The healing power of essential oils has been used throughout history in the practices of esthetics, cosmetology and massage therapy. Madame Marguerite Maury (1895–1968) established the first aromatherapy clinics in Switzerland, Great Britain and Paris. She was the recipient of the Prix International Award for her work in natural skin care among other international awards involving the use of aromatherapy in the cosmetology setting.1
The unique footprint and therapeutic action of each essential oil is governed by components and complexities of aromatic chemistry.
Perhaps the most prodigious contributions made by Maury involved application of essential oils on the skin, the integration of essential oils in massage therapy and the science that binds the physiological, psychological and emotional aspects of essential oils. Aromatherapists René-Maurice Gattefossé and Jean Valnet, MD, established the scientific connection between healing and essential oils, and their work has since served as the foundation for aromatic chemistry and related sciences throughout history.2 (See Clinical Therapy Timeline.)
It is generally understood that the selection of an essential oil is popularly based on olfaction (scent). However, it is the therapeutic properties provided by these precious oils that invariably remains an enigma to many. The unique footprint and therapeutic action of each essential oil is governed by components and complexities of aromatic chemistry.