About Jade Shutes

Welcome to the School for Aromatic Studies!

I’m Jade Shutes, founder and director of education for the school and I have a great passion not only for aromatic plants and essential oils but empowering aromatherapy education.

How did I get into aromatherapy?

Thirty years ago, while living in London, England, I was blessed to have my first experience with aromatherapy. Suffering with debilitating back pain, a friend referred me to her friend Sophie, who offered aromatherapy treatments. The British approach to aromatherapy was and is through the application of the essential oils via massage. My first aromatherapy session was life-transforming! First off, I fell in love with the aroma of the blend she customized for me. At some point during the massage I fell fast asleep, and upon waking the very first thought I had was “THIS is what I want to do for the rest of my life!”. I wanted to give others this transformative experience.

Within the year I was enrolled at the Raworth College of Natural Health in Dorking, England. I was trained in anatomy and physiology, basic chemistry (hardly a focus in those days!), applied kinesiology, reflexology, iridology, and of course, essential oils and massage. Shortly after graduating, I returned to Boston, MA, my home town, to set up a practice for aromatherapy. That was 1991. What I found was that no one knew what aromatherapy was so it was a bit challenging to build a practice without first educating people on what aromatherapy was and what it could potentially do for them.

And now thirty years later, that is what I have lived to do: educate, practice, research, and write about aromatherapy, essential oils, and natural health and wellness. I believe in the power of education and have seen how it empowers our students and graduates with the knowledge they need to thrive in the 21st century wellness movement.

I have taught at Bastyr University (adjunct faculty), Duke University (continuing education), San Diego Hospice, Ashmead Massage school, New England Center for Massage, 7 Arrows Herb Farm, Elizabeth Grady School of Esthetics, Aveda Institute, Miller Motte Technical Community College, Universal Companies, Montgomery Hospice facility, and other places from Boston to Vancouver, Canada.

I am also a certified herbalist and love integrating both herbal and aromatic medicine in my approach to health and wellness.

As an avid gardener of aromatic and medicinal plants, I am forever grateful to my mother for inspiring the love of gardening.

Two and a half years ago I became the steward of 70 acres of land and a retreat center in the mountains of Virginia and can’t wait to welcome students there for Aromatic distillation, botanical body care, and aromatherapy classes.

As an aromatherapy practitioner, researcher, and educator for over three decades, I am passionate about elevating the practice of aromatherapy and aromatic medicine for a new generation of aromatherapists.


I am a bit of a lover of education!  After receiving my B.A. from Simmons College in Boston (1989), I went on to gain a Diploma in Holistic Aromatherapy, Holistic Massage, Anatomy and Physiology, and Reflexology from the Raworth College of Natural Medicine in Dorking, UK, and a Diploma in Aromatherapy from the International Therapist Examining board (ITEC).

Other Education:

  • Student of Maryland University of Integrative Health. Master of Science in Therapeutic Herbalism. January 2015 – present.
  • Graduate of Viver Ayurveda, Arjun Das, May 2011 to May 2012.
  • Certificate in Spa Bodywork Instructor Education: Anne Williams, Abingdon, VI, August, 2007.
  • Certificate of Herbal Medicine: Erin Groh, Tulalip, WA, Spring, 2004.
  • Certificate of Attendance, Purdue University, Advanced Essential Oil program: Part I, Summer, 1996.
  • Past-President of NAHA – 2 Terms 2000-2003 and 2013-2015
  • NAHA Education committee – Pivotal in setting education standards for aromatherapy (1997)
  • Best-selling author of Aromatherapy for Bodyworkers (2006) which was the primary textbook for aromatherapy for massage schools throughout the United States
  • Author: The Dynamics of Blending (new edition coming out 2022)
  • Author: Aromatic Medicine thru the Lens of Western Herbal Energetics
  • Co-author: The Carrier Oil Palette 
  • Main Author (85-90%): The Ultimate Guide to Aromatherapy – this book is based upon Jade’s Foundations of Aromatherapy certification course
  • Author of published articles in a wide range of aromatherapy and wellness publications

I am a strong advocate for the use of aromatherapy and herbal medicine for self-care healthcare and believe education is the key to self-empowerment. I believe aromatherapy ‘plants a seed’ in each of us, awakening our inherent relationship with the beauty and wisdom of the natural world.