Natural Aromatic Materials, Second Edition

(4 customer reviews)


Natural Aromatic Materials: Odors & Origins, Second Edition

By Tony Burfield

This 793-page, two-volume set is the result of more than 50 years of data compilation. It is a comprehensive account of over 600 essential oils, absolutes, CO2s, and other aromatic extracts from natural sources, covering the natural aromatic materials presently and formerly used in perfumery, aromatherapy, and in flavourings.

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The first section of the book includes a well-referenced and up-to-date section on many aspects of olfaction, training in odour analysis, and methods of odour assessment.

This is followed by a section covering the technicalities of extraction methods in raw materials processing.

The major portion of this book consecutively sets out the:

  • Complete and elaborate odour profiles of individual raw materials
  • Their geographic origins
  • Top-note and dry-down descriptions
  • Information on methods of extraction and preparation
  • Production status and botanical origin
  • Taxonomy details – All topics being comprehensively referenced throughout.

Selected analytical references are also provided where they specifically reflect on odour characteristics and interpretation.
A glossary, abbreviations index, and conversion table of common name to (Latin) botanical name is found at the end of the book.


Given the trend among a number of practitioners of clinical aromatherapy to broaden their therapeutic aromatic palette beyond the commonly-used oils – to embrace those including CO2 extracts that may be selected in order to evoke a subjective memorybased effect – this work provides a highly useful reference for information on the more exotic as well as ‘standard’ aromatics. Indeed, it is the comprehensive as well as thoroughly technical nature of this book which makes it stand out as an encyclopaedic and authoritative resource for those producing, working with, researching and studying the huge array of fragrant materials with which the natural world has endowed us. To those in these categories, Natural Aromatic Materials: Odours & Origins is a sound investment.

Read this review in its entirety here (pdf download) with special thanks to Gabriel Mojay and the International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy

The treasure of the book lies of course in the fifth section (Materials Index: A-Z of Individual Aroma Materials, pp. 143-741) that comprises an enormous number of materials from the A of Abelmoschus spp. to the Z of Zingiber officinale: 600 essential oils, absolutes, CO2s, and other aromatic extracts. Each monograph identifies a botanical entity (apart from the few animal materials) with taxonomical details, together with its geographic origin and production status, and specifies all the aromatic materials that can be obtained from it. For every and each material it gives a complete and elaborate odour profile with top-note and dry-down descriptions, plus chemical composition details, all thoroughly referenced. At the end of the text the useful glossary and abbreviations index, plus a conversion table of common name to (Latin) botanical name. All in all, a must-have book if you’re into perfumery and flavouring, and a very important addition to the library for any aromatherapist.

Read this review in its entirety here (pdf download) with special thanks to Marco Valussi.

The book is well written and accessible but also very rich in information and well referenced (almost 1500 books or scientific articles). The first parts cover the different kinds of aromatic raw material with their characteristics and distillation/extraction techniques as well as some chemistry related to these products. These parts are very interesting and very informative. However the most impressing value of this work is in its focus on the organoleptic side of aromatic raw materials as well as olfaction mechanisms, and methodology for odor assessment.

Read this review in its entirety here (Facebook Post) with special thanks to Laboratoire PhytoChemia


Please note: This book is non-refundable due to copyright.  We offer replacements for goods damaged in-transit only. If you are unsure, please contact us to be sure the book is a good fit for you.

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Additional information

Weight 136.6 oz
Dimensions 12 × 12 × 3 in

4 reviews for Natural Aromatic Materials, Second Edition

  1. Sarah Collie

    The fine details in regard to oils, their many geographic areas, in depth scent intricacies and more. For those who want to be fully in the know for essential oils

  2. LiWong

    I am so glad that I have the second edition of Natural Aromatic Materials: Odours & Origins. I had been trying to find the first edition for many years since it was considered a classic reference for aromatherapists and natural perfumers. I have respected Tony Burfield’s work in the aromatic industry for years and I really wanted his book, but it was impossible to find. So when aromatherapy pioneer Sylla Sheppard-Hanger announced in 2016 that Burfield was working on the second edition, and Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy would be publishing it, I quickly pre-ordered it! The last several months I have been reading the two volumes, and they are even better than I thought. It covers so much information: it defines the different types of aromatics, covers odor assessment including chemistry, and it goes over several hundred aromatics. Burfield describes the odor profile of each aromatic, information about their extraction, geographic origins, and much more. I highly recommend this invaluable resource for aromatherapists, natural perfumers, and serious aromatherapy and perfumery students.

  3. Anya McCoy

    I’ve known of Tony’s groundbreaking work and dedication to the field of essential oils for over 15 years. I was fortunate to work with him on one writing project and admired his attention to detail, incredible breadth and depth of knowledge about all aspects of the oils from chemical constituents to regulatory matters, safety concerns, sustainability and/or endangered status, etc., etc.

    When the incredibly information-packed two-volume set of the second edition of Natural Aromatic Materials arrived, the sheer volumnious reality of this publication overwhelmed me – in a good, great, greatest way! Every oil I could think of, and many I never knew existed seem to be covered, in detail, with a perfume chemists’ eye that Tony owns. I’m a natural perfumer, sometime aromatherapist, botanist and ethnobotanist, and it seems that all these disciplines, and more, are addressed.

    If you are serious about essential oils, and how to use them, and want to learn a lot about their history, get this book. There is nothing else like it out there, and you will be the happy recipient of the decades-long compilation of knowledge that Tony Burfield shares with the world. A must-have!

  4. tim (verified owner)

    I am a commercial essential oil trader of 30 years and can say that this is, hands down, the “go to” reference guide for anyone in the industry.

    When I started my career in the early 90’s we relied on Steffan Arctander’s “Perfume and Flavour Materials of Natural Origin” which was written in 1960. This work eclipses Arctander’s and gives a much more detailed and up-to-date perspective on the portfolio of natural raw materials available in the market today.

    I have been fortunate enough to work with Tony in two businesses I have been involved with and he is a true professional. His knowledge is globally respected and his attention to detail is impeccable. I am a huge fan of his work.

    If you work with essential oils, and do not have the luxury of a laboratory at your disposal, then this is an absolute must. I refer to it daily and have bought several copies for my office in Australia.

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