A warm welcome to all of the members of our Aroma Tours Newsletter in over 30 countries around the world.
Robbi and I trust that you have had a wonderful Festive Season and we wish you peace and prosperity in the year ahead.
We have enjoyed a much needed break with our dear friends and family and with hearts filled, and batteries recharged, we are now busy preparing for this year's Aroma Tours season, which is continuing to astound and delight us with almost all of our tours now down to the last few places!
As always it is our returning guests and their friends who are leading this fabulous response.
We feel truly blessed to be able to share our passion for the places and experiences that we love with wonderful people from around the world and as we start to throttle back on the number of tours we are offering it becomes even more poignant for us.
Robbi and I hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you to share a delightful and delicious journey with us and to enjoy the wonderful people, places, fabulous cuisine, culture and experiences that we love to share with our guests from around the world.
Without doubt, the main reason that we have grown and flourished over the years, is the on-going support we have received from our past Aroma Travellers, and we are once again thrilled to see that they will be making up over 60% of our guests!
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.
Robbi and I also greatly appreciate the wonderful words of thanks we have received over the years and have added a new compilation of Guest Comments to our site.
One of the best ways to enjoy the spirit of our Aroma Tours adventures is by taking a peek at a few of the 1000's of photos we have taken during our travels.
Here is a sample from our 2016 adventures.
Of all the regions that we visit, Provence has a special place in our hearts. It is where our Aroma Tours began over two decades ago and where we first fell in love with another land.
Returning to our second home in Provence is always a delight and it is our passion to share and explore the many wonders and hidden gems of this beautiful region during our Heart of Provence, Essential Provence and Aromas of Provence tours.
"To be in Provence is to be in a joyful dream full of beauty and delight." ~ Jean Moreau
Please join us in this beautiful land and it will be our great pleasure to share the wonderful places, people and experiences that we love with you.
Bookings for our 2017 season are continuing wonderfully well with most of our tours now down to the last few places and several soon to be fully booked.
Robbi and I hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you and we invite you to get in touch with us shortly for further information or if you would like to secure your place.
The current booking status at the time of this newsletter is:-
|2017 Tour Season
|Flavours of Spain
|22 - 29 May 2017
|Spanish Gourmet Pilgrimage
|29 May - 5 June 2017
|Heart of Provence
|12 - 19 June 2017
|19 - 26 June 2017
|Aromas of Provence
|30 June - 7 July 2017
|Provence Aromatherapy Retreat
|7 - 14 July 2017
|Aromas of Tuscany
|5 - 12 September 2017
|Flavours of Italy
|12 - 19 September 2017
|Bali Women's Retreat
|2 - 9 September 2017
|Bali Women's Retreat
|11 - 18 September 2017
Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin were first introduced to one another in Paris by Vincent's brother Theo, who was both Vincent's
patron and Gauguin's art agent in Paris.
Gauguin, already a successful painter in his own right, was enthralled when he was introduced to Vincent's vibrant painting of two sunflowers in a vase which revealed to him the artistic genius lurking within Vincent's complex and often gruff character.
Both artists increasingly found the Parisian art scene overwhelming and full of egos and criticism, although they both benefited from the influences of the Impressionists, Pointillists, neo-Impressionists and newly popular Japanese artworks during that time.
As a result of these tensions, Vincent decided to relocate to the south in February 1888, away from the darkness of Paris and into the luminous light of Provence.
It was Vincent's dream to create an artist's community - a "Studio of the South" - to attract other innovative artists in order to share skills and inspiration and influence each another's artistic growth. For this artist's utopia he enigmatically chose a small yellow house in the seedy district of the unremarkable and rather conservative town of Arles on the Rhone river.
On his arrival, Van Gogh was immediately inspired by the beauty of the Provencale countryside and started painting at break-neck speed, experimenting with strong, contrasting colours ( yellow was his favourite ) and creating his own vibrant images of reality.
With Theo's prompting, Gauguin agreed to join Vincent in Arles that October and initially it seemed that Vincent's dream of an artist's commune was coming to fruition.
In the beginning they worked closely together, painting the scenes and people around them, sharing portrait sessions and communing at length. As a result their styles began moving closer together: Gauguin encouraged Vincent to paint more from memory rather than his usual spontaneous "in-the-moment" fashion and Vincent helped Gauguin to explore new colour possibilities and apply his paint with more intensity.
As the weeks passed, Vincent's erratic nature and personal intensity, as well as Gauguin's egoism and reluctance to praise Vincent's work, coupled with their fundamentally different philosophies and constant close proximity, led inevitably to friction and
Gauguin's paintings began to sell and gain celebrity in Paris ( unlike Vincent who considered his work too primitive and undeveloped to exhibit ) and he began to question the wisdom of remaining so far from the action, with a man whose mental unraveling was becoming more pronounced by the day.
Vincent responded to Gauguin's increasing fretfulness by working with fierce intensity, producing 25 pictures during what was to be a very eventful December. He was often drunk and exhausted and constantly fearful that Gauguin was going to abandon him.
On 23 December 1888, frustrated and ill, Van Gogh confronted Gauguin with a cutthroat razor, then afterwards, full of remorse and in panic, he fled to a local brothel where he cut off part of his ear.
Gauguin left Arles on Christmas Day and the two painters never saw each other again.
Vincent continued to deteriorate and spent his time in and out of hospital, eventually being driven out of Arles by the townsfolk and not long afterwards he admitted himself to the mental asylum of St Paul de Mausole where he continued to paint prolifically and produced some of his greatest works.
To walk in Vincent's footsteps and stand in the actual places where he created some of the world's most famous artworks is a very moving experience. One can almost imagine the easel and peasant's chair with Vincent's gaunt form shaded by his painter's straw hat intently capturing the "true reality" around him.
As well as couples and friends travelling together, we are regularly joined by solo travellers - mostly women, who appreciate being able to journey with liked minded people from around the world, without the need to do all the planning and take on the daunting task of touring by themselves.
Joining one of our small group tours is easy and we have already made all of the arrangements on your behalf to ensure that you have a delightful, stress-free holiday with the focus on having fun.
Having a ready-made group of friends to travel with, and us to take wonderful care of you is the way to go!
We have carefully crafted off-the-beaten-path itineraries that are the perfect balance of structure, experiences, details and free time to enjoy in your own way.
There have been a significant number of guests over the years who and have joined us multiple times, some of whom have become dear friends.
Robbi and I look forward to welcoming you to one of our delightful tours or retreats as we continue moving towards our retirement in the next few years.
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim and Robbi