A warm welcome to all of the members of our Aroma Tours Newsletter in more than 35 countries around the world.
Robbi and I are now almost at the end of our journeys for this year and we are greatly looking forward to enjoying some quiet time to relax and also to catch up with friends and family before our season begins again early next year.
2010 has been another water-shed year for us and we are very excited to see our Aroma Tours continuing to flourish and to have shared so many delightful and memorable moments with our guests during our aromatic adventures.
We have many things to be grateful for and we wish all of you a wonderful festive season and hope that the year ahead will be full of prosperity and many joyful moments.
Next year's tours and retreats are already well under way and we invite you to visit our information request page for the latest details.
One of the best ways to enjoy the spirit of our adventures is by taking a peek at some of the photos we have taken during our Aroma Tours 2010 season.
With all of our busyness this year we are still to find time to fully delve into the mother load of images kindly contributed by our Aroma Travellers this year and in our next newsletter we look forward to highlighting some of their offerings.
In the meantime we have added three new pages of memorable photos for you to enjoy at:-
We also invite you visit our other Photo Galleries Pages to enjoy more of the 100's of other lovely photos of our aromatic adventures.
Without doubt, one of the main reasons that we continue to grow and flourish, is the on-going support we receive from our past Aroma Travellers.
This year we are enjoying the largest number of returning guests we have ever had, making up 27% of our total numbers. For Robbi and myself, it is such a great delight to be welcoming back so many good friends.
We would also like to give our heart-felt thanks to all of you who continue to support us with your kind words and referrals as you spread news of our tours and retreats amongst your friends.
We also greatly appreciate you wonderful words of thanks, it means so much to us to know that we have shared a special time with you during our journey together.
Whenever possible between our busy schedule of tours, Robbi and I like to take a little time off to relax and catch up with our dear friends Jack and Sophie at their lavender farm, high in the Haute Vaucluse: arguably the largest true French lavender farm in the world.
This year the lavender harvest was in full swing, during our visit so everything was a bustle, with harvesters plying their way gracefully along the long rows, creating swathes of aromatic purple blooms that could be seen in various stages of drying ( over 2 or 3 days ), in preparation for their journey to the distillery.
I found myself fascinated by the patterns the machinery left in the dusty soil and the wisps of lavender scattered randomly at the end of the rows. Also, the way the landscape was gradually changing from vibrant purple, to rows of green, set between the swathes of cut blooms.
The distillery with its twin "couldrons" was the heart of operations with deliveries of fragrant lavender constantly arriving by the tonne. Ready for their metamorphosis into this most precious of essential oils: the aromatic "grassy" smell of freshly distilled lavender was everywhere.
At evening meal times it was exciting to share with our friends ( freshly back from cutting, collecting and distilling ) their news of the day's work; weather, equipment breakdowns, essential oil yield and quality...... As always the conversation quickly turned to light-hearted banter as we sat - glass of wine in hand - watching the amazing sight of the sun setting over 80 hectares of lavender fields.
During the daytime, I took to rambling amongst the fields and through the nearby forests which were absolutely bursting with wild lavender - we were after all in the natural home of this amazing plant. In one spot, I found a veritable carpet of wild lavender and nearby, dozens of hives with their nimbus of bees busily gathering lavender flavoured honey.
I can't begin to describe the beauty and incredible joy we felt during those precious few days except to say:-
"To drift off to sleep in the true darkness of night, as the gentle lavender scented breeze outside, dances across the flowering rows of purple - all is bliss, all is bliss...."
All is now well under way for next year's tour season and Robbi and I are thrilled to see the wonderful early response to our 2011 offerings with both our Flavours of Dordogne and Aromas of Provence tours already fully booked and several others soon to join them.
Our booking status at the time of this newsletter is:-
For detailed information about any of our tours please visit our information request page and if you would like to join our adventures next year, we invite you to reserve your place by visiting our booking request page
It is our pleasure to assist you with any questions you may have and you can get in touch with us either by email at email@example.com or by phone on: +613 5331 3254 (afternoon/evening USA time zones, mornings from other countries).
During our Bali Women's Retreat I always create an aromatic anointing oil to bless each woman as she arrives into the space of the retreat and often it is made up of jasmine, sandalwood, lime, lemongrass, cinnamon, ylang ylang and rose in a jojoba base.
This lovely perfumed oil is applied to the forehead and followed by a touch at the heart with a red hibiscus flower that has been dipped in Balinese holy water. The red hibiscus is considered a holy flower in Bali.
One year, Made Murni a beautiful young woman from our hotel happened to be there when I gave the blessing to the women and so I blessed her too with the sweetly perfumed oil. The Balinese make thousands of flower offerings to the Gods every day and they believe that the sweeter the flowers, the more quickly their prayers reach heaven.
Made was moved to tears with the blessing as her heart fully opened to that moment. Later that evening, she told me that when I touched her heart with the hibiscus, she felt a great warmth move through her heart and beyond.
The blessing set the intention to open to the love and beauty that resonates in all of us. Made understood that clearly. And in that silent moment, love was there.
Each year our Aroma Tours adventures begin in Tuscany with our Aromas of Tuscany tour where we are welcomed by a riot of spring colour: Mauve wisteria, blood red poppies, egg shell blue irises, golden fields of canola, the vibrant blue of flowering rosemary and sage�. also the late spring mantle of vibrant green meadows - absolutely wonderful!
As well as nourishment for the eyes, life takes on a different pace with long lunches in beautiful hilltop villages, wonderful coffee, delicious wines, truffles, parmegiano cheese, porchini mushrooms, prosciutto, fresh pasta..... [ so many wonderful tastes ], laughter and the fine Italian art of "dolce fa niente" - sweet doing nothing!
Our journey is also about absorbing the richness and passion of Italian life and savouring its cultural heritage evident in the art, architecture, pageantry, festivals, fashion, design, craftsmanship and unique approach to living.
We are all destined to be transformed by the magic of this place - feeling more Italian moment by moment, speaking more enthusiastically, smiling broadly and even display a bit of emphatic arm waving!
If you would like to join us this year as we explore Tuscany's perched villages, rolling hills, delicious food and wines, rich culture and joy of life we invite you visit our information request page for more details.
We have assembled a page of photos from this year's Aromas of Tuscany Tour as part of our memorable photos pages and if you haven't already done so we invite you to take a peek
Each year during our Essential Provence Tour one of the most interesting and uplifting experiences is our visit to a secluded monastery tucked away in the Provencale countryside where we silently witness Benedictine monks performing their devotions in the form of the beauty and harmony of Benedictine chants.
As we were quietly leaving the monastery, we were fortunate enough
to witness one of the monks beginning the harvest of a nearby lavandin
In keeping with their monastic lifestyle of spirituality and living close to the earth, he was harvesting in the ancient way with a sickle. At that precise moment, with the sound of the beautiful chanting still echoing in our hearts, a shaft of light came down to bless his devoted toil.
Our Provence Skincare and Wellbeing Retreat was an absolute triumph ( even if I say so myself ) and what a delight it was to see the camaraderie, high spirits and blossoming of knowledge that occurred during that week.
Our guests came from Canada, Brazil, Norway, Spain, USA, Belgium and Australia. Many were already established aromatherapy practitioners and the retreat gave them a wonderful extension and deepening of their knowledge.
For some, attending the Provence retreat was the realization of a dream to actively begin creating a successful skincare business.
Talk about job satisfaction for us!
Our Provence Aromatherapy Retreat next year will once again be focusing on skin care and wellbeing and we are very excited and delighted to announce that our dear friend and one of Australia's foremost aromatherapy experts, Ron Guba, will be joining us in our tiny village amongst the lavender fields and will share his extensive background and expertise in the development of natural, organic and effective products for both therapeutic and cosmetic use.
Following on from the great success of this year's retreat, next year will undoubtedly be another awesome week of enhanced learning and practical applications.
For people who have attended the retreat in the past and desire a return visit to our lovely little village surrounded by glorious lavender fields this will be an entirely new curriculum devoted to skin!
Since announcing our new Flavours of Dordogne Tour earier this year which explores the stunning beauty, gastronomic delights and incredible history of the Bordeaux and Dordogne regions in south west France, the response we have received has been absolutely marvellous.
As a result, the tour is already fully booked for next May and we are doubly delighted to see that it has been our returning Aroma Travellers and their friends who have in the majority elected to join us for our sojourn in this fascinating region.
I guess drinking fine wines, enjoying delicious gastronomic meals and exploring stunning landscapes of sweeping river valleys, perched chateau, magnificent gardens and some of the most beautiful villages in France does sound rather nice.
We have compiled a page of photos of our Flavours of Dordogne tour for your viewing pleasure and we are greatly looking forward to sharing this wonderful new tour with our guests next year.
Over the years the circulation of our Aroma Tours newsletter has grown to more than 6000 subscribers and in these days of filters and anti-spam software it is becoming increasingly more difficult to be sure that our email will arrive safely in your inbox.
There is of course good reason to have this filtering, however, as a consequence we recommend that you add our email address firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book or allowed email list to help ensure that our newsletter will continue to be delivered to you successfully.
Once you have reserved your place via our tour booking page, all your need to do is make your travel arrangements to meet us at the tour rendezvous point. You can either ask your travel agent to assist you, or for the more adventurous you can book your flights and connections yourselves. All of our rendezvous are easily achieved and naturally we provide all of the information and assistance that you will need.
Just a reminder that we have a frequently asked questions page to help answer the most common questions including how to book, travel arrangements, group sizes etc.
Our past newsletters contain a lot of interesting stories and are well worth a read. You can find them by visiting our newsletter archives
You may also enjoy reading a few of the stories that we have compiled over the years on our stories of interest page
"When all else fails darling, drink champagne!"
~ Colin Zeck
Robbi and I look forward to welcoming you to one of our delightful tours or retreats in the near future and invite you to take a peek at the latest photos of our travels in our photo galleries
If you would like detailed information about any of our tours please visit our information request page
As always if you have any questions or if you would like us to assist you personally with advice about your travel arrangements or with any other details please contact us either by email at email@example.com or by phone on +61 3 5331 3254 ( afternoon/evening USA time zones, mornings from other countries ).
Please note you need to replace the '+' in our phone number with your country's international dialling prefix: from the USA/Canada it is 011 from most other countries it is 00.
Jim and Robbi