Art and writings from the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Persia and China document the use and value of plants and their oils in medicine, religion, body ornamentation and co…okery throughout the ages. The first aromatic oils have been attributed to the Arabic physicians of the 10 th Century AD, although there is some evidence that they were used even earlier than that, in the Indus Valley at the foothills of the Himalayas 5,000 years ago. The Egyptians extracted oils from plants by a method of infusion for use as cosmetics; One of the most famous of these mixes consisted of 16 aromatic substances called 'Kyphi' and was later used by the Greeks and Romans as perfume. They also used oils to embalm the dead and delay composition, and for religious purposes and rituals. The Greeks and Romans learned much of their knowledge from the Egyptians and realising that the odours of certain plants and flowers were either stimulating and invigorating or relaxing and sedative, used oils daily in their baths and for aromatic massages. In 425 BC Herodotus of Halicarnassus was the first to record the method of distillation of Turpentine. The 13 th Century saw the first written record of the use of Aromatic oils in England as the printing press was introduced and herbals and recipe books became more widespread and readily available. At the end of the 15 th Century, the army surgeon and Alchemist, Paracelsus caused uproar among the established medical physicians by using aromatherapy, with great success, to treat Leprosy. The medicinal properties of plants and oils were later reinforced by the celebrated herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper whose 1652 The English Physician contained the properties of hundreds of plants. However the Scientific study of essential oils began with the French chemist, Renee Gattefosse, in the 1920's. While working in his perfume laboratory, Gattefosse burned his hand quite badly and plunged it into the nearest bowl of liquid he could find. This happened to contain Lavender oil. Discovering that this oil was exceptionally soothing and helped to heal the wound and minimise scarring, Gatfosse continued to research the subject and found that essential oils penetrate the skin and can be carried by the blood and Lymphatic systems to the organs. He termed his practice 'Aromatherapy'. Dr Jean Valnet, in the absence of medical supplies, later used essential oils to treat severe burns and injuries gained from the battlefields. His findings, detailed in Aromatherapie  , support Gattefosse's work. Marguerite Maury brought aromatherapy to England in the 1950's. A student of Gattefosse's, Maury developed his work in a more practical way and combined it with massage, creating a more Holistic system where essences are chosen depending on the physical and emotional needs of the individual client. She gave lectures to Beauty Therapists who incorporated oils into their massage to help relieve skin conditions and stress. By extension of its use in massage, Aromatherapy gained status in its own right and ceased to simply be 'part of' beauty therapy. .
 Evans, Mind, Body, Spirit , Pg. 113.
 Meaning "welcome to the gods", Kyphi was said to induce hypnotic states and was burned at sunset in honour of the Sun God Ra. Several recipes are recorded, one of the oldest being a heady blend of calamus, henna, spikenard, frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon, cypress and terebinth (pistachio resin), among other ingredients. (Green & Keville , A History of Fragrance ).
 McGuiness, Aromatherapy , Pg. 2.
 Phillipus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493 - 1541), "the Luther of physicians" & "German Hermes" - Cockren, A, Paracelsus .
 McGuiness, Pg.2.
 Valnet, Aroma Web . ( Full Answer )