There are now so many books, I can't keep up with them all, so this list probably omits some good recent books. Prices listed will have risen on older books. Several have come out in revised editions since the dates listed below. You are welcome to e-mail me with suggestions of good books to add to the list. Please give title, author, publisher and date of publication. A selection of books (not necessarily recommended by me!) from is also available for purchase through this page.



A Question Of Health

September 29, 2011, 1.30 - 3.30 p.m. for 10 weeks, Hurst House, 11 Abercrombie St., Chesterfield, S41 7LW. Discussion-based course looking at principles and politics of health.

Robert TISSERAND, The Art of Aromatherapy, C.W.Daniel, 1985 (revised ed.). First publ. 1977. One of the best for general background, history, etc. Inc. profiles of 28 essential oils (excludes some which became popular later) and a chapter on basic massage. Well researched. Tisserand is a major source for all later British writers.

Christine WILDWOOD, Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy, Bloomsbury, 1996, 20 hardback - probably cheaper paperback ed., poss. with different title. Inc. basic massage instruction. Generally well done intro-cum-reference.

Jennie HARDING, Secrets of Aromatherapy, Dorling Kindersley, 2001, 4.99. Cheap pocket-sized book with many illustrations - a good short guide. Long section on massage. Intro-cum reference.

Salvatore BATTAGLIA, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy, The Perfect Potion (Aust) Pty. Ltd., 1999, 21.95. Not cheap, but fairly comprehensive, though Tony Burfield notes many scientific errors. Intro-cum-reference. New Edition 2004, revised, more expensive.

Gill FARRER-HALLS, The Aromatherapy Bible, Hamlyn, 2005, 12.99 Good recent work.

See LINKS2 for other useful aromatherapy websites.

Robert TISSERAND, Aromatherapy for Everyone, Penguin, 1988. A shorter work than his other, with overlapping but not identical material - more on "how it works", no "how to massage", and some notes on just 12 oils. Still a v. good background intro for newcomers, though one needs a further book for details of individual oils.

Jan BALKAM, Aromatherapy, Blitz, 1994, 3.99, 255 pp. A good, well laid-out and cheap intro-cum reference - formerly available in some "remainder" bookshops.


Patricia DAVIS, Aromatherapy An A-Z, C.W.Daniel, 2000 (revised ed.). The best single reference book. In encyclopedia form, so unsuitable as an introductory text. Entries on individual oils, and ailments, methods of use and more. One of the better sources for safety data - although Martin Watt seems to think some of the safety fears overstated.

Shirley PRICE, Shirley Price's Aromatherapy Workbook, Thorsons, 1993, 8.99. A very comprehensive and thorough overview - much more aimed at the serious student then her previous books, with more detail, including material not generally given elsewhere. Excellent, but possibly not a first introductory text.

Julia LAWLESS, The Encyclopaedia of Essential Oils, Element, 1992. 9.99. 38 pages of basic introduction, followed by A to Z of 161 essential oils (inc. many you will never see in shops) plus therapeutic index. Good as a reference work. Illustrated version available.

Wanda SELLAR, The Directory of Essential Oils, C.W.Daniel, 1992. Very useful reference work. Basic info. on about 70 oils plus a short list of oils by property, and a good bibliography. No therapeutic index. Good, but less comprehensive than Lawless.


These are detailed works suitable for practitioners.

Robert TISSERAND & Tony BALACS, Essential Oil Safety, Churchill Livingstone, 1995 26.00, 280 pages. Well reviewed replacement for Tisserand's previous Safety Data Manual, which was for some years the basis for most normal safety recommendations. Recommended for the serious student of essential oils.

Martin WATT, Plant Aromatics - A Data & Reference Manual, publ. by the author. As of August 2010 this is no longer on the market, but I have kept the listing in case you find a secondhand copy. Martin's website is at Ring binder plus separately available sets of charts, with some text, listing test results on humans for irritation, toxicity, etc. Overlaps with Tisserand's data. Useful for practitioners.


Jane DYE, Aromatherapy for Women and Children, C.W.Daniel, 1992. One of several works on pregnancy/childcare etc., all of which are good but could be more comprehensive. Seza Eccles reviewed it as "a good basic introduction to the topic for the layperson".

Helen SANDERSON & Jane HARRISON, with Shirley PRICE, Aromatherapy and Massage for People with Learning Difficulties, Hands On Publishing & Training, 1992. Well-reviewed.

Valerie Ann WORWOOD, The Fragrant Pharmacy, Bantam, 1990. 546 pages; uses of oils for many ailments, inc. many not usually listed, plus use in gardening, cooking, and for animals. Introductory material rather basic, some unusual uses (rosemary to lower blood pressure) and lacks detailed safety data (clove used on skin, also nutmeg in larger quantities than some would feel safe) - so not recommended as your only book on the subject, but useful as an additional book.

Julia LAWLESS, Home Aromatherapy, Kyle Cathie Ltd., 1993, 9.99. Reviewed by Ruth Smith as "a truly definitive layperson's guide to using essential oils in the home." Seza Eccles, less enthusiastic, says "attractive and accessible, though rather steeply priced."

Christine WESTWOOD, Aromatherapy - A Guide for Home Use, Kerbina, 1991. 1.99, 46 pp. Maximum information in a short format, over half being a guide to the uses of 47 oils, inc. the most comprehensive list I've seen of psychological conditions and relevant oils, though such specific lists should perhaps be treated with caution.

Page updated 15.11.14.

See LINKS2 for other aromatherapy and general health websites.

A selection of books (not necessarily recommended by me!) from is also available for purchase through this page.


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