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10 Most Useful Books About Essential Oils

Updated on March 2, 2018
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I write about how to garden, celebrate the wheel of the year, use essential oils, and make earth crafts in an urban environment.

Choosing The Best Essential Oil Books

Anyone wanting to buy a book about essential oils soon finds that there are thousands of books on the subject. It can be overwhelming and confusing because most of the books, however well-packaged, repeat the same information in different words to greater and lesser degrees of accuracy and detail.

It took me some time and a few disappointments before I discovered which were the best essential oil books. I've chosen the ten best books on the subject and hopefully, it will be a good place to start if you are trying to find the right book for you.

These are the best essential oil books. They are reliable, understandable, accurate, and written with authority and expertise. Some are practical, some inspirational, and some add something new and exciting to the understanding and use of essential oils.

A single essential oil book cannot cover everything, and to my knowledge, there isn't one that has succeeded in doing that yet. This selection contains books about essential oils on all kinds of topics from treatments for children to magic. Some books are for beginners, and some are more suited to the experienced. By combining a few of these books, all the information and inspiration you will ever need will be at hand.

I taught myself over many years how to use essential oils safely and effectively. I found out by talking to practitioners, learning by trial and error, and by reading books. Whatever your particular interest or skill level, I hope this helps you find the right book for you.

For Beginner Blends and Recipes

500 Formulas For Aromatherapy: Mixing Essential Oils for Every Use
500 Formulas For Aromatherapy: Mixing Essential Oils for Every Use

This is a perfect book about essential oils for beginners. If you want to get started straight away making blends and simple treatments for yourself, this is the book for you!

It has clear and simple directions for making 500 recipes for everyday uses in the home.

There's not a lot of background information, so you would need to get that from another book, but for anyone who is impatient to get started making lovely fragrant mixes for the bath, bedroom, and kitchen, this is the one to get.


A Complete Household Essential Oil Guide - Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty And A Safe Home Environment by Valerie Ann

This book is similar to the last in that it has recipes for essential oil blends. It is different in the density of information and degreee of associations it makes. I think this is a truly fantastic book, but it might be a little overwhelming for an absolute beginner.

Tne only thing lacking in this book is a good section on safety and contra-indications: there still isn't a book that has absolutely everything yet. Actually I think that might be impossible, so the best way at the moment is to have two or three great books that complement each other.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

If you have a decent collection of essential oils, and a little understanding, this is the best book around on the subject.

Pretty well any thing that you can imagine, and then some more, has a prescriptive remedy in this book.

This book is the ultimate household companion. If you combine this with Julia Lawless's book (reviewed below), you have got prettty well everything you will ever need to know covered.


A Comprehensive Reference Book Of Essential Oils - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless

This is a highly recommended essential oils resource book.

Julia Lawless is an extremely well respected authority on aromatherapy. She is well known for her clear and concise approach to what can be a complex subject.

Julia has been producing aromatherapy oils since the 80's, and is the third generation of women in her family to be involved with essential oils. Her writing has an authenticity that comes from a genuine love of her subject, and the accumulated wisdom and research of three generations of her family.

Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The complete guide to the use of aromatic oils in aromatherapy, herbalism, health and well-being
Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The complete guide to the use of aromatic oils in aromatherapy, herbalism, health and well-being

This book contains details of over 160 essential oils and their uses, along with photos, safety data, and a good overview of the history and chemistry of essential oils.

This book is essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in aromatherapy and essential oils.


The Mind And The Emotions - The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood, and Emotion

A huge amount of information, advice and creative thought is crammed into this wonderful and life changing book. I've owned a copy for years, and still haven't exhausted all the resources here. You will find recipes to soothe and heal every mental and emotional state you might experience. You will also find a lot more that intrigues , and leads you on to your own discoveries.

The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood, and Emotion
The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood, and Emotion

It's pretty common knowledge that there is a profound link between the sense of smell and the mind and emotions.

It's also not new news that essential oils can help with depression and grief. What is new here is the extremely fascinating approach Worwood takes when looking at personality types and their relationship with types and groups of plants and oils.

This is a truly mind opening book.


Essential Oils For Spiritual And Magical Purposes - The Fragrant Heavens by Valerie Ann Worwood

Valerie Ann Worwood is my absolute favourite writer on all things to do with essential oils and aromatherapy, especially when it comes to the esoteric.

Reading her books has taught me to 'think outside the box' where essential oils are concerned. It's good to learn the fundamental principles, the safety guidelines, and all the researched benfits of essential oils.

Once you've done that, Valerie Ann Worwood shows that the next stage is to use your intuition.


This book is pretty unique, and certainly not for the beginner looking for basic information.

It considers the vibrational qualities of individual oils, and their place in the larger Cosmic scheme of things.

You may not always agree with specific points about the effects of a certain fragrance, but you may well find yourself looking at essential oils with an increased reverence and wonder.


Pregnancy and Childbirth - Clinical Aromatherapy for Pregnancy and Childbirth by Denise Tiran MSc RGN

When it comes to pregnancy, the need to be very sure about the safety of any substances an individual absorbs by mouth or skin becomes ever more specific. What may be fine for us can be overpowering to an embryo in the womb.

This book is a source of sound information about the use of essential oils during pregnancy, backed up by solid experience and research.

Clinical Aromatherapy for Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2e
Clinical Aromatherapy for Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2e

The reason that I have chosen this book is that Denise Tiran is so well qualified on this topic.

As a Registered Nurse and principal lecturer in Complementary Therapies and Midwifery, and programme leader for the BSc (Hons) in Complementary Therapies at University of Greenwich, London, Denise Tiran is perhaps the most well known and experienced to write on this topic.


The Best Book About Essential Oils And Animals - A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils by Kristen Leigh Bell

You cannot and should not apply the same recipes and rules in aromatherapy to animals that you do to humans. What helps us may cause great harm to our animal friends.

Apart from any direct medical consequences, consider the fact that most animals have a sense of smell many thousand times greater than ours, and concentrated essential oils are overpowering to their finely developed senses.

Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals (Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils and Hydroso)
Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals (Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils and Hydroso)

This book is an important source of information to anyone considering treating their animals with essential oils.

Animals are allergic to many oils just like us. They also have a different body mass to humans and the the recipes designed for us.

We need guidance from experienced and informed vetinarians before using essential oils on animals.

Please read this book before you do.


Science: A Comprehensive Review Of The Chemistry Of Essential Oils

Dr. Schnaubelt has a Ph D in Chemistry, so that should give you a clear idea of the slant of this very detailed book. If you want to read a serious review of the reasons how, why and when essential oils work, this is it. As the practice of treating illness with essential oils becomes ever more popular, the pressure increases for claims about their efficacy to be substantiated by rigorous scientific testing.

Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy
Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy

Self helpers and enthusiasts may or may not find this a useful book, as evaluating the information here, in itself requires a level of scientific understanding from the reader. For those with a background in science, particularly chemistry, this book will add another dimension to your understanding of the use of essential oils.


History : The Practice of Aromatherapy - A Classic Compendium of Plant Medicines and Their Healing Properties by Dr. Jean Valnet

No collection of books about aromatherapy would be complete without this one, written by the father of medical aromatherapy : French army surgeon, Dr. Jean Valnet.

Dr. Valnet pioneered the use of essential oils on the bloody battlefields of WWll. His subsequent research and writings laid the foundations of modern aromatherapy.

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

This book was written well before aromatherapy was considered a topic of interest to the layman. It requires some medical and scientific understanding and even then it's not an easy read.

The Practice of Aromatherapy was written by Dr. Valnet to record and promote his experiences and research. The science has been superceeded by modern scientific research, but serious students of aromatherapy will continue to read this book for its significance.


Essential Oils And Perfume - The history of fragrances both ancient and modern, and the ultimate guide to perfumery.

Mandy Aftel is a creator of perfumes, and an expert at blending essential oils. In this delightful book she not only covers the principles of blending different oils together, but also examines with whimsy or insight, depending upon your outlook, the inner qualities of essential oils.

Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume
Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume

Mandy Aftel is a popular writer; her work featured in many publications from Vogue to Oprah Magazine. Her extensive knowledge of perfumery, and her very particular take on essential oils are brought together in this unique and thought provoking book.


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