The History of Aromatherapy Aromatherapy is one of the oldest forms of healing and among the fastest growing complementary therapies in the world. Many of the ancient cultures, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Native Americans all used essential oils for medicine, in their spiritual practices, and in their cosmetics and perfumes. Though the use of essential oils was virtually lost in Europe during the dark ages, French chemist Rene'-Maurice Gattefosse is credited with its rediscovery. Since then, countless discoveries, have been made about the benefits of pure plant extracts. Although many companies today profit from adding an "aromatherapy" label to their nice smelling (and often un-natural) products, there is an authentic therapeutic practice that involves the "real stuff" Maore medical practitioners are using it to enhance traditional care.