Essential reading for Essential Oil Lovers
You know that feeling when you finally click ‘add to cart’ on a book that you’ve long known you wanted but hadn’t got around to buying for what ever reason? Well for me this was THAT book. Being quite a costly book it isn’t the sort of thing you just buy on a whim and let’s face it, the topic is also pretty heavy going. But more than that I have bought, borrowed and begged many a cosmetic/ essential oil/ herb book in the past, sat down in excited anticipation that said book will move me somehow, will open my eyes and teach me new things only to end up bitterly disappointed.
My personal disappointment mainly stems from the fact that these ‘bad’ books all seem to be either nothing more than cut-and-paste from other people’s work or a summary of ‘google’ results. Some ‘authors’ do go to the trouble of paying for special access to research papers (or maybe they are just lucky and have access via their day jobs) and fill their books with this instead of re-hashed blog recipes but the outcome for me is still the same. Disappointment.
So when I finally got to open and read through my copy of ‘Essential Oil Safety’ by Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young (Foreward by Elizabeth. M Williamson) I felt like kissing it.
Yes this book references thousands of studies just like some of my ‘bad’ books but it does it in a way that shows me that the authors understand. They have added value to these studies by putting across their points of view, by discussing the findings and drawing their own, independent conclusions. They question the basis for the various laws that are cited in relation to Essential Oil Safety and either put forward alternative suggestions or explain where the ‘holes’ in the current global body of research lie. In short these guys have a feel for the subject, a connection, a passion.
You can’t ‘buy’, read or research your way into a deep connection with your subject be it Essential oil safety, cosmetic science or home cooking. At some point the theoretical has to become personal, tangible, three-dimensional, you have to FEEL it. As a professional cosmetic chemist I come across people every week that know more facts than me, remember more names of authors of papers, have all of the right contacts and are on all of the top committees but not all of those people have a feel for what they are doing (although of course some do and I count those people among my mentors). We live in a time of information overload, anyone with a good memory and a passion for data collection can ‘write’ a book and start their journey to becoming seen as an expert, only in my eyes the only thing many of these are expert in is gathering and sorting words- a valid skill and valuable in its own right but not necessarily groundbreaking or inspirational.
It is absolutely critical for me personally to feed my mind with good, creating and inspiring information, research and ideas as that is what feeds me and ultimately feeds into my work. I am going to keep this book by my desk and bed side for a few more weeks yet as I soak in and ponder the words, the points of view and the unanswered questions that it poses with a view to running some of my own experiments in the near future to help me better connect to the chemistry and beauty of Essential Oils.
PS: I bought this with my own money and this review/ blog post is completely original and wasn’t solicited by anyone. I didn’t have to like it but I did 🙂