The broad definition of aromatherapy as defined by Jan Kusmirek is:
“The use of pure essential oils to seek to influence, to change or modify, mind, body or spirit; physiology or mood.”
This statement encompass the use of essential oils in perfumery, cosmetics, medicine both orthodox and alternative, psychotherapy, aromacology or science.

The word “aromatherapy” was first coined by the French Chemist Gattefosse in 1937.

Internationally there are over 40 schools teaching aromatherapy in Europe. The IFA - International Federation of Aromatherapist is recognized as a leading authority in the practise of Aromatherapy.

 The plant stores essential oil in tiny pockets in the leaf, bark, flower, fruit, entire aerial, resin or root depending on the plant. They are concentrated energy which the plant uses in times of crisis ie) drought, cold, or disease. When we extract essential oils, we are extracting a highly concentrated healing substance that is called an “oil”, but is not like a nut derived oil that leaves a stain.

 Essential oils are generally used either on their own, in a blend with a carrier oil or combination with other plant oils. Essential oils are never made from synthetic chemicals” Unless it totally derived from a plant, it is not an essential oil.

 The difference between a synthetic oil and a natural one is that the pure essential oils already contain all necessary active ingredients and all necessary buffers, requiring no chemical additives to improve their effectiveness.

 Essential oils are 75 to 100 times more concentrated than dried herbs and therefore should be used in small percentage ( 2 – 5%) in any massage oil.


 Are highly fragrant, concentrated and potent substances.

 Non-oily in texture for they are not fat-based and being called “oils” is sometimes misleading. They have a lipid-soluble molecular structure which allows them to pass easily through the skin. They penetrate into the fat layers of skin quickly, which is why massage is such an effective treatment.

 Volatile as they evaporate into air easily.

 Oxidize easily, therefore caps should be tightly closed. A small amount of oil in a large bottle should be transferred to a small bottle so as to minimize oxygen exposure.

 Sensitive to heat and should be stored in a cool place.

 Sensitive to light and should be stored in dark bottles.

 Do not dissolve in water .

 Are not a stand product and will vary from batch to batch.

 Are cytophylatic (regenerate new cell) and enhance the function of our organs.

 Virtually all essential oils have bactericidal properties.

.Quality Essential Oils

Essential oils differ from year to year, many thing affect them and their composition: geographic location, soil, quality, climate, and the care and time taken to distill them properly. Through testing and experienced analysis, it is possible to determine their composition and purity; samples that show the oil to have been adulterated or to be of poor quality


Aromatheray may be effective in treating many conditions safely and naturally, there are however some conditions that require medical attention. Obtain professional treatment for serious condition or whenever there is any doubt.

There are conditions which will have contraindications when using essential oils and cause the body to react in ways which may be harmful.

Seek permission before using essential oils if there is history of illness or cancer in your family, if you are pregnant, diabetic, epileptic or having medical treatments.

Although essential oils are valuable healing aids, they are much slower in healing than conventional cures – SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP IN SERIOUS CONDITIONS. Aromatherapy is only a complementary therapy and must be treated as such.


 Essential oils are active plant material and therefore have a limited shelf life.

 Oils will remain effective for at least 12 months after purchase and can have a shelve life of up to seven years.

 Shelf life can be improved if the oil is stored in a cool dark place, out of direct sunlight. Citrus oils may be refridgerated – but not frozen for longer shelf life. The lid of the bottle should be replaced quickly and properly after use (to prevent oxidation by the air) Replacing a cap on the wrong bottle will spoil the contents of both bottles.


Essential oils are not a manufactured chemical or perfume. This means that every batch of oil can be slightly different, some factors which have strong influences on the quality of the oils are:

 Country of Origin purchasing only the best essential oils from small specialist suppliers in “unusual” countries will often determine the premium price. Factors that can affect this quality of essential oils include soil type, climate, use of chemical (fertilizers), harvesting, genetics, chemotype, age of the plant and method of extraction.
 Market Forces – government legislation, civil wars; climatic disasters can all have a dramatic influence on the prices of oils.


Carrier oils are vegetable based and composed of fat soluble molecules that can be easily absorbed by the skin.
Sweet almond A light, rapidly absorbed oil. Excellent for oily, sensitive skins.

Apricot kernal A rich, nourishing oil.

Avocado Rich in Vitamins A, C and E. Ideal for dry skin.

Evening primrose Helps maintain natural softness. Rich in GLA

Grapeseed A fine non-greasy oil which is ideal for massage.

Hazelnut Helps to nourish the skin. Has built-in sun protection.

Jojoba A mild, softening, slightly waxy oil.

Soya Bean A light, easily absorbed oil. An ideal massage base.

Wheat Germ Rich in Vitamin E. An excellent massage base for mature skin. Preservative.


STEAM DISTILLATION: The most widely used method but due to high temperatures it is less suitable for exotic fragrances such as Rose, Neroli, Jasmine. Large quantities can be processed therefore making it an economical process.

SOLVENT EXTRACTION: Popular for highly fragrant floral oils due to lower temperature used. Plant material is placed in a container with solvent and then heated.

EXPRESSION: Applies to citrus oils. Rinds are squeezed to release their oils.

ENFLEURAGE Specialized but labour intensive. Petals are spread on fat on top of glass frames till the fat becomes saturated with essential oils.