collecting material about the therapeutic properties of essential oils. Included are over 50 case studies from doctors, many relating to wounds sustained by French soldiers during the First World War. The author briefly describes how he successfully used lavender oil to treat a burn he sustained in his laboratory after an explosion. This event has taken on a mythical dimension, which has him instinctively plunging his burned hand into the nearest available liquid. The truth is slightly more mundane – he applied the oil intentionally when the wound became infected – but it was still an inspirational event for him. In addition to abscesses, ulcers and war wounds, there are cases relating to gynecology, urology, dermatology and veterinary medicine.”

Marguerite Maury’s Guide to Aromatherapy: The Secret of Life and Youth

Written by: Marguerite Maury
Published: 1996 (original French edition 1961)
Page Count: 240
Price (USD): 47.47

Amazon blurb: “First published in 1961, with this book Marguerite Maury re-established the reputation of aromatherapy in France. In Britain, it was greeted with skepticim, but can now be re-assessed as the valuable reference book it is. A gold-mine of research, it contains information on a vast number of topics—health, beauty, diet, cooking, herbs, essential oils, and treatments.”

The Art of Aromatherapy: The Healing and Beautifying Properties of the Essential Oils of Flowers and Herbs

Written by: Robert Tisserand
Published: 1977
Page Count: 324
Price (USD): 19.95

This was the first book in English on aromatherapy.

Amazon reviewer: “As a serious aromatherapist, I highly recommend this book. The subject matter that Tisserand delves into is quite diverse, and extremely interesting. The basics of essential oils are explained, which ties in nicely with a descriptive narrative of their use in ancient times. Chinese principles of Yin/Yang, life force, and organics are discussed. Reasons why aromas affect us are presented in detail, followed by uses of oils in the specific body systems, as well as those are used for treating the mind. The book introduces baths, various massage techniques, and skin care utilizing oils. Also provided are many simple and useful recipes. The second half of this excellent book discusses 29 essential oils in great detail. What is totally unique are the authors’ tables. They compare odor intensity, evaporation rate, whether an oil is Yin or Yang, and which planet rules it!”

The Practice of Aromatherapy: A Classic Compendium of Plant Medicines and Their Healing Properties

Written by: Jean Valnet (edited by Robert Tisserand)
Published: 1982
Page Count: 280
Price (USD): 18.95

Amazon blurb: “This classic manual provides detailed evidence for the efficacy of plant medicine. Valnet effectively bridges the gap between the tradition of healing with herbs and the advances of modern medicine, showing, in scientific terms, why plant medicine works, and making an impassioned plea for curtailing our use of dangerous chemical therapies.”