Top critical review
78 people found this helpful
on 19 April 2009
Quite a good book on aromatherapy. On the positive side, it has a lot of recipes for nearly everything. Recipes go from skin care to babies, gardening, pets and cooking. The book is very complete on this front.
On the negative side, this book contains an index with information of some essential oils (what the author describes as the "basic kit"). But this only covers a few essential oils. If you are looking for a guide with information on each essential oil I recommend Julia Lawless the Encyclopedia of Essential Oils.
Also on the negative side, I'm confused by the author's recommendations. She gives guidelines as to how many drops of essential oils to use per millilitre of base oil. This I found very useful. She recommends that you use a maximum of 1 drop of essential oil per millilitre of base oil. Thus, for instance, if you are blending 30 ml base oil, you shouldn't add more than 30 drops of essential oils. However, and very confusingly, many of her recipes contain a lot more drops than she recommends. There are recipes for 30 ml of base oil containing 40-50 drops of essential oils. I find this very confusing. And no explanation is given for this contradiction.
Also on the negative side, some of the oils she uses are hard to find in the UK. Not impossible, but hard to find. For instance: she uses a lot of carrot seed oil. You will not find this in any of the major high street shops (not in Neal's Yard, not in Culpeper). She also uses a lot of parsley seed oil. This one is also not available in the main high street retailers. Not only that: I checked parsley seed oil in my encyclopedia of essential oils (Julia Lawless book), and parsley seed oil is said to be moderately toxic. Perhaps this is why main retailers are not stocking it?
Also, the author misses some important base oils, such as rosehip oil. This is a base oil she does not discuss or use at all. However, it has recently been discovered as a very good oil for skin care. It seems to me that the book might be a bit outdated by now.
She also does not discuss the shelf life of essential oils. They have an use-by-end date, and this is something one should be careful to know. Some base oils go rancid faster than others. This information should have been in the book.
This book is actually quite good, but it does need a new revised and updated edition. It is very good, and you'll be happy to own it. However, this is not the only book you'll ever need on aromatherapy.