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The History Of Aroma
(Last Updated On: December 8, 2022)

The History Of Aromatherapy

The History Of Aromatherapy

In this article we have compiled a brief history for aromatherapy – Essential Oils, to let you know how aromatherapy has evolved.

we hope that by the end of this article, you will understand its origins and how aromatherapy has developed over the centuries.

  • The Beginning

Plants have always been used as a medicine since the beginning of mankind.

A brief history for aromatherapy – Essential Oils begins with primitive men, who relied on their instincts to keep themselves alive.

Using the sense of smell and experiences man is able to conclude for himself, that certain plant could help a sick person recover.

Animals too by instinct search for plants that could help cure its sickness.

  • Early Civilisations

Andalus – History of Aromatherapy – Essential Oils

The History Of Aromatherapy
The History Of Aromatherapy


Anciently, the Amazigh-Arabian people, began to study the chemistry of the aromatic properties, that resulted in a refined development of distillation.

This was first implemented in the extraction of rose essential oil and rose water, which were very popular in the Middle East at that time.

Various expeditions brought aromatic plants from one country to another.

Kings would barter and buy land, gold, slaves and women with the oils that they had extracted even with their crude methods.

Thus, oils were more valuable than gold.

Egypt – History of Aromatherapy – Essential Oils

The History Of Aromatherapy
The History Of Aromatherapy


The Egyptians had invented the first basic distillation equipment to create herbal infused oils. They use it for cosmetics, medicine, rituals and the making of perfumes.

Many years later Hippocrates (Father of Medicines), circa 460-377 BC, was said to have studied and documented over 200 different herbs during his lifetime and promoted its use for medicinal purposes.


China – History of Aromatherapy – Essential Oils

The History Of Aromatherapy
The History Of Aromatherapy

Joss stick umThe Chinese were also practicing some form of aromatics. The ancient Chinese uses mugwort leaves and calamus roots for hygiene purposes some 5000 years ago.

A famous medical text written by Shen Nung (#227) , 2700 BC, contains the details of over 365 plants and their properties. Aromatics was and still is used together with massage, acupressure and other ancient therapies.

The Chinese also pay respect to their Gods by burning woods and incense. This tradition is still in practice today.

India – History of Aromatherapy – Essential Oils

The History Of Aromatherapy
The History Of Aromatherapy


Ayurveda which is a form of traditional medical approach, combine dried and fresh herbs with aromatic massage. It has been in practice for centuries in India.


France – history of aromatherapy – Essential Oils


The History Of Aromatherapy
The History Of Aromatherapy



Cave paintings which portray the first use of plants for healings and medicinal purposes had been founded in the caves of Lascaux in the Dordogne region of France.


History of aromatherapy – Essential Oils – Modern Socities


René-Manrice Gattefossé, a French chemist who was bom in Montchat near Lyon in 1881, gave birth to the word ‘Aromatherapy’. Now commonly used to describe the use of essential oils today.

Gattefossé had bum his hand while working in his laboratory, out of reflex, he dipped his hand into a vat of Lavender oil.

He was fascinated by how quickly the burned hand healed without scaring.

This lead him to start investigating & studying the effects of other essential oils and went on to become one of the pioneers of Aromatherapy.

In 1937 Gattefossé published a book named * Aromathérapié: Les Huiles essentielles hormones végétales’.

It was later translated into English as “Gattefossé’s Aromatherapy’. This book is still in print today.


As a result of of Gattefossé’s work, Dr Jean Valet used aromatherapy oils to treat the injured soldiers during WWII. With success.



‘Madame Marguerite Maury, a biochemist and cosmetologist elevated the use of aromatherapy to a higher level.

She developed the methods of diluting and blending aromatherapy oils to be used for massage.

In 1964 Maury published a book by the name of Le Capital Jeunesse. This book was translated to English named ‘The Secret of Life and Youth.


Today Madame Marguerite Maury is often referred to as the Mother of Modern Aromatherapy Practice.



Robert B. Tisserand, an English Aromatherapist brought aromatherapy to the English speaking populations by publishing the first book in English in 1977 named The Art of Aromatherapy  .


 Although the word ‘Aromatherapy’ was only first used in the 1920, the benefits of plant based therapy had been around since the beginning of mankind.

Aromatic plants were used for incense, medicine, and the production of perfumes for thousands of years.



The History Of Aromatherapy
The History Of Aromatherapy
  • Conclusion :

When exposed to air at room temperature, they evaporate, also known as ethereal oils.

They represent the essence or active constituent of plant, hence they are also known as essential oils.

Hope you find it a very interesting  to know a bit more about them. Thank You!

Please leave us a question below, we would be happy to answer it for you, thanks for reading and sharing this article above!

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