Are you struggling to understand essential oil chemistry?

Do monoterpenes and aldehydes go bump in the night, sending you into flashbacks of the classes you hated in high school? (They did for me!)

Do you yearn to speak of esters and phenols with fondness, the way some aroma-nerds do?

Just the other day, I had an experienced aromatherapy teacher ask me for advice on teaching essential oil chemistry. This person has been studying essential oils since before I graduated from high school, but they still find it difficult to teach something that many students find hard to grasp.

Chemistry Can Be Fun

Chemistry is one of those subjects, which for so many, fear takes their curiosity hostage. But no more, aroma friends!

The truth is, chemistry can be enlightening, empowering, and (even) fun. Today’s interview shows you how.

I recently sat down with my friend and colleague, Dr. Timothy Miller. Tim is a naturopathic physician, licensed acupuncturist, and registered aromatherapist whose passion is in teaching. In this arena, he wears his heart on his sleeve—making his love for aromatic chemistry known far and wide. But not only that, he also wants to spark that love in all of us.

In this interview, you’ll learn:

  • How the love of chemistry (and the teaching of it) started for Dr. Tim
  • What the biggest blocks are when studying chemistry—and how to break through them
  • How aromatherapy sometimes gets chemistry wrong (or just not-quite-right)
  • How to study essential oil chemistry at home
  • What makes trans-anethole unlike any other component


We hope this interview can help clear up some misconceptions and allow you to approach chemistry in a new light. Once we start embracing this molecular science, we can enjoy a deeper understanding of the aromatic materials we’re working with. It can make us better students, better teachers, and better aromatherapists.

Did something in this interview spark a love for chemistry is your heart?

Leave us a comment and let us know what you learned. What fascinates you about essential oil chemistry? In what ways could essential oil chemistry still woo your heart? What larger questions do you still need answered?

Thank you for sharing in the love of chemistry and essential oils with us. We are grateful, as always, to be a part of your journey in aromatherapy.

Aromatically Yours,




Learn AromaChemistry with Dr. Tim

aromachemistry poem

Do you want more chemistry with Dr. Tim? He just launched his AromaChemistry online course this month.

We’ve teamed up with Dr. Tim because we believe more aromatherapists need to have a better foundation in chemistry (that doesn’t have them shaking in their boots).

So, until April 30th, your AromaChemistry course will also include 6 months of the Inner Sanctum Membership. This way, you can connect the principles you learn in Dr. Tim’s course with our monthly lessons on featured essential oils.

Already an Inner Sanctum Member? Well, we’re not the only ones that think Dr. Tim is the best at teaching this complex subject.

Check out the other bundles you can get with this course here.

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