Article added on January 5, 2010
A history of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy dates at least back to Ancient Egypt. Embalming, mummification, fragrances for daily life, bath
oils as well as the use of aromatics in incense and medicine flourished. The
Greek, the Romans, the Persians, the Chinese and the Indians, to name just a few, added
to and refined
In the 1880s, the German physician Robert Koch and subsequently his French
colleagues Chamberland, Cadéac, Meunier, Blaizot, Caldagues and Bertrand proofed the
antiseptic and microbicidal properties of essential oils.
“Aromatherapy” is fairly recent. The French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé
(1881-1950) coined it. Working in the family's laboratory, the
studied the medicinal properties of essential oils. In 1937, he
published his knowledge in Aromathérapie, les huiles essentielles,
hormones végétales, regrouping previous publications in one book.
The other fathers of present-day aromatherapy were
Marguerite Maury (1885-1965), an Austrian biochemist and skincare pioneer
who had learned from Gattefossé about aromatherapy,
and Jean Valnet M.D. (1920-1995),
a French essential oils expert and a champion of phytotherapy and aromatherapy.
In the early 1970s, when the British founders of Aromatherapy
Associates, Geraldine Howard and Sue Beechey,
started as therapists, they were involved in the emerging practice of
aromatherapy in the British beauty sector, learning the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. Both
trained under Micheline Arcier, who ran a London spa-clinic from the
early 1980s until
recently and still sells her aromatherapy oils online. Arcier was a
student of both Maury and Valnet. She passed her knowledge on to Howard and
Order Marguerite Maury's
Guide to Aromatherapy: The Secret of Life and Youth (original French
title: Le capital jeunesse) from
Amazon.co.uk). Order Valnet's book The Practice of
Amazon.co.uk. Order Valnet's French book La Phytothérapie from
Amazon.fr. Order Gattefossé's Aromatherapy from
Essential oils are rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants. Working at
a cellular level, they keep your skin complexion healthy, soft and radiant.
Essential oils consist of small molecules which can easily enter the blood
stream, bringing their healing properties to every cell of your body.
They are used to ease muscular aches and pains, improve and enhance blood
circulation, ease sinus congestion, encourage the process of cellular
renewal, help fight acne, eczema and ageing skin.
Geraldine Howard's and Sue Beechey's literally first hand experience of the
astonishing effects of essential oils on the physical, mental and emotional
wellbeing of their clients led the two therapists to dedicate themselves to the
traditional principles of aromatherapy ever since.
In 1985, Geraldine and Sue established their company Aromatherapy Associates and developed a wide range of skin, bath and body care products
and treatments, which transformed a daily routine into a luxurious
and beneficial experience for all their clients.
During my travels in hotels around the world, I sometimes came across an
aromatherapy item since Aromatherapy Associates is a respected and
appreciated partner of hotels and spas in over 30 countries around the globe.
Also in 1985, the helped to set up the International Federation of
Aromatherapists, an organization dedicated to maintaining high standards across the industry.
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My experience with Aromatherapy Associates - review
When I stayed in the highly recommendable Ritz Carlton Istanbul in 2008, I
went beyond the usual complimentary Aromatherapy Associates bath oil you can
find in many luxury hotels and enjoyed an Aromatherapy
Associates De-stress hand and foot treatment. It involved the use of several
oils to clean, massage and hydrate the body. I remember it also because a
had to wear a sort of string tanga
during the massage. The
The ritual is as important as the essential oils. It involves both the mind
and the body. You have to open and be ready to relax, otherwise the best
oils won't have an effect.
Recommendable products by Aromatheray Associates reviewed
The Deep Relax Bath and Shower Oil is my favorite product by
Aromatherapy Associates. Among its essential oils is Vetiver, which quietens
the mind. Camomile has a soothing and relaxing effect. Sandalwood brings you
back to earth and coconut oil softens your skin. When using the Relax Bath
and Shower Oil taking a warm bath in the evening, prepare your mind and
senses to be open to this calming experience by taking some breathing
exercises before using this excellent aromatherapy oil. It offered to me the
promised peace and tranquility. It is ideal to use before you go to sleep.
The Balance Facial Wash is very mild. It refreshes and cleanses your skin with
anti-bacterial lavender and tea tree, combined with conditioning marine
algae and aloe vera. It is ideal for only and combination skins. Lavender
has antiseptic properties. Tea tree is an antibacterial and antiseptic oil.
Sea silk is a natural seaweed extract that conditions and softens the skin.
The Balance Facial Wash is used with warm water to lather and massage over
the face with the fingertips. It lasted a long time. I skipped the skin tonic because it is too
mild for my skin.
I only followed with the Balance Orange Flower Moisturiser, which had
only one defect: I needed a large amount of the product for my (male) skin.
Key ingredients of the moisturizer are Neroli for your skin renewal, rice
extracts for moisturizing and balancing, Ylang Ylang for moisturizing and softening, Aloe Vera for hydrating and
conditioning, Jojoba Oil to enhance the skin condition thanks to its
chemical proximity to skin's natural oil and Evening Primrose Oil to soften,
condition and smooth the skin.
The Renew Rose Body Cream contains rose oil for its feel-good
properties, evening prime rose oil for its moisturizing, softening,
smoothing and regenerative properties and shea butter for its moisturizing
and protecting qualities.
The Revive Body Wash awakens your body and mind. It invigorates
with its citrus fragrance, its uplifting and refreshing bergamot, its
stimulating and purifying pink grapefruit, its soothing Neroli essential
oil, its skin softening sea silk and its moisturizing and protecting Aloe
Vera juice. Its a revive, wake-up and detox shower gel.
The Relax Body Wash is a gentle cleanser which refreshes with
Petitgrain, relaxes your body and mind with lavender, uses Ho Wood for its
harmonizing and refreshing properties, uses Sea Sil to condition and soften
your skin and Aloe Vera juice to moisturize, protect and sooth your skin.
The Aromatherapy Associates massage oil I used was the Enrich Massage &
Body Oil. It contains the following key ingredients: Geranium for an
improved skin tone and texture through the stimulation of the capillary
circulation, Tuberose for uplifting your senses, Ylang Ylang to regulate
your skin's sebaceous activity and to lift your spirits, Vanilla for its
moisturizing properties, Evening Primrose oil for its moisturizing,
softening, smoothing and anti-ageing effects, Macadamia nut oil to support
the skin cell regeneration because of its nourishing and softening
properties, coconut oil for nourishing and softening as well as olive oil
for moisturizing. For best results, first exfoliate your body, clean your
skin and then only use the massage and body oil.
All products are dermatologically tested and pediatrician approved.