This is René Maurice Gattefosé, he is the father of modern day aromatherapy.
In the early part of the 20th century modern pharmaceuticals were born. Chemistry and medicine became entwined. Antibiotics were discovered, along with vaccines, which saved millions of lives. Natural medicine and plant medicine were quickly fading into history, in danger of being lost forever. However, thanks to René Maurice Gattefosé natural and herbal medicine were not forgotten, and today are experiencing a true renaissance.
An Accidental Discovery
Around 1910, while working in the laboratory of his family’s cosmetic company, he badly burned his hand. Lavender oil was on hand and he quickly applied it to the burn. He was intrigued at how quickly the oil relieved pain and then healed the burn. Thus beginning a life long fascination and study of essential oils. He even experimented with essential oils in military hospitals in World War I. Noting the antiseptic and quick healing qualities of many oils. He invented the phrase “armothérapie” for the use of scented plant oils in healing and wellness.