Foundations in Aromatherapy

Congratulations on your next step into the world of Aromatherapy!

This may not be your first venture into a fascination with aromatic plants and their essential oils. However, the hope is that this manual will provide you with the roadmap for traversing the hills and valleys covering both the art and science of this diverse field, as well as the compass to lead you out of confusing forests.

Let’s be honest. There may be times as you study that you begin to feel all you can see is trees, having lost the larger picture. For example, chemistry can appear like a gang of gremlins reminding us of the mental torture of high school classes. For others, the less concrete energetics of the oils seem like ghosts that one must learn to believe in. Whatever your challenges, we will remind you to always be dropping bread crumbs so you can, especially in times of distraction or despair, find your way back to the beginning.

For any educational endeavor, this starting point is a necessary reoccurrence.

I’ve been studying Aromatherapy since the beginning of my massage career which began in 2005, although at that point Aromatherapy was not a new concept. I grew up with a mom who worked as a professional Aromatherapy educator and consultant, so when I began a formal study of this field I knew more than the average beginner. And still, I am constantly wiping clean my assumptions and allowing the experience of the oils to be my primary focus. The oils make the best teachers, but the trick to learning from them is learning to first be quiet.

One of my herbal-aroma mentors, Colleen Dodt, taught me, along with other life lessons, that expertise is overrated. Once we begin to consider ourselves “experts” in anything, we run a risk of ignoring the radical space of a beginner’s mind. I’ve had many teachers in a variety of disciplines who became incredibly difficult to understand because their detailed understanding of their subject never reset with the question: “How would a beginner understand these concepts?” 

The goal with this manual is to always have the beginner in mind, both the beginner within ourselves and the potential reader. We do this in order to walk this path hand-in-hand with you.

To highlight one last point, the objective here is two-fold. This course is both about learning the therapeutic use of essential oils, but it is also about the deep healing of ourselves. Many of us that turn to learning a subject like Aromatherapy, desire to provide deep healing in ourselves and to those we love. After over a decade in the healthcare field, I will be among the many to teach that we only facilitate healing in others while we are also doing the same for ourselves.

I hope that in addition to a comprehensive understanding of the wonderful gift of essential oils from our aromatic plant allies, you will find encouragement to look deeply at your own life and discover how these oils can help you in your own healing.

You will find exercises throughout that ask you to both understand the technical information provided but also to heal your life from the ground up. I hope this course helps you to experience your own healing journey with the use of essential oils and beyond, and by making space for you to learn the art and science of aromatherapy and how it can help you and those in your community.

How this Course Works:

  • This course runs from August. 1 – November 21. Following November 21, you’ll still get access to everything and can turn in your Lesson Exercises, Case Studies, Research Review, and Essential Oil Monographs anytime to take the final exam and receive your certificate. You’ll also be able to jump in with a new class the next time this course is offered. 
  • You’ll get a new lesson every Monday at 11am ET. You’ll get a notification email in your inbox and can access the lesson + material at any time. 
  • Every 4th Week is an Integration week. You won’t get a new lesson, but can catch up on what you’ve missed, and work on your essential oil monographs.

Course Schedule: 

Week 1 (Feb. 1) – Introduction | Oil of the Week: Lavender

Week 2 (Feb. 8) – Safety | Oil of the Week: Rosemary

Week 3 (Feb 15) – History | Oil of the Week: Sweet Orange 

Week 4 (Feb. 22) – INTEGRATION WEEK | Live Q&A 

Week 5 (Mar. 1) – Botany | Oil of the Week: Spearmint 

Week 6 (Mar. 8) – Physical Effects | Oil of the Week: Geranium 

Week 7 (Mar. 15) – Mental Effects | Oil of the Week: Eucalyptus

Week 8 (Mar. 22) – INTEGRATION WEEK | Live Q&A 

Week 9 (Mar. 29) – Integrative Medicine | Oil of the Week: Frankincense

Week 10 (Apr. 5) – Chemistry | Oil of the Week: Bergamot 

Week 11 (Apr. 12) – Applications | Oil of the Week: Patchouli 

Week 12 (Apr. 19) – INTEGRATION WEEK | Live Q&A

Week 13 (Apr. 26) – Carrier Oils | Oil of the Week: Pine

Week 14 (May 3) – Blending | Oil of the Week: Ginger

Week 15 (May 10) – Being an Aromatherapist | Oil of the Week: Petitgrain

Week 16 (May 17) –  INTEGRATION WEEK | Live Q&A

The Inner Sanctum Library + Healing with Aromatherapy Course is included in this course. You will need this to access your materials for the Oil of the Week. Contact me at if you’re not a member already.

How to Prepare for the Course:

  • Make yourself a schedule. Decide what days/times you’ll be doing the work for this course. I’d recommend setting aside time to review the lessons, your Oil of the Week work, and the Homeplay Exercises for the Lesson. Three hours a week should be sufficient for most people (though bump that up to 5 if you’re also working through Healing with Aromatherapy right now as well).
  • Gather your materials. You’ll want to have the oils listed as well as 4 extra to explore in your Essential Oil Monographs. You’ll also want to have: 
    • Scent strips/cotton balls/popsicle sticks (something to place a drop on to test an essential oil’s aroma. Scent strips are best, but these other options can do in a pinch.
    • Plastic Pipettes
    • Glass bottles of various sizes (5ml, 15ml, 30ml are good to start with)
    • HDPE or PETE 1 plastic bottles for diluted blends
    • Carrier oils like fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and avocado oil
    • Glass spray bottles for making sprays
    • Alcohol like Everclear (151 proof or above)
    • Polysorbate 20 
  • Prepare your space. It is always helpful to not only know when you’re going to study but also where. As best as you can, get your study space together by cleaning off your desk, organizing your books, and/or clearing a corner to make into your work space. Ideally you’ll have your essential oils and other materials nearby, but it doesn’t always work out like that. Either way, the clearer you can be in your head about where you’re going to need to show up for yourself to do the work, the easier it will be when that time you made for yourself in your schedule arrives. 

Look for me in your Inbox on Monday for your first Lesson.

Aromatherapy Practitioner Course

Welcome to the Aromatherapy Practitioner Course!

Your Course Manual will still be your guide through the course as we build out the online program, but you’ll continue to find more resources here. Thanks for being with us as we figure out how to create this course online.

Welcome to the 2020 Summer Immersion for the Aromatherapy Practitioner Course.

As many of you know this is the first time we’ve ever done an online Immersion like this so it will be a big experiment for everyone.

I hope that the additional resources you’ll find here will be a source of continuous support and encouragement as you travel down the path of your aromatic journey.

So things first. There are a few things you should know before beginning.

Here are my recommendations for what to do to get ready:

Create for yourself a space to work and study. You don’ have to study the text or video materials in the same place as where you blend and formulate, but just make sure that you’ve got a space for yourself.

Become familiar with the white binder and the Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual (if you don’t already have a copy we highly recommend getting yourself one here).

For the white binder, you can refer to Sarah Collie’s video here on how she organized hers.

For the Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual, you’ll want to make sure you read the introduction as well as learn to read the profiles and use all of the indexes. Believe me, this book is the gift that keeps on giving as I can say I keep finding gems in it even after all these years.

You can always check out the files and videos in the Facebook Student Forum if you want to jump ahead or reference something we haven’t covered yet. Just know that this will be the place for our main discussion for this Summer Immersion.

Get your oils and materials organized. In addition to having a clean space to work from, it’s necessary to have all your materials handy. That includes getting all your essential oils, carriers, empty bottles, funnels, beakers, etc. all in one place.

Consider a schedule. Making time for this course only happens when you make time. You’ll have the incentive to “keep up” with the sections as we go over them, but you’ll set yourself up for success by creating a specific time in your schedule for when you’ll be studying.

Feel free to browse the Inner Sanctum anytime you want more bite-sized educational bits. If you’re new to this course (or you just want some refreshers) I suggest checking out the Lesson Drops in the 2018 Archives and the Healing Guides in the 2019 Archives. The “Getting Started” Healing Guide is the best place to start if you’re new to essential oils and want to start using them to heal asap.

Starting May 4th, you’ll get a new module that will cover one of the course sections on Mondays at 10am ET. I’ll send you an email once it’s live and you can check it out at your leisure.

You’ll also have 4 Integration Weeks where you can catch up on material from the previous weeks. During those weeks, you’ll be able to participate in a Live Q&A with Sylla and I as well as learn through one of our new webinars.

Here’s the schedule for the Integration weeks.

Feel free to leave questions in the comments here as we can have further discussion on anything you like.

You’ll also get an extra email from me each Sunday that will be a selfceare challenge for the week. These are helpful, fun ways that we can support each other in creating helpful habits that can sustain us in the long haul.

You’ll find these in a section on Healing with Aromatherapy.