Rhind Jennifer Peace - Essential oils A handbook for aromatherapy practice

Author : Rhind Jennifer Peace
Title : Essential oils A handbook for aromatherapy practice
Year : 2012

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Preface. Most of my earliest memories and significant memories have been linked in some way to scent. As a child, I was fortunate to have parents and grandparents who loved fragrant flowers, incense and perfumes, so from an early age using my sense of smell for pleasure became second nature. I recall joyful moments of being lifted by my grandfather to smell sweet pea blooms, and losing myself in the peppery scent and silky texture of peony blossoms. My father had a passion for roses, especially the old varieties and the sumptuous tea roses; my mother sought out lily of the valley every spring, not just for its delicate beauty, but for its fragrance. My personal favourite was the crushed leaves of artemisia, which I knew in those days as southernwood. Meanwhile, my grandmother had a taste for the exotic – she loved to burn incense, so the atmosphere in the home was often permeated by sandalwood, patchouli and the sweet, mysterious nag champa. So it is hardly surprising that, as an adolescent and young woman, I loved to explore the world of perfumery, developing what became a somewhat expensive habit. I am sure that every one of us remembers their first exposure to the aroma of an essential oil. Mine happened in a shop in Byres Road in the West End of Glasgow, in the early 1970s. It was a place that sold incenses, oil-based perfumes, Indian carvings, silk scarves and embroidered clothing, herb teas and a few vegetarian and health foods. I opened a bottle that said ‘Geranium essential oil’ on the label, and held it to my nose. That was all it took. I had no idea where that moment would lead. At the time, I was a student studying microbiology, and aromatherapy was largely unknown outside France. However, during my later career in microbiology, quality assurance, food and flavours (sometimes involving the very peculiar smells of oriental fermented foods), my love of scents, flowers and plants and my longstanding interest in natural healing endured, and in some way sustained me, because I was not really fulfilled in my work. So it is not really surprising that I eventually became an aromatherapist and educator. ...

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