Greetings from Robbi and Jim

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 back  from our aromatic wanderings in Italy, Turkey, Bali and the lavender trails of Provence, where we witnessed the amazing spectacle and high energy of the Tour de France passing right through our tiny village.

We are glad to be back in our cottage in Provincial south east Australia once again and are enjoying the awakening of spring with daffodils, newly opened leaves, flowering wattles and fruit trees in full blossom.

It is strange to be staying in one place after almost four months of adventures but equally it is wonderful to have the time to reflect on the many delightful moments we shared with our Aroma Travellers this year. Our busy year will continue shortly but for the moment, home is the perfect place to be.

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.

Memorable Photos from our 2009 Adventures

One of the best ways to enjoy the spirit of our adventures is by taking a peek at a few of the 1000's of photos we have taken during our Aroma Tours' 2009 season.

We have also received an absolute mother load of images kindly contributed by our Aroma Travellers this year and in our next newsletter we will be highlighting some of their offerings.

In the meantime we have added two new pages of memorable photos for you to enjoy at Memorable Photos 2009-1 and Memorable Photos 2009-2

Aroma Travellers Our Thanks

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 26% 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.

Guest Comments From Our 2009 Adventures

One of the great pleasures for Robbi and I after each tour season is receiving messages of thanks from our Aroma Travellers. We have compiled a few below and hope that you enjoy reading about their experiences with us.

  • "This has been the most inspirational trip I have ever enjoyed. Thank you Robbi and Jim and to everyone on this tour who made it so."� Cathy Gerson Boston USA
  • "Thank you for putting together such wonderful experiences for us. There is no way we could have organized such a trip on our own. Thank you for your warmth and hospitality. Our vacation has been memorable" Adreinne and Kevin Dickson Hudson USA
  • "Your tours are always wonderful, always fun and filled with treats and unexpected delights. We love being on tour with you. Italy met all our expectations and we were delighted day and night." Megan Larsen Fremantle Australia
  • "Buongiorno amicas e amicos, I have returned from the most perfect trip to Italy that anyone can imagine! I joined a delightful group of Aussies and  Americans for a glorious seven days in the hilltop towns of Tuscany. We enjoyed delicious food in beautiful trattorias, tasted and consumed the best wines in Tuscany and placed ourselves in every picture or postcard we have ever seen of enchanting Tuscany. It could not have been more perfect. I highly recommend Aroma Tours. Thank you for helping me realize my dream." Daria Bellina Rockledge USA
  • "Our Turkey tour was a dream come true, .. so many things ticked off on the 'bucket list' and such a wonderful country. Thank you for being such gracious hosts. It was hard to imagine the next day being better than the last, yet it was! Inspired, enthralled, delighted, ..just a few of the words to describe the feelings we have had during this magical journey through Turkey." Wendy & Mike Norman Adelaide Australia
  • "You made it all so easy and I feel I have been treated to the very best of Turkey. I return home with many treasured memories." Hinemoa Ransom-Boyd Wanganui New Zealand
  • "Thank you for yet another fascinating tour. Our time in Turkey has been fabulous, a wonderful experience." Adriene Lim and Peter Moey Penang Malaysia
  • "We thank you for your warmth and care for what you do, but most of all we thank you for just being you." Erin & Cheryl Wilhite Portland USA
  • "What a wonderful holiday. Thank you for your caring, your warmth and incredible information. See you next time!" Kirsty Beckett Ballarat Australia
  • "Thank you for this beautiful week in Provence. Your generosity of spirit and caring, your humour and warmth, complemented all that you did to treat us to the best of Provence." Joan & Frank di Costanzo Rockville USA
  • Thank you so very much for a delightful and enchanting week of adventure and discovery. There were so many heart warming moments that have created memories to last a lifetime. Everyday brought us laughter and joy filled moments, with scents of lavender, glorious food, tastes of olive oil, wonderful wines and much more."
     Janis & Bill Fox Rensselaer USA
  • "Harold and I have been meaning to write to thank you for a most wonderful week exploring and experiencing the different facets of Provence. Your knowledge and guidance, showing us some of your favourite places, gave us a really enjoyable and unforgettable holiday. It was such a pleasure for me not to have to worry about booking hotels, or navigating, or finding good restaurants (all of which were excellent, including the expert driving)! The cooking class was great fun and I use the perfume I made daily. Our travelling companions bonded as old friends and overall this was one of our best holidays ever. We look forward to being able to join you on one of your other tours in the future." Lynne & Harold Seifman Dover Heights Australia
  • "What a blessing you are to us! Thank you for sharing some of the loveliest places, aromas and tastes in the world. Once again, this tour with you has been an extremely restorative experience and I look forward to the next." Barbara Brazel Carlisle USA
  • "Given my dreams of Provence, I must say that you exceeded all my expectations and provided an experience of Provence that I could not possibly have done on my own. So many little touches showed the great thought that was put into planning for our pleasure in seeing the real Provence. You are special and delightful people and I cannot thank you enough." Judy Cassel Secaucus USA
  • "We have had an absolutely delightful time and you are all such wonderful people. Thank you so much." Vim and Ravee Ipoh Malaysia
  • "We have enjoyed our time with you so very much, we leave with beautiful memories that we will cherish forever." Pat and Don Finlay Calgary Canada
  • "You truly have provided an extraordinary time. The food the wine, gorgeous places tucked away and your care leaves my heart very full." Connie Frost Manitoba Canada
  • "No words could describe this beautiful and wondrous time in Provence with you, a truly unforgettable experience, thank you so much." Joy Quattrin Manitoba Canada
  • "Thank you for making my birthday so special. I will always remember this delightful tour, it has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself! Thank you for your generosity, energy and great spirit." Vickie Placzek Keyneton Australia
  • "The tour absolutely surpassed ALL my expectations. It was a true pleasure to stroll among the fields of lavender under your guidance. Merci, merci, merci!"
    Fran Brunke Calgary Canada
  • "Thank you for a truly relaxing holiday. I loved being looked after, the variety of experiences was wonderful AND the food was excellent." Anne Farago Sydney Australia
  • "Thank you for a wonderful experience in a place of great beauty. I have seen and learnt so much in such a short time. You both bought so much to create a week filled with everlasting memories." Katrina Newton Hong Kong
  • "We have had the most wonderful week with you, you made everything so very special for us all." Margaret and Jack Williams Solihull UK
  • "You are amazing! I have felt, smelled, hugged and heard all with my heart. My spirit is full and grateful for your kind patience and knowledge you have shared with me. Thank you." Inara Renkis USA
  • "You have made our return to Provence a dream come true "this has been an exceptional vacation highlighted by the Tour de France passing through our village, thank you so much." Louise and David Rapoza Robbinsville USA
  • "It has been wonderful to have such an amazing Provincial experience with you. Thank you for your endless passion, patience and perfectionism! I leave with an unforgettable number of experiences in my memory bank." Felicity Ballarat Australia
  • "Thank you for putting together a wonderful tour. I have told so many people about it. It was so carefully planned to incorporate all one's senses: beautiful scenery, wonderful foods, spiritual music, perfume, and fun, compatible people. I will always remember it."
     Susan Mills Lincoln USA
  • "I hope you really enjoy your R&R- You totally earned it for creating such a spectacular trip for us. Every detail you thought of made it special and it had a plethora of touches that will provide great memories for years to come. It should never be called a "tour" since what you deliver is a remarkable and unique experience!"
     Jodye Anzalotta New York USA
  • "It was a wonderful, wonderful trip, thanks to all and to our amazing hosts. I will definitely be going on another aroma tour of Provence! (and Turkey)." Kathy Dobbin

Survivor Provence - The Musical

During our Heart of Provence Tour as we sat in yet another beautiful restaurant enjoying a long, leisurely lunch, our dear friend and driver this year Bill Bachman, came up with the amusing idea of "Survivor Provence".

We all decided that if Provence was to be the "ordeal" to be endured, especially with such fine company, we were all ready to sign up!

As our discussion continued Frank one of our guests from Rockville USA who was writing and producing a musical back in the states decided that "Survivor Provence" had to be presented as a musical.

As fate would have it this year Provence was blessed with many musical moments for us to enjoy from the "Fete de la Musique", to wonderful jazz performances in the ruins of an old chateau, a big band concert in a beautiful winery, choral ensembles, blues and gypsy swing bands and a colourful traditional Provencale parade with dancers and folk music.

At the end of our tour Frank wrote a lovely impromptu piece to the tune of Bob Hope's famous signature song "Thanks for the Memories" - thank you indeed!

Current Booking Status

All is now well under way for next year's tour season and Robbi and I are thrilled to see the wonderful early response we are enjoying for all of our 2010 offerings.

Our current booking status is:-

If you would like to join us next year or if you have any questions, please get in touch with us either by email at info@aroma-tours.com or by phone on: +61 3 5331 3254 (afternoon/evening USA time zones, mornings from other countries). 

  • From the USA/Canada the "international dialling prefix" which replaces the '+' in our phone number is 011, from most other countries it is 00.

For more details please visit our information request page and if you would like to reserve your place please visit our booking request page

The Tour de France Amongst the Lavender Fields

This year's Provence Lavender Tour had the added bonus of allowing us to witness first hand the spectacle of The Tour de France.

The afternoon before the tour arrived we journeyed in the late afternoon along the very route the cyclists would be taking - but in the reverse direction. All of the decorations were waving gaily and the roadway was a riot of colourful messages and artistic designs.

As we drew closer to our village the roadway became lined for kilometre after kilometre with thousands of people all camping along the route ready to witness the passage of their heroes.

The next day the excitement in the air was palpable and this normally quiet little village bustled with cycling enthusiasts from around the word; many dressed in lycra riding gear, reminiscent of a flock of multi-coloured tropical birds.

Our hotel was perfectly positioned at the end of the route the cyclists would be taking into town and our Aroma Travellers had the option of either joining the throng lining the route or sitting in comfort in front of a huge picture window perched above the action with a perfect view of the cyclists' approach.

There we were, poised like paparazzi as the parade of support cars, sponsor vehicles, motor cycles and police swept past us pre-empting the arrival of "Le Tour". The village felt like one organism intent on the Tours' approach and then as helicopters started swooping overhead every heart skipped a beat.

 There they were: Contador, Schleck, Armstrong and Wiggins, sweeping past with people cheering, arms waving and cameras flashing.

This of course was only the appetizer and a hush fell, as every eye and ear strained for the first hint of the peloton's approach. Once again the helicopters spotted the game and with serpentine grace, the crush of riders glided past us.

Now the tour swept through the lavender fields below us and on to a 21 kilometre hill climb on this penultimate day of the tour - tomorrow it was on to Paris and the finish.

Tomorrow is another day and was far from our minds as we congregated in the local cafe owned by our friends Alain and Sandrine to watch the end of the stage on a huge TV screen with cool drink in hand.

The superhuman strength and endurance of these men is beyond belief as they conquer the 1500 metre climb at an average speed of over 20 km/hr while back in our cafe we share the excitement and camaraderie of the gathered throng as the Tour de France 2009 imprints itself in the treasure chest of our fondest memories.

Cruising the Greek Islands in Turkey

Since we first started to explore the western Turkish coastline I have often wondered at the oddity of history that has left several Greek islands only a few kilometres from the Turkish coastline. Their nearest Greek neighbour - apart from a few barren rocks - is the island of Rhodes which is almost 4 hours away by boat!

The islands are so close to Turkey that one year I was having trouble with my mobile phone and then realized that I had picked up the Greek mobile network and had to call local Turkish numbers as if from Greece.

Happily in the last year or so access to Greece from Turkey has become much easier and when I discovered that it was possible to nip over the pond, I jumped at the chance and with five adventurous souls from our recent group we sailed in the late afternoon to our rendezvous with the mysterious island I had so often seen from afar.

As we approached, a beautiful bay lined with colourful houses and several beautiful churches was revealed to us with water so clear it was almost totally transparent.

Here the pace was noticeably slower and I immediately set off to explore ahead of the others, whereupon, in a side street I discovered a lovely small Greek orthodox church. The interior was quite austere but the air was positively thick� with burning Frankincense and at one end, there were six magnificent religious paintings that would find a place of honour in any Italian basilica.

Back outside with my fellow travellers we sat overlooking fishing boats and the beautiful harbor eating delicious grilled calamari kebabs, freshest salad and a cool glass of white wine.

On the return journey a full moon scintillated on the mill-pond smooth waters of the Mediterranean as we floated gently towards the Turkish shore, whose lights turned the waters before us into a golden carpet.

These are the magic moments that come only rarely and show how important it is to "seize the moment."

For more details please visit our information request page and if you would like to reserve your place please visit our booking request page

Flavours of Italy

We enjoyed many wonderful adventures this May in northern Italy during our Flavours of Italy Tour

Our group this year was composed entirely of repeat Aroma Travellers, their spouses and friends. So right from our first meal together we had the pleasure of fine camaraderie.

There were many delightful and delicious moments and it was our pleasure to share our love of the magnificent food, wine, culture and history of northern Italy with such lovely guests.

Next year we look forward to another wonderful sojourn and we have some lovely new experiences to share with you.

For more details please visit our information request page and if you would like to reserve your place please visit our booking request page

The Picasso Experience

During our Provence tours this year we were able to give our guests the added bonus of experiencing some of the wonderful "Picasso in Provence" exhibitions that were being held to celebrate the years Picasso spent painting in southern France.

After being exiled from Spain, he painted many of his masterpieces in Provence, was inspired by the beauty of the region and was influenced by the work of Cezanne.

We saw over a hundred of his amazing works which we all greatly enjoyed and for myself as an aesthetic person but not an art buff as such, it was a revelation and a whole new unfolding of visual pleasure.

After being so impressed, I explored further and discovered this wonderful quote that speaks so beautifully about art and the artist:-

Everyone wants to understand art. Why don't we try to understand the song of a bird? Why do we love the night, the flowers, everything around us, without trying to understand them? But in the case of a painting, people think they have to understand. If only they would realize above all that an artist works of necessity, that he himself is only an insignificant part of the world, and that no more importance should be attached to him than to plenty of other things which please us in the world though we can't explain them; people who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.�  ~ Picasso

Provence Aromatherapy Retreat 2010 - Skin Essentially

Our Provence Aromatherapy Retreat next year will be focusing on skin care and wellbeing. We are very excited and delighted to announce that Mindy Green formerly of Aveda ( USA ) and Megan Larsen of Sodashi Skin Care ( Australia ) will be joining us in our tiny village amongst the lavender fields of the Haute Provence. This will undoubtedly be an 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!

Topics covered include:- History of botanicals in skin care, essential oil chemo-types and their unique applications for skin, structure and function of the skin, ingredients for beautiful skin, 12 essential oils for effective skin care, Sodashi reflexology technique for the face, blending essential oils to personalise your products, diagnosis of skin types, carrier oils for different skin types, cleansing from the inside out, mature, ageing and sun damaged skin strategies, skin soothers, skin foods and micronutrients, stress diffusion for emotions relating to skin issues, relaxation techniques to calm the body/mind and soothe the skin.

For more details please visit our information request page and if you would like to reserve your place please visit our booking request page

Bali Women's Retreat ( Robbi Reports )

This was the 12th year of our Bali Women's Retreat and to share such a sacred, nourishing and nurturing week with a delightful group of fabulous women, was one of the highlights of my travels this year.

I do believe that the synchronistic energies  of people coming together  to spend time with each other in the way we do is always significant.

Each group weaves its own special magic in Bali and the desire of the beautiful women this year was to simply embrace all that we explored with a gentle ease. Our retreat week was heightened by a strong sense of connection, where we created a sacred space to openly share our collective gifts, to play joyfully and to honour the beauty that rests within each of us.

Bali holds a very special place deep in the quiet of my heart and after living in Bali for a time in 1975 and now some 25 visits later, I never fail to be affected by the gentle spirit of the Balinese people and the beauty of this lush green paradise.

Jim has created a page of memorable photos from our Bali adventures and I hope that you will enjoy sharing some of the beauty and serenity of Bali with me.

  • "My Bali Women's Retreat experience was above and beyond what I thought it would be! Robbi is an incredible facilitator, her art of allowing whilst maintaining a very nurturing environment is truly special. I have no hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending this life changing retreat."  Megan Larsen Perth Australia

Bookings for the 2010 Bali Women's Retreat are already well underway with only 7 places left and we recommend that you get in touch with us shortly if you would like to join us next year.

For more details please visit our information request page and if you would like to reserve your place please visit our booking request page

Lovely New Hotels for Heart and Flavours of Provence

We are always exploring and looking for new experiences and beautiful places to share with our Aroma Travellers. This year's efforts discovered two lovely new hotels and several delightful restaurants that we consider perfect to add to next year's tour offerings.

Both new hotels are classed as "4 star small luxury" and we will be using both for our Flavours of Provence Tour. We will also be using the second hotel ( as shown below ) during our Heart of Provence Tour 

Our first discovery was in the Bouche du Rhone in a quiet setting with views of the Alpilles on the outskirts of a lovely market town.

It has beautiful grounds and a wonderful sense of Provencale character with a lovely swimming pool, bar and lounges and a delightful 1 Michelin star gastronomic restaurant which we will enjoy during our stay.

Our second hotel is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels group with delightful rooms and a fabulous garden which also hosts the hotel's fine restaurant.

One of the nicest environments we have found with absolutely wonderful staff and a rich history of famous people who have enjoyed being their guests. Just the spot for us to enjoy, n'est pas. 

We look forward to sharing these lovely new hotels with our Aroma Travellers next year.

Visit to the USA 14 October - 6 November 2010 ( Robbi Reports )

This October Jim and I will be travelling to the USA where I will be speaking at the American Alliance of Aromatherapists Conference in Crystal Lakes IL ( near Chicago ).

Jim will be travelling with me and we are both greatly looking forward to catching up with our many colleagues and friends in the USA as well as several of our past Aroma Travellers who live in the area.

We are excited to announce that after the AIA Conference has finished I will be teaching a series of Aromatic Kinesiology Level One workshops.

  • Palatine Chicago Illinois - 20 & 21 Oct
  • Minneapolis Minnesota - 24 & 25 Oct
  • Tampa Florida - 31 Oct & 1 Nov

More details can be found at www.aromatic-kinesiology.com/robbi-zeck-usa2009.pdf

If you would like a copy of these details to share with your friends and colleagues please email Robbi at info@aromatic-kinesiology.com

We will also be spending a few days in San Francisco around 3rd November and look forward to exploring more of the Pacific coast.

The Blossoming Heart:
Copies of Robbi's wonderful book "The Blossoming Heart - Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation", are available via her book order page

Newsletter Delivery Notes

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 info@aroma-tours.com to your address book or allowed email list to help ensure that our newsletter will continue to be delivered to you successfully.

  • If of course for any reason you would prefer to stop receiving our newsletter please don't hesitate to email us at info@aroma-tours.com to unsubscribe.

Arranging Your Travel

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.

Previous Newsletters and Stories of Interest

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

Thought for the Day

"It is not down in any map; true places never are."
  ~ Herman Melville

Our Invitation

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 info@aroma-tours.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 by your country's international dialling prefix: from the USA/Canada it is 011 from most other countries it is 00.

Warmest regards,

Jim and Robbi


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