Aromatherapy books recommended resources

My goal for this article is to save you time and energy looking for resources on aromatherapy books. I am often asked where to get reliable information about essential oils. I have also seen some books available (mostly online) that I really found to be a waste of money. They won’t be on this list. Benefit from my summaries on each book, as I have read all of them, and personally own most of them. Yes, that is a lot of books, and I have only listed some of them!

Note: Most of these books may also be accessed through your local library. Keep on the lookout in second hand bookstores for some of the older editions.

Disclosure: If you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Aromatherapy books to read first:

These books are ones that I recommend to have, read or get when first starting to use essential oils.

The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness

by Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele: This is a book that I often use. It is well organized, contains information on medical conditions. It also contains charts for easy reference and some essential oil profiles as well as safety guidelines.

Recommended for: All levels of essential oil users.

CAD: Purchase The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness

USA: Purchase the complete aromatherapy and essential oils handbook for everyday wellness

The Aromatherapy Beauty Guide: Using the science of carrier & essential oils to create natural care products

by Danielle Sade: I recently discovered this book, and really liked it. If you are interested in making your own beauty products, you will find a lot of valuable information here. Some of te products are quite simple to make, but others require some specialty ingredients and/or equipment that many people may not have access to.

Recommended for: serious beauty DIYers

CAD: Purchase The Aromatherapy Beauty Guide

USA: Purchase The Aromatherapy Beauty Guide

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health and Well Being

by Julia Lawless: This book has gone through several editions. The earlier edition is not readily available anymore, but keep your eyes peeled at used bookstores. There is more information contained in the earlier edition. The new ones are still valuable, however. This is one that I purchased early on. I have noticed that MANY other sources quote from Julia Lawless.

Recommended for: All levels of essential oil users.

CAD: Purchase The encyclopedia of essential oils

USA: Purchase the encyclopedia of essential oils

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art

by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green: The information in this book is easy to access thanks to content layout design. I have tried many of the recipes here personally. I also really like how she introduces the concept of combining herbs (and herbal oils) with essential oils. Kathi Keville also has a smaller version called Little Book of Aromatherapy which I also own. This book is simple and easy to use.

Recommended for: All levels of essential oil users, especially those interested in making self care products.

CAD: Purchase Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art

USA Purchase Aromatherapy: A complete guide to the healing art

Essential Oils Handbook: All the Oils You Will Ever Need for Health, Vitality and Well-being

by Jennie Harding: I think this is the first book that I ever purchased. It is packed with concise information on both essential oils and also carrier oils and contains formulas for common problems. This compact little book is easy to pack when traveling.

CAD: Purchase Essential oils handbook

USA: Purchase Essential oils handbook


by Chrissie Wildwood: This is an older publication, but I think it’s a keeper. This book is laid out by body systems and also contains essential oil profiles of several essential oils. Yes, this edition has older photos, but the information contained makes up for it. There is a section on massage techniques, including baby massage. This book focuses more on experienced users and professionals. Keep a lookout for used copies. Recommended reading.

Update: I could not find a link to this exact book, but her Aromatherapy Encyclopedia volume makes an excellent replacement. Purchase Aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy (Teach Yourself)

by Denise Whichello Brown: This aromatherapist has been around for awhile, and has some straightforward formulas for several medical concerns. She covers various treatments for those issues, from orthodox treatment to Bach flower remedies. This is a smaller volume, but is handy and has a layout that makes reading the information easy. Recommended reading. Check better second hand book stores for this one.

CAD: Purchase (Teach yourself) Aromatherapy

USA: Purchase (Teach yourself) Aromatherapy

Quick Start to using Essential Oils

by Deanna Russell: This little gem was created by yours truly, initially written as a textbook for an online aromatherapy course, Aromatherapy Foundational Concepts. This book outlines everything that I wish I had known when I was getting started with essential oils. The layout of this book makes getting information quickly a cinch. Recommended reading (of course!)

CAD: Purchase Quick Start paperback

CAD: Purchase Quick Start kindle

USA: Purchase Quick Start paperback

USA: Purchase Quick Start kindle

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy:

Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environment

by Valerie Worwood. She is another prolific aromatherapy author and I have a few of her books too. I find there is some content overlap between the books, but overall they provide a good resource. Much of her individual book information is included in this one volume. What I like about this book is that she has a section on using essential oils in the garden and for pest control. This book is a good resource.

USA: Purchase Complete book of essential oils and aromatherapy

Recommended for: Advanced users and professionals

I suggest getting the following books if you are a professional using essential oils, or a very advanced and keen user.

Carrier oils for Aromatherapy and Massage

by Len Price with Shirley Price: This book is a little goldmine for people who want detailed information on carrier oils. It contains all the commonly used carrier oils, but also has many oils profiled that are not yet readily accessible in some parts of the world. Since this volume is a little more costly, there are probably other books I would get first.

However, if you are a massage therapist, this book would be more at the top of the list for recommended reading.

Recommended for: Massage therapists and skin care professionals.

CAD: Purchase Carrier oils for Aromatherapy and Massage

USA: Purchase Carrier oils for Aromatherapy and Massage

Essential Oil Safety

by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young: second edition. If you are a professional aromatherapist, you absolutely must have this reference book. It is a massive volume and took years in the making. It contains loads of technical information on almost every essential oil in production. The cost of this volume has come down quite a bit since I purchased it.

Recommended for: Professionals and practitioners.

CAD: Purchase Essential oil safety

USA: Purchase Essential Oil Safety


Well, there you have it- at least a very good start on what to read. Yes, there are additional books that are worth having, and perhaps one day I’ll add some of them here. In the age of anyone writing an ebook on this topic, it can be hard to know where to invest your money and space. Since I have purchased a few duds myself, my goal here is to save you some time and energy and get right to the good stuff.

So- what are your favorite aromatherapy reads?

Additional Resources

Related: Where to purchase individual essential oils

Herbs and Essential Oils Ultimate Bundles is a tremendous resource for everyone interested in natural wellness.
Always know which natural remedy to reach for

Before you go

Deanna Russell
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