Early teacher: Kurt Schnaubelt

Early teacher: Kurt Schnaubelt

After half a decade of playing around with oils on my own, using the few available books I had at my disposal, such as Valnet and Tisserand, I wanted to expand and share the knowledge I had collected.  I saw the need to delve further, to really get serious about this new path I had wandered upon, so I began more serious study of aromatherapy!


One big influence in this endeavor was Kurt Schnaubelt. Kurt Schnaubelt had one of the first fine lines of “genuine and authentic” essential oils and aromatherapy products available here in the USA. Original Swiss Aromatics was started up in 1983 by Kurt in San Rafael, CA, and you can see an early article about him here. His educational arm Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy offered the home study course by 1985.


Over the years Kurt and Monica have brought some high level education in their regular conferences in San Francisco, and the events became a nice gathering place for enthusiasts and something to look forward to. I presented several times including my paper on the work with children and autism and my personal use of oils during breast cancer recovery. Eileen Christina and I shared about our work after September 11, 2001 in the the United Aromatherapy Effort Tribute video. This year is the 30th year celebration and the 8th PIA conference coming in 2014. Read more here.


Since 1983, Original Swiss Aromatics and the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy together have been the first to establish the concept of genuine and authentic essential oils in the US, create the Aromatherapy Course, the first comprehensive text on scientific aromatherapy to come out of the US, and the first and foremost course with a pharmacological basis that is internationally recognized.


They were the first to bring Robert Tisserand to this country for his first major US seminar in 1988,


to present Dr. Daniel Penoël, aromatherapy researcher, author, and lecturer, to present, Pierre Franchomme, Master Aromatherapy Scientist to coordinate the original two American aromatherapy conventions in the US, and to speak out not only about the quality of essential oils but to start a rigorous program of purity analysis by GC/MS.


Once I took this course in 1985, I felt I could add the missing parts of what I did to a curriculum. I created my own course for practitioners; less technical and more down to earth! This course eventually became the Aromatherapy Practitioner Home study course and eventually in 1989, the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy was created as my educational arm.  I felt like I could add an East Coast feminine aspect of practice (as a friend used to say) to the table.


I honor Kurt in so many ways than being my first teacher. He is a beautiful man with a charismatic German accent who changed the aromatic world in ways we cannot say.  Monica is a beautiful spirit sister. I have fond memories of them both through the years and I feel fortunate to have crossed paths!

see Kurt’s blog here.