This is a gorgeously, even lavishly, illustrated book written by the founder of the London-based essential oils shop, Aqua Oleum. Lawless is a practicing, qualified aromatherapist, and a member of the International Federation of Aromatherapists and the author of several aromatherapy books, including the Illustrated Elements of Essential Oils.Her knowledge shines through clearly in The Essential Aromatherapy Garden.

Opening with a history of scented garden, Lawless then takes us through several categories of scented plants: Cooking, Borders, and Container Plants. She then offers a variety of recipes for using scented plants in various ways, such as teas, potpourri, and cooking. One example is:

Dill Sauce

This is a seventeenth century recipe.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flours
  • 1 1/2 cups hot stock
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

Melt the butter. Blend in the flour and hot stock gradually, stirring to keep a consistent mix. Add in the dill, lemon juice, salt, pepper and sugar. Cool the sauce slightly, then whisk in the egg yolk. This is delicious served with roast meats, especially beef.

This is a book I would recommend just for the illustrations and plant information, but it is much more than that.

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Julia Lawless
Hampton Roads, 2019
pp. 224, $21.95