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Interview with Dr. Daniel Penoel By Gergely Hollodi

How did you initially get involved with aromatherapy, and what made you start working with essential oils?

My first contact with essential oils took place when I was around 19 years old, as I was studying naturopathic medicine (there was a one-year ‘break’ in my medical University education, and I decided to turn to naturopathy, but later on, I resumed my university studies).

What is your first memory about your first contact with essential oils? My first memory is about marjoram (true marjoram, Origanum majorana). I was very impressed by the powerful scent of this aromatic liquid, and from that moment on, I felt that essential oils would become part of my life. So, 53 years later, it remains true!

Who was your inspiration or the most influential person/people in the aromatherapy field, and why?

Apart from Pierre Franchomme, I had the opportunity to meet many people in this field worldwide. There are remarkable individuals in every country who are deeply devoted to quality work and to protecting our planet. To me, aromatic plants and their secretions cannot be dissociated from the ecological commitment to nature and the entire biosphere. I had the opportunity to establish a close link with John Steele. I appreciate the work of Jeanne Rose. I like the work accomplished by David Crow. I appreciate the work of Kurt Schnaubelt and Ron Guba. I appreciate the work of Mark Webb in Australia. My admiration is high when authors or teachers enlarge the subject of 'essential oils' and create a close link with the ecosystems and the exceptional time of 'pre-extinction' that humankind faces nowadays.

What did aromatherapy mean in France when you started practising?

At that time (mid-1970s), it was a medical and pharmaceutical discipline. Every prescription of plants and essential oils established by an MD and prepared by a pharmacist was refunded by the social security system. This situation enabled us to accomplish immense progress in medical aromatherapy.

To learn more about Dr.Daniel Penoel, visit

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