This CD-ROM is Something to Sniff at

Aromatherapists aren’t known for their technological prowess, but the discipline of healing physical and emotional ailments with essential oils derived from plants and herbs is pretty information-intensive. Enter “Essential Aromatherapy”, a self-paced CD-ROM course developed by Essential Training Solutions Ltd. of Daventry, England. By covering the basics of aromatherapy in a well-planned if not terribly sophisticated manner, the course offers a good model for designing self-paced training.

All too often, CD-ROM courses assume a working knowledge of computers. The introduction to “Essential Aromatherapy” begins — as it should — with a lesson to help you navigate the screen. Contrary to what many IT pros might think, mousing around a monitor is not an intuitive exercise for most people.

Then there’s the content. By organizing the material into clearly comprehensible sections (the history of aromatherapy, an index of essential oils, a glossary, blending techniques), “Essential Aromatherapy” makes it easy to locate specific information. And the developers of the CD-ROM take full advantage of the computer by including links to cross-referenced materials, interactive quizzes and pop-up boxes pointing out related information in other sections.

Perhaps the only shortcoming of this CD-ROM is the absence of scratch-and-sniff technology.