Greetings from Robbi and Jim

A warm welcome to all of the members of our Aroma Tours Newsletter in over 35 countries around the world.

Robbi and I are now back home in our lovely little cottage in south eastern Australia enjoying the awakening of spring with daffodils, newly opened leaves, magnificent flowering wattles, fruit trees in full blossom and lots of wonderful rain.

It is strange to be staying in one place after more than 3 months of aromatic adventures in Italy, Dordogne, Spain, Turkey, Provence and Bali, but equally, it is wonderful to have time to reflect on the many delightful moments we shared with our Aroma Travellers in this our sixteenth year of Aroma Tours.

Our guests, who this year joined us from New Zealand, USA, Canada, France, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, China, UK, Ireland and Slovakia, brought with them a wonderful diversity of character and sense of fun, which when added to perfect weather and nature's beauty in full array, has left us all with many happy memories to cherish.

With the 2012 season already off to a flying start, we look forward to sharing many more delightful moments with our Aroma Travellers next year.

For detailed information about any of our tours please visit our information request page and if you would like to join our Aromatic Adventures next year, we invite you to reserve your place by visiting our booking request page

Memorable Photos From Our 2011 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' 2011 season.

We also look forward to sharing some of the lovely images taken by our Aroma Travellers during their journeys with us this year in our upcoming newsletters.

In the meantime we have added two new pages of memorable photos for you to enjoy at:-


We look forward to adding many new memories and beautiful photos to our archives and to sharing them with you later in the year.

Please remember to take a peek at our Photo Galleries Pages where you will enjoy many beautiful images of our adventures over the last 16 years.

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 enjoyed the largest number of returning guests we have ever had, making up 28% 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 your 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.

Guest Comments From Our 2011 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.

  • Thank you for this wonderful Provence experience. We take home so many wonderful memories and so many foodie experiences! We hope to have the privilege of travelling with you again. Peggy and Karl Anatol Huntington Beach USA
  • Thank you for sharing your passion for Provence with us all, plus all your kindness and great sense of humour! My photographs make me want to rush back soon! I have already booked the Dordogne tour with you next year as I am now hooked!!.
    Susan Troxell New York USA
  • Thank you so much for the wonderful week in Provence. It was truly a magical, delightful experience, unforgettable memories that I will always cherish. Everything was perfect. My heart lights up whenever I look at the photos. There are so many things I loved about the trip. The lavender fields and the aroma, glorious food and wine, cooking class, music festival, the market... It is hard to pick one. But what sticks with me and stays in my heart is how wonderful you are. So deep with compassion, loving and fun! It really was meant to be.... when there was that one last place on the Heart of Provence Tour. It was crying out for me to take it. To this, I am profoundly grateful.
    Keiko Machida Hong Kong
  • How happy you have made us! Your attention to every little detail, your selection of superb locales and the care and love you shared with each of have culminated in the trip of a lifetime. Candy De Green Lancaster USA
  • Each magical day brought new knowledge, wonder and delight, not to mention unbelievable food experiences. If words numbered stars in the sky there still wouldn't be enough to convey our heart-felt thanks for the best vacation we have ever enjoyed.
    Wendy and Mike Norman Adelaide Australia
  • Simply superb! Meeting the two of you and sharing the beauty of Provence will remain one of my most favourite memories for the rest of my days. This has been an extraordinary journey - thank you. Jan Kalicka Longmeadow USA
  • You are two special people who have the passion and commitment to create a beautiful experience for all. I just knew from the start this was the perfect way to honour my mother's 70th birthday - thank you for a truly special journey.
    Todd, Jamie and Yvonne Bones Philadelphia USA
  • This has been the most enjoyable vacation we have ever had and will cherish the experience always. We deeply appreciate your wonderful attention to every detail which made this trip so magical. All our senses have been awakened with the fragrance of lavender....Oh I could go on and on......thank you.
    Barb and Joel Burlington USA
  • This trip has been like heaven on earth. I have loved everything on this tour - words fail me! Sue La Fleur Auckland New Zealand
  • Formidable! What an experience. Pure joy wrapped in the essence of lavender has been perfect. Thank you for sharing the magic of your Provence with us. This has been a trip of a lifetime...From our hearts to yours...
    Diane, Elaina & Sheri Zebroff Kamloops, Vancouver & Revelstoke Canada
  • I feel so blessed to have shared in the unique and wonderful experience that is Aroma Tours in Provence. Your respect for the people we visit and the knowledge that they offer is truly inspiring. Thank you for a truly special week.
    Caroline Noirjean Kangaroo Ground Australia
  • Just wanted to thank you both again for the wonderful Turkish Aromatic Odyssey. Sights and experiences were excellent and it was certainly a great group of people to travel with but your organisational skills, personal qualities and gifts and the special relationships you have developed over the years are what made it especially meaningful and memorable. Thank you.
    Margaret and Warwick Mirboo North Australia
  • Congratulations on a brilliantly diverse itinerary and fantastic organisation.We thoroughly enjoyed every moment of your tour. It was a pleasure to meet so many beautiful people with a good age mix and different perspectives on life. Many thanks and God bless. Julie & Colette Ritchie Sydney Australia
  • We have learned so much from you both-way beyond the knowledge of essential oils. The retreat transported us to a such a beautiful place - the village, the aromas, the vistas, the sounds and incredible conversations had us spellbound. Thank you - we are so grateful for this gift of grace. Gwen and Bob Gerrity Del Mar USA
  • You showed me how to reconnect with my heart, my feelings and my country. Thank you for your friendship. I will always be grateful to both of you.
    Edith Laidlow Dubai & St Raphael France
  • I really loved the retreat experience...the lavender fields...the learning... the laughter...all interconnected with great conversations.
    Deidre Casey Dublin Ireland
  • Thank you once again for giving me the opportunity to indulge all my senses and for sharing more wonderful places you have discovered over the years. I have learned so much and leave feeling stronger and soothed.
    Gwen Gleichman Yarramalong Australia
  • From the very first day I felt transported into another world far away from the demands of a hectic business life. The retreat has not only been educational but a powerful spiritual journey amongst the beautiful French lavender. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your care and support. You have a unique gift.
    Kaye Monarski San Mateo USA
  • Many thanks for showing us the magic of the Perigord Noir. The memories are always more special when seen through the 'lens' of Aroma Tours.
    Jodye and Suzanne Anzalotta New York USA
  • I have had such a wonderful time. Thank you. See you next week in Turkey!
    Liza Bush North Caulfield Australia
  • As always, another remarkable and relaxing journey. Thank you.
    Gina Arents Lutherville USA
  • The tour was spectacular and joyous and I am indebted to both of you for getting me back in touch with feelings I have not recognized in a very long time. Thanks for putting me back on track at the person I truly love - ME! Your personal story is beautiful and inspirational and I truly feel blessed that I had a chance to cross paths.
    Susan Greenspan Sayreville USA

Flavours of Spain - Our Exciting New Tour

We are thrilled to announce that next May we will be offering our wonderful new Flavours of Spain Tour a delightful gastronomic pilgrimage that explores the exceptional cuisine, incredible wines, rich culture and sweeping beauty of North Eastern Spain.

Our journey will take us from Rioja Alavesa, one of the world's premier wine regions, along the legendary path of the Camino de Santiago, to the magnificent coastline of the Bay of Biscay renowned for its beauty and culture and for being the home of the highest concentration of Michelin starred restaurants in the world.

We will experience enchanting villages, glorious seaside vistas, stunning architecture, lush vineyards, delicious wines, colourful markets, a fascinating tapas cooking class, ancient abbeys, amazing art, beautiful countryside and fascinating historical visits.

We have compiled a page of photos of our Flavours of Spain tour for your viewing pleasure and we are greatly looking forward to sharing this delightful new tour with our guests 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

Autumn in Italy - Va Bene

In response to the significant number of requests we receive each year to offer our Italian Aroma Tours in autumn, we have decided that next year we will change the dates for our Italian adventures from May to September.

We look forward to sharing the beauty of Italy in the fall with our Aroma Travellers next year and although we have greatly enjoyed journeying in the Italian spring in the past, we are equally looking forward to the glorious colours and seasonal delights awaiting us in autumn.

The autumn dates have been available on our site for a while now and have proved to be very popular.

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

Our Current Booking Status

All is now well under way for next year's tour season and Robbi and I are thrilled to see the fabulous early response to our 2012 offerings with Aromas of Tuscany and our Bali Women's Retreats already well on their way to being fully booked.

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 Aromatic 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 we invite you to get in touch with us either by email at info@aroma-tours.com or by phone on: +613 5331 3254 (afternoon/evening USA time zones, mornings from other countries). 

Please note

  • Our up-to-the-minute booking status is available via our calendar page
  • If the tour you would like to attend becomes fully booked you may like us to add you to that tour's waiting list as sometimes we receive late cancellations or transfers.

Delights of Bordeaux and Dordogne

Our Flavours of Dordogne Tour which was held for the first time this year, was a resounding success, with many delicious and memorable moments shared with our guests.

We started well with a visit to one of Bordeaux's most prestigious Grand Cru Class� wineries to enjoy a tasting of their world renowned wines, followed by a wonderful gourmet meal in a small family owned restaurant nestled in a beautiful perched village.

Our time together included many wonderful gastronomic meals, however, one of the most enjoyable for me was in a tiny newly opened brassiere owned by Raphael and his lovely wife Yvette, who also happened to be the chef.  I am a huge fan of duck and though I knew that the food was very good, Yvette produced for us one of the finest examples of magret de canard [with a creamy cepe sauce] that I have ever tasted.

In addition to savouring many other gastronomic delights it was also a joy to explore the unspoilt beauty of this fascinating region with its sweeping river valleys, fortified medieval chateaux, colourful markets, magnificent gardens, pre-historic sites, spectacular caves and some of the most beautiful villages in France.

It will be our pleasure to return to Dordogne next May and we are greatly looking forward to sharing many more delightful moments with our guests in this glorious region.

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

Rene - The Final Farewell

This summer during our time in Provence, Robbi and I were saddened by the loss our dear friend Rene, who we have known since the very beginning of our Aroma Tours adventures.

We have shared a wonderful journey with this humble yet profoundly passionate man of the land, who began his life working with aromatic plants as a boy, harvesting wild lavender on the hillsides above his home.

 Rene was arguably the first person to begin organic cultivation of aromatic plants in Provence and spent most of his working life as a master distiller creating some of the world's finest essential oils. These oils found there way into many familiar and prestige brands but underneath it all was Rene's skill, passion, incredible dedication and hard work.

We were privileged to be able to spend some time with Rene in the local hospital during his last days, chatting, reminiscing and crying too, I might add.

Rene spoke of being ready for l'autre c�t� [the other side] and as we were leaving, he said, "see you there one day and blew us a kiss" - One week later he peacefully passed away.

How honoured we are to have shared our journey with this wonderful man, who will live on forever in our hearts!

Provence Skincare and Wellbeing Retreat

We are very pleased to announce that next year's Provence Skincare and Wellbeing Retreat will once again feature Mindy Green formerly of Aveda (USA) and Megan Larsen of Sodashi Skin Care (Australia) who will join us in our tiny village amongst the lavender fields to share their wonderful knowledge.

 This will undoubtedly be another awesome week of enhanced learning and practical applications.

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.

Whether you are actively beginning to create a successful skincare and wellbeing business or simply have an interest in natural skin care, this week will deepen your practical and theoretical knowledge on the use of essential oils and associated disciplines, for the creation of natural skincare products and for the maintenance of wellbeing.

Guest Comments

"I came here with certain expectations and this week has been far beyond what I could have imagined. All my senses have been awakened and I feel honoured and grateful to have attended the retreat. I return home with happiness in my heart." Kate Nilsen-Nygaard, Marne Norway

"I return to the USA confident and inspired to put into practice the wonderful things I have learned. What a beautiful, magical week - thank you." Toni Jacoby, Phoenix USA

"I have been blessed to be at this wonderful retreat. What an incredible wealth of knowledge, set amongst the beauty of the  lavender fields. Thank you for creating such a powerful healing space. With gratitude and love."  Marinalva do Vale Souza,  Indaiatuba Brazil

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

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

"And while beneath an autumn sky,
The atmosphere is redolent,
Within my hammock long I lie,
And breathe the grapes' unrivalled scent;
Then close my eyes and dream I see,
Beyond Atlantic's broad expanse,
The vineyard slopes of Italy,
Or vintages of happy France."
 
 ~ from The Smell of Grapes by Hattie Howard

  • Thanks by our dear friend Deborah Zube Greenbaum

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 with 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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