Since 1985, Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy has offered high-level study materials, examination and certification by correspondence to enthusiasts all over the world. The Aromatherapy Course is authored by Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD and comprises over 350 pages of clearly presented information on the most relevant topics in the field of aromatherapy. Study materials are precise, academic and comprehensive with over two dozen essential oil samples to illustrate the text and encourage experiential learning. Several sample questions accompanying each part of the course are included to allow students to test their knowledge and to become better acquainted with the type of questions asked in the certifying exam.

Aromatherapy has many widely different aspects. The Aromatherapy Course strives to cover the field completely. The materials presented range from scientific facts to the very subjective field of fragrance and emotion. Important, never before published, French phytomedical research and virtually secret facts about the effects of fragrance and narcotic/erotic perfumes, are only two of many unique features. 

As some of our readers have demonstrated, the course can serve as a foundation to enter a sideline or even full time business in the field of aromatherapy. The opportunities to do so will probably never be better. Given the fact that aromatherapy is increasingly popular, but little understood, an advantage in knowledge can actually be turned into business. 

On a personal level the course can be a source of great joy and progress. By showing how powerful essential oils can be, the ground can be laid to move away from chemicals. Understanding aromatherapy can bring about an extraordinary strengthening of the body's self-healing abilities.


Organization of the Course:

The theory for the different topics is presented in a concise and easy to absorb manner. On the same page, instructions are given on how to practically explore the sample essential oils that correspond to the presented topic. 


Part I contains basic information that is needed throughout the course. It provides substantial knowledge and a thorough analysis of essential oils. As successful aromatherapy is possible only with genuine and authentic essential oils, Part I addresses those questions that are essential to aromatherapy; the natural origin, the purity and the quality of essential oils. Over 25 samples provided with the course, from the mediocre to the finest, authentic, organic essential oils, give you experience in determining oil quality.

Applications of an essential oil in aromatherapy also depend on its geographical origin and the precise identification of the plant from which it has been distilled. These topics are explained in theory and illustrated with appropriate samples of essential oils. The essential oil samples allow you to experience the full range of quality and fragrance; from drug store Eucalyptus to the true oil of Eucalyptus globulus, from synthetic Rose fragrance to true Bulgarian Damasc Rose, and from examples of various Chamomiles to three chemotypes of Rosemary oil.

Topics presented in Part I include:

  • Production methods

  • Basics of distillation

  • Purity and adulteration

  • Quality grades of natural essential oils

  • Synthetic vs. natural

  • Definition of botanical origin

  • Chemical races


Part II presents scientific research that supports wholistic views and theories. Its main purpose is to present the most important categories of chemical compounds found in essential oils and their effects on the body. This ranges from conventional pharmacological data on the antiseptic properties of phenols or the mucolytic properties of ketones to the latest research on the antiviral effects of essential oils. It also presents research aimed at better understanding the antiseptic effects of essential oils, which are well established but little understood. Effects of essential oils on the immune system are also discussed.

The discussion of the properties of essential oil constituents develops into an assessment of how the positive or negative electrical nature of an essence determines its action. Finally, electrical nature, color and the healing properties of an essential oil are united with the theory of the four temperaments.


Part III is devoted to modern medical applications of essential oils and aromatic hydrosols. Chapter A presents basic pharmacological research on the properties of essential oils and their constituents. You will learn how French physicians successfully treat infections without antibiotics. Chapters B and C, written by Pierre Franchomme and Dr. Daniel Pnol give exact aromatherapy and phytotherapy prescriptions for upper and lower respiratory tract and gynecological conditions. You will also learn effective treatments for rhinitis, rhinopharyngitis, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, otitis, tonsillitis, viral bronchitis, whooping cough, and inflammation of the pleura. Prescriptions for gynecological conditions include nonspecific infections, bartholinitis, endocervicitis, Chlamydia, viral dysplasias and amenorrhea.

The therapeutic effects of essential oils exhibit different types of synergistic action. Substantial clinical research demonstrates that a natural, complete essential oil is of higher efficiency than one or more isolated "active ingredients".

Furthermore, essential oils can provide more than one form of pharmacological action or healing property at the same time. For instance, an essential oil can be both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic . To assess this form of synergy, the properties of the different types of constituents are taken into account. In the sample page above, a schematic representation shows how the expectorant effect of Cineole, the mucolytic effect of Pinocarvone, and the bactericidal and immunostimulant effect of Terpineol (all constituents of Eucalyptus globulus oil) combine to provide a truly wholistic healing effect for a typical catarrhal infection.



Part IV is reserved for regenerative skin care. Skin metabolism can be improved tremendously by therapeutic use of essential oils. Part IV provides the basic information needed for a clean, wholistic skin care approach without the use of petrochemicals or other synthetics.

The topics discussed in Part IV include:

  • Penetration power of essential oil molecules

  • Emulsifiers

  • Typical applications of essential oils in skin care

  • Aromatic facials

  • Clays

  • Hydrosols in skin care

  • Natural facial mask compositions


Part V presents in great detail the psychology of perfumery and underlying erotic effects of fragrance materials. The reader is introduced to the hidden structures and criteria of the great perfumes. Information on recreational uses of essential oils are interspersed among the perfumery topics.

In Part V, an elaborate system of understanding fragrance is developed which explains the emotional reactions that are often triggered by scent. The fragrance effect system also guides you in formulating your own fragrance compositions.


Part VI focuses on the safe use of essential oils. Data gathered from published studies on the toxicology of essential oils are presented. Undesirable effects of essential oils are classified and discussed. Those oils with the highest potential of exhibiting toxic effects are identified and their respective toxicity is assessed.

Topics include:

  • Hazards of essential oils on skin and mucous membranes

  • Skin sensitization

  • Phototoxicity

  • Essential oil safety in skin care

Certification Policy

It is important that course subscribers understand the conditions under which certification is given by the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy. At this time, different legal parameters apply in different countries. At this time there are no certificates or licenses on a state level in the USA that would allow someone to practice aromatherapy under authority of the state. Aromatherapy can only be practiced within the particular discipline of the individual practitioner (e.g. doctor, massage therapist, aesthetician, etc.).

International Certification in Aromatherapy

The Aromatherapy Course offers International Certification. In order to provide a fair and meaningful examination of each student's actual knowledge in the various areas of aromatherapy, the following procedure has been adopted:

The exam contains three questions pertaining to each of the six parts of the course (a total of eighteen questions). Some questions may be answered quite briefly while others require an answer in short essay form. The questions enable the student to demonstrate that she or he has a high degree of working knowledge in the field of aromatherapy.

Awarding of Certificate

The returned exams are evaluated and graded by Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy. A separate grade is recorded in each of the six areas of the course. Students passing the exam receive a certificate and a transcript, showing the different grades awarded in each section. The transcript also shows the overall grade awarded which is the median value of the six grades. The grading process is based on a number system one to six, one being the highest grade that one is able to receive.


A fee of $75.00 is required to apply for the exam. The fee covers the exam, grading and processing, and forwarding of the transcript and certificate.

The Aromatherapy Course - Ordering Information

The Course presents exhaustive and in-depth information on every aspect of Aromatherapy.  It includes a wealth of recent scientific data as well as valuable traditional wisdom.  As this course goes far beyond books available on the subject it enables the reader, who has successfully completed the course, to use Aromatherapy both personally and professionally.

The Course consists of original material, reference data, work sheets and includes essential oil samples provided in order to enable the reader to smell and experience the essence of their effects.

It is recommended that the course be completed within 12-14 weeks.  After having worked through each part, the reader may communicate any questions where further discussion is needed.

MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: You may order your copy of PART I of the Aromatherapy Course and examine it.  If for any reason you are not satisfied, you may return it, within 10 days for a full refund less $25 for postage and handling.

The cost of the full Aromatherapy Course is $365.00 (CA Residents add sales tax) plus shipping.

a) Part I of The Aromatherapy Course for evaluation.  If you are not satisfied after evaluation of Part I you may return it within 10 days for a full refund less $25 for postage and handling.  To continue you may notify PIA to rush you the remaining parts or they will be shipped at the end of the evaluation period. $365

b) The Full Aromatherapy Course (Part I-VI) with samples shipped in its entirety. Note: No returns for refund on the complete course. $365


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