These are a few of things I would establish before choosing an aromatherapy book:
- what is your experience of aromatherapy?
- what do you want learn - how to make aromatherapy lotions, the science behind aromatherapy, essential oil profiles, history of aromatherapy etc
- what are the credentials of the author - some aromatherapy authors are more experienced, and well known, than others. However, even if it is an author you are not familiar with, reading the author's biography (usually on the book cover/inside pages somewhere) will help you decide if the author is "credible"
- has the aromatherapy book been recommended to you - I usually find that recommended books are recommended for a reason!
- is the aromatherapy book part of a course and is required reading - or is it purely for "pleasure"? Required reading books are also recommended for a reason - however, choosing a book for "pleasure" may be a bit more difficult
- how complex is the aromatherapy book? A mini-introduction to aromatherapy is easier to read than an aromatherapy book which consists of several hundred pages - but depending on your needs, both options may be "good" choices in different circumstances.
- Aromatherapy for Health Professionals - Shirley and Len Price. This aromatherapy book is precisely what it says - a book about aromatherapy for health professionals. Therefore, a little prior knowledge is probably required before reading it - and the book is aimed at helping health professionals use aromatherapy in a health setting (although this is a more common practice in places such as the U.K. than the U.S.)
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils - Julia Lawless. This aromatherapy book was, and still is, my aromatherapy "bible" on essential oils when I was first learning about essential oils. If you want to know about essential oil profiles, I would highly reccommend this book - simple and easy to use, you can probably use it "beginner's" level aromatherapy
- Aromatherapy Workbook - Shirley Price. A good book to introduce you to the "basics" of aromatherapy, including a history of plant and aromatherapy use
- The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy - Valerie Ann Worwood. This aromatherapy book contains over 600 recipes for health, beauty and home use. Although it contains aromatherapy recipes, I would reccommend reading it in conjunction with a more basic book on aromatherapy too as it doesn't really explain the variations in aromatherapy recipes for different "user" groups - such as in pregnancy, elderly, children etc. Otherwise, a pretty useful aromatherapy book, if you have some experience
- Aromatherapy An A - Z - Patricia Davis. Basically, an aromatherapy dictionary on the terms used in aromatherapy, as well as a brief description on the uses of some essential oils - including the author's own personal recommendations. Again, a "good" book, in my opinion, if you have some aromatherapy experience.
N.B. All of the above books can be found in Sharon Falsetto's Book Store for purchase.