Constituent Spotlight

Lecture series

There is an important, ongoing debate in the aromatherapy world. How much can we tell about a whole essential oil from what we know about its constituents? And if we have good research on a particular constituent, does it mean each oil that contains it reflects those properties?

Join Dr Joy Bowles for this unique series of eight monthly lectures where she explores this relationship in detail.

Each spotlight session focuses on one or two important constituents. Dr. Joy first examines what we know about the chemistry and properties of the featured compound(s), and she then compares this knowledge with essential oils that contain it as a major constituent.

The Spotlight Constituent Kit

You have the option to purchase a complete, boxed collection of the 13 constituents we will be studying in 2023. (There are eight classes, but some cover more than one constituent.) The Spotlight Kit contains 4ml of each constituent, is sold separately by our third-party partner, and costs $45 plus shipping to anywhere in the world. All the constituents are of natural origin.
Using the kit you will be able to experience each constituent in isolation, understanding how it contributes to the aroma of essential oils containing it. 


Which came first, the oil or the constituent?

The research on essential oils is still evolving, so we generally turn to whatever resources are available, including research on individual constituents. In this lecture series, Dr Joy Bowles explores what is known about a single constituent, and then compares this to what we know about essential oils containing it.

If you have the Constituent Spotlight Kit you will be able to experience the constituents individually and see how they contribute to the overall aroma of the oil. We will devote a significant portion of the live sessions to the olfactory experience!

Each lecture consists of:

  • Introduction and general characteristics of the constituent
  • Review of research of the single constituent
  • Sensory experience of the single aromatic material
  • Comparison of data on essential oils containing the constituent
  • Discussion

Who is the series is for:

  • Professional aromatherapists who wish to understand more about the relationship between constituents and essential oils
  • Complementary medicine professionals who want to learn about the evidence around individual constituents
  • Perfumers and fragrance enthusiasts who want to know more about the properties of isolates (single constituents from essential oils)
  • Aroma-nerds who just cannot get enough knowledge 🙂

What You Get in the Class

Access to each lecture as it happens, together with an interactive Q&A to discuss issues and compare notes. Live lectures will be held at 5pm Pacific time.

A recording of both the lecture and the Q&A session to view later.

A downloadable handout with all the presentation slides, plus a list of citations and other resources.

You’ll have access to the recording of the webinar to watch and review any time. No deadlines, no limited access.

(Optional, highly recommended). You’ll be able to experience each constituent separately with a this boxed kit that contains thirteen samples of 4ml each. Sold separately ($45 plus shipping to anywhere in the world) and sent by our third party partner, it is not included in the course price. Order here. (Please note that due to safety regulations three of the constituents may not be shipped to certain countries and your kit will be smaller, with proportional decrease in price.)

Dates and topics

February 28 at 5pm PST – alpha-Bisabolol
Learn about the properties of this major constituent of Blue Chamomile and other oils.

March 28 at 5pm PST – Citronellol & Geraniol
Get up close and personal with these two isomers that contribute to the smell of Roses, Geraniums and Palmarosa grass. 

April 25 at 5pm PST – Linalool & Linalyl acetate
Bergamot, Lavender, Ho Wood… linalool and linalyl acetate are among the most common and most researched EO constituents. Come explore them with us!

May 30 at 5pm PST – d-Limonene
Who doesn’t like the fresh smell of citrus oils? Limonene is chiefly responsible, and we know a lot about it, too!


August 29 at 5pm PST – d-Carvone & l-Carvone
Another pair of isomers, the carvones are a fascinating couple. Present in Spearmint and Caraway oils, they have an interestingly different story for molecules that are virtually identical.

October 3 at 5pm PST – beta-Caryophyllene & alphaHumulene
Are those rumors about skin healing properties of beta-Caryophyllene true? We will explore how much we can tell.

October 31 at 5pm PST – Eugenol
This constituent is widely used in dentistry, and we shall look at all the various claims about it and the oils it is found in.

November 28 at 5pm PST – alpha-Pinene & betaPinene
Start the Holiday season with an exploration of two of the molecules responsible for that lovely smell of your Christmas tree!

Constituent Kit

To enjoy the lectures to the fullest, get this bespoke constituent kit. Thirteen natural isolates to smell and experience under the guidance of Dr Joy! (Modified kit of 10 constituents will be shipped to countries with strict safety regulation.)

Dr. E. Joy Bowles; PhD, BSc Hons

Author | Educator | Researcher

Joy wrote the very first course on essential oil chemistry in Australia in 1991. Her book, The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils (2003) is the textbook for many aromatherapy courses the world over.

For her PhD, awarded in 2007, Joy investigated how essential oils might affect cognitive function in dementia. After years of experience in primary healthcare, Joy is back to creating courses on the chemistry and evidence-based therapeutics of essential oils. Helping others understand the chemistry and pharmacology of essential oils is one of her life’s passions.

In 2021,  Joy received the Alliance of International Aromatherapist Outstanding Contribution to Aromatherapy Award in recognition of her long-standing devotion to the field. 

What previous students say about our courses:

I absolutely love what I’m learning. Joy’s enthusiasm just adds to the learning journey. But, now I want to reread all of my research through this new lens. ~ Traci Green

Many thanks Joy as you are always so articulate interesting and fun to listen to. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. you truly make it full of joy! ~ Farida Irani

Dr. Bowles’ passion is beyond infectious. She’s extremely knowledgeable and delightful. I’m so grateful to learn from her. ~ Petra Gilbert

A unique way to stay connected and keep learning with us!

Ready to get started?