Fundamental Chemistry - Tisserand Institute

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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 assessments. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to learn fundamental chemistry from the expert, and join us on our dedicated Tisserand Institute learning platform!

Registration Closes February 1, 2019 @ Midnight
Sign Up Soon to Guarantee Your Spot!

What You Will Get in the Course

(hover over each box to learn more)

Three Weekly Lessons

Three Weekly Lessons

Three recorded sixty-minute sessions with Dr. Bowles



A dedicated forum to ask Dr. Bowles questions, plus previous Q&As.



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.

Constituent Profiles

Constituent Profiles

Printable and concise profiles of the essential oil constituents discussed in the course.

4 Extra Weeks!

Ongoing Course Access

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

When You COMPLETE the Fundamental Chemistry course you’ll receive

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

A confirmation that the course corresponds to 10 study hours

(Please consult directly with your professional organization for CPD credit.)

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

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!

Testimonials from previous students

It’s packed with very important and trustworthy information, and it is presented in a very nice and appealing way!! Makes me want to learn more, plus: never ever ever I would have imagined to smile so much during chemistry lessons! 🙂

I’ve been staring at these words for years trying to make sense of them and this is the first time I’m able to. Thank you! I have Joy’s book but have gotten MUCH more out of the course, especially being a visual learner. Everything is very well organized and easy to navigate, a big plus. You are both charming and knowledgeable which makes it more fun and less intimidating. I’d highly recommend this course!

This was the first time I felt I could grasp any part of chemistry, so many, many thanks! 3D models were crucial for understanding concepts. Really helpful to apply to EO deeper understanding and chemical constituents I see again and again. Only thing I’d like is to see a 3D tinker toy demo of a chemical reaction in action between molecules, to see exactly how electrons are exchanged, shared, lost, double bonds are broken, etc. (maybe two people needed for the interactive exercise!)

Thoroughly enjoying the course. Absolutely love chemistry and Joy Bowles is a great pleasure to have as an instructor.

Dr. Joy is very clear and organizes the material in a way that’s understandable for someone with absolutely no previous knowledge of chemistry.

Registration Closes Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 @ Midnight


Each lesson will be released on Tuesday starting October 22. They are recorded so you can watch them at any time you want.

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

Yes. Each lesson comes with printable handouts of the slides used in the lesson, and additional lesson notes. These are sent to you before each lesson and are for you to keep and refer to at any time.

Many of our students have commented that our courses helped them grasp what they learned elsewhere in more detail, or complemented their previous education. Some of our students are lifelong learners, and some are teachers.

We will let one of our previous students answer this one:

“The information presented is appropriate for all levels, and although I am just beginning my aromatherapy journey it all makes sense.”

Each weekly lesson is followed by a multiple choice quiz, and there is a summary test at the end of each of the two courses. Passing both the weekly quizzes and the final tests is a requirement for certification.

There will be three live Q&As, one on Thursday, November 7 at 9am PST, and the other two on Tuesday December 3, one also at 9am PST, and the other at 8pm AEDT

Absolutely! In addition to the live Q&A sessions, you can post your questions in the dedicated student forums.

The weekly lessons are recorded so you can view them any time from their release.

You will have access to all the recordings and course materials for four weeks weeks after the last lesson, so up to the end of December 2019.

Because we have students from all over the world and of many professions we are not able to offer credits for specific organizations – there are simply too many. However, we issue a confirmation of CE hours gained on the course that you can apply with your professional organization and will be happy to assist with any additional documentation.

We have found that running classes on specific dates works best to help you finish a program. You join a class of students, and learn along with them. Many students help each other with queries, and of course our tutors are there too. That said, if you miss a few classes you should be still able to comfortably jump right back in and if you do fall behind you can request extra time. Of course this cannot be indefinite, but we do our best to help you get your certificate.