Recommended Books

Fragrance and Wellbeing: Plant Aromatics and Their Influence on the Psyche

Written by: Jennifer Peace Rhind
Published: 2014
Page Count: 448
Price (USD): 45.00

Amazon blurb: “This book explores the impact of fragrance on the psyche from biological, anthropological, perfumery and aromatherapy viewpoints. Beginning with an exploration of our olfactory system and a discussion of the language of odour, the author examines the ways in which fragrance can influence our perceptions and experiences. She introduces us to a broad range of fragrance types – woody, resinous, spicy, herbaceous, agrestic, floral and citrus, as well as the attars that form part of Unani Tibb medicine. Traditional and contemporary uses and the mood-enhancing properties of fragrance types are presented. The book then provides an overview of the theoretical and philosophical frameworks that have been used to analyse how and why we choose fragrance. Finally readers are given guidance on how to cultivate their olfactory palate, which reveals a new dimension in the use of fragrance to enhance wellbeing.”

Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent

Written by: Mandy Aftel
Published: 2014
Page Count: 288
Price (USD): 27.95

Amazon blurb: “In addition to providing a riveting initiation into the history, natural history, and philosophy of scent, Fragrant imparts the essentials of scent literacy and includes recipes for easy-to-make fragrances and edible, drinkable, and useful concoctions that reveal the imaginative possibilities of creating with—and reveling in—aroma. Vintage line drawings make for a volume that will be a treasured gift as well as a great read.”

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.”

Handbook of Essential Oils: Science, Technology, and Applications, Third Edistion

Written by: K. Husnu Baser & Gerhard Buchbauer
Published: 2020
Page Count: 1098
Price (USD): 199.95

Amazon blurb: “Handbook of Essential Oils: Science, Technology, and Applications presents the development, use and marketing of essential oils. Exciting new topics include insecticidal applications, but there is a continued focus on the chemistry, pharmacology and biological activities of essential oils.

The third edition unveils new chapters including the insect repellent and insecticidal activities of essential oils, the synergistic activity with antibiotics against resistant microorganisms, essential oil applications in agriculture, plant-insect interactions, and pheromones and contaminants in essential oils.


  • Presents a wide range of topics including sources, production, analysis, storage, transport, chemistry, aromatherapy, pharmacology, toxicology, metabolism, technology, biotransformation, application, utilization, and trade
  • Includes discussions of biological activity testing, results of antimicrobial and antioxidant tests, and penetration enhancing activities useful in drug delivery
  • Covers up-to-date regulations and legislative procedures, together with the use of essential oils in perfumes, cosmetics, feed, food, beverages, and pharmaceutical industries
  • Unveils new chapters including the insect repellent and insecticidal activities of essential oils, the synergistic activity with antibiotics against resistant microorganisms, essential oil applications in agriculture, plant-insect interactions, and pheromones and contaminants in essential oils
  • The American Botanical Council (ABC) named the second edition as the recipient of the 2016 ABC James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award and recognized that essential oils are one of the fastest growing segments of the herbal product market

Harvest to Hydrosol Distill Your Own Exquisite Hydrosols at Home

Written by: Ann Harman
Published: 2015
Page Count: 240
Price (USD): 45.95

From Aromaweb review: “With nearly 20 years of distillation experience, Harvest to Hydrosol is written by one of the most experienced and respected hydrosol distillers in the world. Author Ann Harman provides an enlightening and thorough introduction and background into hydrosols and the world of hydrosol distillation. While Harvest to Hydrosol is written primarily for those interested in actively pursuing the distillation of hydrosols, it is also an absolute must-have addition to the libraries of everyone that sells, utilizes, studies and educates others about these precious waters.”

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.”

Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy

Written by: Suzanne Catty
Published: 2001
Page Count: 290
Price (USD): 24.95

Publisher’s blurb: “Hydrosols are the pure, water-based solutions created when essential oils are steam distilled. Through this process, a potent, yet subtle form of medicine is created, one that can be ingested as well as applied directly to the skin. Hydrosols are ideal for use with children, animals, and those with fragile immune systems. Suzanne Catty details the specifics of 67 hydrosols, provides formulas to treat more than 50 health concerns, and offers 40 delicious recipes in which hydrosols can be used. Her section on pets will help owners deal with urinary tract and digestive problems as well as grooming and odor issues.”

Robert Tisserand quoted on the back cover: “Suzanne Catty performs a great service to us all in bringing forth from obscurity this aspect of plant medicine, which is both ancient and modern.”

Lipids and Essential Oils as Antimicrobial Agents

Written by: Halldor Thormar
Published: 2011
Page Count: 316
Price (USD): 182.00

Amazon blurb: “Lipids and Essential Oils as Antimicrobial Agents is an essential guide to this important topic for researchers and advanced students in academia and research working in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food sciences, biochemistry and natural products chemistry, microbiology; and for health care scientists and professionals working in the fields of public health and infectious diseases. It will also be of interest to anyone concerned about health issues and particularly to those who are conscious of the benefits of health food and natural products.”

Listening to Scent: An Olfactory Journey with Plants and their Extracts

Written by: Jennifer Peace Rhind
Published: 2014
Page Count: 160

Amazon blurb: “The olfactory journey described in this book introduces readers to the pleasures and benefits of educating and training the ‘nose’, our olfactory palate. Jennifer Peace Rhind explores the process of cultivating our sense of smell and demonstrates how the process itself can be therapeutic and enjoyable, as well as informative. She highlights the different skills involved, from olfactory vocabulary, awareness, and memory, through to discrimination and fragrance creation, and the activities that can help to acquire them, emphasizing the value of experiential learning. She describes the Japanese art of koh-do or the ‘way of incense’ and suggests ways of creating group events inspired by this. Based on her twenty-five years’ experience working with essential oils and aromatic plant extracts, she also leads the reader through a variety of scent families, with information on the botanical source, odour profiles, olfactory notes, and suggestions for comparison with other scents. This method of educating and training the ‘nose’ is fascinating, challenging and life-enhancing and will be of interest to anyone eager to develop their sense of smell, and of incalculable use to aromatherapy students and practitioners who must acquire these skills for their career.”

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.”

Modern Cosmetics, Ingredients of Natural Origin: Volume 1

Written by: Dr Damjan Janeš and Dr Nina Kočevar Glavač
Published: 2018
Page Count: 482

From the editors: “The world’s most comprehensive book about cosmetic ingredients of natural origin. Written by scientists. Not only a must-read but a must-have. Modern cosmetics is a book about natural cosmetics. It is a book of traditional and contemporary knowledge that is supplemented in certain sections by the author’s critical point of view. Finally, its well-articulated content weaves a rich web of picturesque images of the natural world. We invite you to discover this world!”

From Robert Tisserand: “The book does cover all cosmetic ingredient types, but it is notably a wonderful full-color resource for fatty oils, butters and waxes.”

Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells

Written by: Harold McGe
Published: 2020
Page Count: 654

Amazon blurb: “From Harold McGee, James Beard Award-winning author and leading expert on the science of food and cooking, comes an extensive exploration of the long-overlooked world of smell. In Nose Dive, McGee takes us on a sensory adventure, from the sulfurous nascent earth more than four billion years ago, to the fruit-filled Tian Shan mountain range north of the Himalayas, to the keyboard of your laptop, where trace notes of phenol and formaldehyde escape between the keys. We’ll sniff the ordinary (wet pavement and cut grass) and the extraordinary (ambergris and truffles), the delightful (roses and vanilla) and the challenging (swamplands and durians). We’ll smell one another. We’ll smell ourselves.

Through it all, McGee familiarizes us with the actual bits of matter that we breathe in—the molecules that trigger our perceptions, that prompt the citrusy smells of coriander and beer and the medicinal smells of daffodils and sea urchins. And like everything in the physical world, molecules have histories. Many of the molecules that we smell every day existed long before any creature was around to smell them—before there was even a planet for those creatures to live on. Beginning with the origins of those molecules in interstellar space, McGee moves onward through the smells of our planet, the air and the oceans, the forest and the meadows and the city, all the way to the smells of incense, perfume, wine, and food.

Here is a story of the world, of every smell under our collective nose. A work of astounding scholarship and originality, Nose Dive distills the science behind the smells and translates it, as only McGee can, into an accessible and entertaining guide. Incorporating the latest insights of biology and chemistry, and interweaving them with personal observations, he reveals how our sense of smell has the power to expose invisible, intangible details of our material world and trigger in us feelings that are the very essence of being alive.”

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.”

Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind

Written by: A.S. Barwich
Published: 2020
Page Count: 366
Price (USD): 35

Amazon blurb: “A pioneering exploration of olfaction that upsets settled notions of how the brain translates sensory information.  Decades of cognition research have shown that external stimuli “spark” neural patterns in particular regions of the brain. This has fostered a view of the brain as a space that we can map: here the brain responds to faces, there it perceives a sensation in your left hand. But it turns out that the sense of smell – only recently attracting broader attention in neuroscience – doesn’t work this way. A. S. Barwich asks a deceptively simple question: What does the nose tell the brain, and how does the brain understand it?  Barwich interviews experts in neuroscience, psychology, chemistry, and perfumery in an effort to understand the biological mechanics and myriad meanings of odors. She argues that it is time to stop recycling ideas based on the paradigm of vision for the olfactory system. Scents are often fickle and boundless in comparison with visual images, and they do not line up with well-defined neural regions. Although olfaction remains a puzzle, Barwich proposes that what we know suggests the brain acts not only like a map, but also as a measuring device, one that senses and processes simple and complex odors.”

The Aromatherapy Beauty Guide: Using the Science of Carrier & Essential Oils to Create Natural Personal Care Products

Written by: Danielle Sade, BSc, CAHP
Published: 2017
Page Count: 384
Price (USD): $24.01

This is an all-in-one guide for anyone who wants to make cosmetics at home. It is accompanied with full-color illustrations and photos, which make the book appealing as well as really practical, as you can see what your product is supposed to look like. Danielle makes sure that you know everything you need to know before you start experimenting, building up your knowledge base layer by layer. Each material used is described in as much detail as is necessary, and so is every technique applied. The text is easy to follow. It almost seems as if you are in a one-on-one lesson, personally guided by the author herself, as she dispenses useful tips and troubleshooting ideas, making sure you avoid unnecessary mistakes. The formulas are well presented, listing tools needed and ingredients. I especially appreciate the double measures – milliliters as well as cups and spoons. And did I mention it is all science-backed? Overall, this book encompasses all you need to know, with detailed recipes as well as more general guidelines if you feel creative.

The Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being

Written by: Kathi Keville
Published: 2016
Page Count: 276
Price (USD): 24.95

Amazon blurb: “The Aromatherapy Garden explains how fragrant plants can be as therapeutic as they are intoxicating, and how easy it is to add this captivating element to gardens large and small. It reveals the scents, secrets, and science behind fragrant plants, and how to optimize the full benefits of fragrance. Hone your powers of concentration with lemon verbena. Beat the blues with wintersweet. And use rose geranium to relieve anxiety and stress. Revealed here are the scents, secrets, and science behind plant aromatherapy, and how to optimize its full benefits. Detailed plant profiles will help you create a beautiful source of restorative aromas, oils, sachets, teas, and more. The nose knows—and with Keville’s expertise, now you too can create your own sanctuary of health and happiness”

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 Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils

Written by: E. Joy Bowles
Published: 2003
Page Count: 236
Price (USD): 35.00

Amazon blurb: “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.”

The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook For Everyday Wellness

Written by: Nerys Purchon & Lora Carbo Cantele
Published: 2014
Page Count: 480
Price (USD): 24.95

Amazon reviewer: “Essential oils can be useful in many ways, and this beautifully designed book contains a feast of information, including many valuable safety tips. I urge you to follow them. I have known Jennie for many years, first as an aromatherapy student, and then as a teacher at the Tisserand Institute. Jennie has a passion for plants and essential oils, and she writes with vitality and wisdom. I can appreciate how much work has gone into researching the history and tradition of each plant, and into creating the hundreds of blends in this book. Jennie’s breadth of knowledge and years of experience are showcased here in this wonderful introduction to aromatherapy and massage.”