Breaking News: A New Dawn at the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy

Breaking News: A New Dawn at the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy

If you haven’t heard our exciting news yet, you can read all about it in the full announcement below.


Back in the late 1970’s, Sylla discovered essential oils and began using them in her massage treatments, skin care, and daily life for health and wellness. As clients and friends started asking questions for themselves, she began teaching everything she knew.

She founded the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy in 1989. This turned into a 300-hour home study course, a two-volume reference manual, and countless workshops and lectures.

By the time I was in high school, she was an international speaker and author of several books. Naturally, once I started practicing massage myself a few years later, I began my own earnest study of aromatherapy as well.

In 2012, I began working with her on developing new classes and course offerings. In that time, we trained even more students through live and online classes. One of those students was Jennifer Wilson.

Jennifer’s superb attention to detail and undying passion and curiosity of aromatherapy made her indispensable in the years after her graduation from our program as a behind-the-scenes assistant. She worked with us on several projects including the Foundations in Aromatherapy Course and the Atlantic Aromatic Library.

In the past few years, Sylla has begun to embrace retirement and I have turned my attention to other passions (my massage and coaching practice). Neither of us had the energy to put towards the Atlantic Institute that it deserved.

So when Jennifer proposed the idea of her taking charge and continuing to teach in our stead, we both were thrilled at the idea.

I’d like to officially announce that Jennifer Wilson is now the new owner and director of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy.

Let me assure you, you will be in the best of hands under Jennifer’s steady guidance and care — I have no doubt she will be able to teach about the oils at an expert level, surpassing what we could give you.

She’s not only learned everything we have to teach (having reviewed all our programs and books several times over!), but she continues to learn from others as well. In the past few years, she’s taught us quite a few things regarding current science and research, which is an area neither Sylla or I had the patience or energy to keep up with.

We are thrilled that the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy will live on under a new steward and can’t wait to see what comes out of this new season.

I’d love to keep in touch with you, please find me at or email me directly at ny***@ny*********.com. So much love.

Aromatically Yours,

Nyssa and Sylla


*Jennifer picks up mic*


Almost 10 years ago, quite literally overnight, aromatherapy sparked a sense of purpose and a quest for knowledge unlike anything I had ever experienced before. During that initial quest to understand the true art and science behind aromatherapy, I quickly learned that there was tons of misinformation on the subject. It took me months just to find resources that could help me with the answers that I was searching for.

While there were people who were less than eager to answer the questions I had, one person was kind enough to take the time and reach out to me. Not only did she answer my questions, but she also told me who I needed to pay attention to for more answers.

Among those people were two ladies with the passion, experience, and no-nonsense approach to aromatherapy that were willing to honestly tackle all of the hard questions without shying away from them. Sylla and Nyssa have made such a huge impact on my aromatherapy career and I am proud to have them, as well as many other Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy alumni, as part of my aromatherapy family.

While Atlantic has always felt like home to me, words cannot express how excited I am that I recently had the opportunity to make it official! I hope that I can make Sylla and Nyssa proud and carry on the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy legacy.

Please bear with us as we get everything transitioned over and reach out if you have any questions. The Library and Foundations course will be back up for sale as soon as I can get the accounts for the website transitioned, but the Practitioner Course will be unavailable until I can get that fully updated.

If you are a current student, please know that Sylla is still around and Nyssa’s info is above. You will continue to have access to everything you already have and I will be updating things as I can. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

Warm regards and aromatic wishes,



Atlantic Aromatic Library Grand Opening

Atlantic Aromatic Library Grand Opening

Grab something you like to smell and join us for this Grand Opening tour of the Atlantic Aromatic Library.

Here’s a few highlights:

  • Sylla pulls out a vintage blend that I haven’t even smelled before. We also talk about this more simple blend she used back in the day too
  • Sissy, Mom’s cat, has missed in-person classes too, so she had to make a cameo. The thing is, she has a hard time settling down for meditation.
  • We tour the Library so you can see all that we’ve got there and how it’s organized. (Thankfully, I find a few more buttons that need pressing!)
  • We get to congratulate our most recent graduate from the Aromatherapy Practitioner Course, who ends up calling what we’ve got in the Library “Aromaflix” – we love it!
  • Sylla and I share off the cuff “readings” for those who shared what oil they used in the few moments Sissy allowed us to tune-in. In there we discover that Jasmine is a “beauty pie” or at least helps to make you feel like one, Saro is about softly, slowing, opening, and Lavandin is perfect for calming down, yet also feeling invigorated (exactly what I need right now).

If it sounds like a bunch of silliness, it is … or as I like to call it, SylliNyss. 😉

It’s also the fun and exciting things that can come together when we learn together.

Another Turn of the Year

Another Turn of the Year

Many are celebrating Halloween this week, but we like to remember the more ancient meanings of this holiday. At the Atlantic Institute, we honor those who came before us with knowledge of the cycles of the year.

November 1 marks the halfway point between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice. It is when we descend into the darkest time of the year. Plants start to slow their growth and shed their leaves, preparing their seeds to lie fallow for the winter. What that means is that it is time for quiet reflection and going inward. One may start to look back on the activities of the past year and decide how to best move forward once the light starts to return in a few months.

In this modern world, we don’t necessarily have to follow these patterns like our ancestors. But for most of us, the holiday season keeps us so busy that we have to hold off on many of our projects.

Just like you, we are taking the next few months to make plans for the springtime. We’re thrilled to see the growth of our staff-family, helping to create even better ways to teach you the intuitive science of healing with essential oils.

As Sylla moves closer to retirement and Nyssa continues to build this incredible program her mother created, we are looking for serious students that may one day like to become aromatherapy educators, too.

Read about what it takes to teach aromatherapy and why we need more of you!

We encourage you to reflect on what your heart needs to blossom … Remember that the greatest gift you can give the world is your own self-healing. Let us know how we can help.

New Review for Natural Aromatic Materials

New Review for Natural Aromatic Materials

Are you looking for the ultimate reference for natural perfumery? Do you work with aromatic materials, such as essential oils, CO2s, or absolutes? 

Would you like more detailed information on the natural aromatics you’re using in your own practice? How about a source you can rely on for accurate, original, and informative aromatic descriptions and content?

If so, the Atlantic Institute has just the book set for you.


Review by The Fragrance Alkemist

Ixchel Leigh, known as “The Fragrance Alkemist,” recently received her copy of Natural Aromatic Materials: Odours and Origins by Tony Burfield.   She was kind enough to share her thoughts on the recently updated and revised manual.

“Natural Aromatic Materials: Odours & Origins, Second Edition,” by Tony Burfield, is a treasure trove of information on odours, plant origins, classification of odours, understanding smell, olfaction, taste, profiling odours, chemical constituents, constructing perfumes … (and more)! This is just the beginning (first 140+ pages) of the two-volume encyclopedia.

Next you delve alphabetically into almost a thousand botanicals (and naturals) and their aromatic oils. GREAT for any perfumer at any stage of knowledge.

If you’re also focused on using naturals in your preparations for pleasure, spa, or healing, PLEASE BUY THIS SET OF MANUALS!

I am in Gratitude.”

Not just for perfumers, this set of manuals is a must have for anyone working with natural aromatics. Aromatherapists, aroma-enthusiasts, and even novices alike will appreciate the wealth of knowledge stored in this two-set, revised, and updated edition of Natural Aromatic Materials: Odours and Origins by Tony Burfield.

Get yours today!

Natural Aromatic Materials, Second Edition


Natural Aromatic Materials: Odors & Origins
Second Edition

By Tony Burfield


The result of more than 50 years of data compilation, this book is a comprehensive account of over 600 essential oils, absolutes, CO2s,  and other aromatic extracts from natural sources. Furthermore, it covers the natural aromatic materials presently and formerly in used in perfumery, aromatherapy, and in flavourings.

Buy yours today!

Sylla Recognized for Outstanding Contributions

Sylla Recognized for Outstanding Contributions

Special THANK YOU to the Alliance of International Aromatherapists for allowing us to share these pictures.

SGFB ~ Aromatherapy for Breast Cancer

SGFB ~ Aromatherapy for Breast Cancer

A few weeks ago, Sylla and I went to the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. Together, we spoke at a Lunch and Learn event for stage 4 breast cancer patients. It began with each of the women (and one husband who was accompanying his wife) sharing where they were at in their treatment. We learned why some of them were excited about NED (No Evidence of Disease). We also felt touched that we could be there to support those going through harder times.

This event was particularly special for us because Sylla (my mom) is a breast cancer survivor. During the lunch, she talked about how cancer was a great, uninvited teacher for her. She said that, “It wasn’t enough to kill her but enough to make her change her life.” Though she’s now 20 years with NED, she still carries those lessons forward.

Even before she found her cancer in 1997, Sylla helped her friend who also worked at Moffitt with a program called “Look Good, Feel Better.” With a mutual background in cosmetology, Sylla and her friend taught these women skin-care and makeup techniques. This program was intended to make patients begin to feel better as they reintegrated into everyday life.

“Smell Good, Feel Better”

So we thought, why not call our talk this week “Smell Good, Feel Better,” since that is one of the guiding principles of aromatherapy. In addition to sharing a basic introduction to essential oils, we highlighted what they can do in their own lives.

  • Use essential oils in the air to help keep air clean and support the immune system. Since many cancer patients’ immune systems are compromised, and since most essential oils carry at least mildly if not more so antimicrobial properties, this simple practice can help suppress the chance of getting a cold.
  • Use Peppermint or Ginger essential oil in an inhaler or on a drop on a tissue to ease the discomfort of nausea.
  • Topical blends with anti-inflammatory or analgesic oils can help with muscle aches and pains.
  • Use the oils to help create a positive mental attitude. You can pair a scent with a relaxed state and then recreate that state as needed.

We mentioned in our student forum that we were going to speak at this event. As a result, a few of our students decided to send us items to share with these women. Only one box got here in time, but we were still able to leave them with donations from Terrae Oleum. It was a joyful experience to share our love of essential oils with these women and their caregivers. The other donations will be used at a bigger event next month!

Since our students wanted to help by providing more donations, we’ve decided to continue collecting donations for their retreat in September. We’re calling this project “Smell Good, Feel Better.” If you’d like to donate manufactured, compliantly-labeled items (these cannot be homemade), contact us.