Brighton Festival ~ last weekend

It’s the last weekend for the Artists Open Houses Festival coming up. If you haven’t had a chance to come and visit us this month, then make time this Saturday or Sunday for a trip down to Brighton sea side ~it is a bank holiday weekend after all!

Here is a little taste of what has been going on here at NHR Organic Oils in our Workshop / Gallery / Garden, over the past few weeks:

Our opening party…with staff among photographs that continue into our office on the balcony.

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Our customers in our bottling workshop eating treats, amongst sculpture, vintage bags and lots of labels.

Party basement Lights

Some of our amazing Artists installing their stunning work, this is Artist ~Elizabeth Jardine with some of her papier-mache woodland creatures, that we are becoming rather fond of.

Artist ~Elizabeth Jardine with some of her papier mache wood land creatures that we are becoming rather fond of.

Artist ~Daniel Bell with one of his sculptures made from recycled material.

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The gorgeous girls at Fat Plants, who created art in our garden with their succulent plants.

Artist ~Kai Crick with some of his incredible photographs of Newhaven.

Butterflies and Leaves by Sally

Workshops have been taking place in our bottling room.  Here are some yummy creations that we all got to try out, made with NHR Organic Essential oil ingredients, mmm

Delicious treats in the pop up tea room.  The green raw chocolate brownies use Organic Peppermint Essential oil for flavour and spinach for colour! These have been the most popular sellers!


If that’s not enough to tempt you, then this weekend we have more FREE goody bags to give away with samples of our Organic Oils for you to try out.

We’ll have all the delicious Love~Bites gluten, dairy & sugar free cakes, teas and smoothies for you to enjoy in our lovely garden.

Heather from Love~Bites

And we still have another Screen Printing Workshop on Saturday morning with a few spaces left. Click here to book

This is one of Georgia Novis’ designs screen printed onto an organic cotton bag especially for NHR Organic oils. Click here to buy online.

One of Georgia Novis Screen Prints made especially for NHR Organic oils with our Turquoise shop front.

It’s bank holiday weekend, so perfect time to take a trip to the sea side, and pop in and visit us…

A perfect spot for tea and cake with the scent of our gorgeous oils.

A perfect spot for tea and cake with the scent of our gorgeous oils.

And one more thing ~ it smells just divine in our shop!

With love, all at NHR Organic Oils.


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Artists Open Houses Festival

NHR Organic Oils will be part of the Artists Open Houses Festival in Brighton, throughout the month of May this year.

We will be show casing local artists work at our shop and you will be able to view and buy amazing, unique, pieces of work.

Every weekend, from 11am -5pm we will have a pop up tea room run by Love~bites, serving delicious loose leaf teas, and various cakes and snacks, all gluten, dairy and sugar free of course.

Lets hope the weather perks up by then, and we’ll have seats outside for you to relax in the sunshine*

You can also book onto one of our workshops, and make the most of your trip, for details  click here

Artist showcasing their work in May are as follows:

Kai Crick ~ Photography,

Daniel Bell ~ Sculpter,

Georgia Novis ~Screen printing,

Sally Piller ~ Textiles,

Elizabeth Jardine ~Painter and Paper-Machier maker,

Fran Derbyshire ~Textile Reincarnation,

We hope to see you in May…


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Active LightWorks

Active LightWorks is a charity supported by NHR Organic Oils that provides complementary therapies to people in Brighton and Hove. Formed in 2006, we work with experienced qualified practitioners to provide very low cost and free access to therapies.

We carry out projects in the local community, and also at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and Royal Sussex County Hospital, and our main focus is on working with people who have chronic health issues.

We know from our own client feedback that complementary therapy can make a real difference, helping to relieve symptoms of chronic and acute illness. It can also help people to manage stress levels, and aid relaxation and sleep.

We offer a range of touch-based therapies including holistic massage, reflexology, shiatsu, reiki, Bowen therapy, Indian head massage and integrated energy therapy.

All 25 of our therapists are professionally qualified in their field and are comprehensively insured. They donate their time and services out of a genuine desire to make a difference and usually receive a small payment to cover expenses.

Our Hospital Projects

We currently have 7 therapists who volunteer on our hospital projects and we provide about 80 hours of therapy each month to approximately 80 patients and their families, at the two hospitals.

We give reiki therapy to children, babies and their families in the High Dependency Unit at the Royal Alex. The therapy has been really well received and parents will often ask to have reiki as well, which can help to relax them at what is often a very stressful time. The doctors and nurses are delighted that ALW are giving this therapy regularly and have asked for us to place more therapists in 2013.

We also provide light-touch massage therapy to patients in the Cancer Centre at the Royal Sussex and work primarily in the Chemotherapy Unit, the End of Life Care Unit and the Gynaecology Unit.

Community Projects

Over the past year, our new focus has been to work in partnership with other community groups on projects, where we run monthly events and provide a number of therapies using a shared space. This enables us to offer very low cost therapies for between £3 and £6 a session. Our aim is to build longer term relationships with these groups and we plan to run these projects for 6 to 12 months.

We currently give 35 hours of therapy per month on these projects.

Our current projects include:

1. The Dementia Café project – We were delighted to get funding from the Big Lottery Fund to run a 12 month project in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society. We offer hand and shoulder massage to people with dementia and their carers, who attend two monthly evening cafés in Brighton and Hove.

NHR Organic Oils logo
With thanks to the Big Lottery Fund and NHR Organic Oils for their support

The events have been really successful and we usually give hand massage to around 10 people at each café evening.

Since the project started in Nov we have given around 70 x 20 mins hand massages.

We have had feedback from the Alzheimer’s project manager and attendees that they really enjoy having the massage, and it is very relaxing and calming for those clients with dementia.

2. The Peer Action project – This is a 12 month project where we see people who are living with or affected by HIV. We have been able to offer a wide range of therapies including massage, reflexology, shiatsu, energy therapy, Indian head massage and Bowen therapy. These sessions are given for a low cost price of £6.

Since the project started in August 2012 and March we have given 110 half hour therapy sessions.

3. Elwyn Jones Court Project with the Elderly – We have recently set up a new 6 month pilot working in partnership with Brighton Council.

This is a monthly therapy event at Elwyn Jones Court Sheltered Housing Unit where we give 30 minute therapy sessions to the elderly residents who are based there for the low cost price of £3. We plan to offer therapy to 16 people each month.

Massage can have a positive impact on physical and mental health. Elderly people can often feel very isolated, so focused touch from a skilled therapist can help reduce these feelings and build a sense of connection.

New Therapists

We are always looking for new therapists to join us who can give massage, reflexology, Bowen, shiatsu, Indian head massage, reiki and energy therapy.

Similarly, we are still looking for project coordinators, who can run the monthly events.

Our therapists tend to volunteer for one or two events each month. We try to be as flexible as possible and are happy for people to volunteer for a couple of months and then take a couple of months off, if they need to.

We hope to increase the number of therapists and project coordinators we have as this will enable us to carry out more projects and bring more complementary therapy to our local hospitals and community.

Benefits of working with us include being part of a supportive team, receiving specialist training for continued professional development, and for newly qualified therapists, the chance to build up treatment hours.

If you are interested in joining Active LightWorks or have any friends who may be interested  see or contact our membership secretary Ewa at

Active LightWorks uses NHR Organic Massage Oils & NHR Organic Creams all donated free by NHR Organic Oils.

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Brighton Festival at NHR Organic Oils May 2013

4 different Brighton Fringe workshops during May 2013  at NHR Organic Oils Shop:

1. Essential oil Distillation~ New, exciting practical 2.5 hour workshop with NHR Organic Oils, learn how to distil your own Organic Essential Oils.

Sat 11th May 2013 15:00 – 17:30 Distillation workshop

2. A three day weekend Advanced NHR Distillation Course 3rd-6th May 2013 (or 6th-9th Sept 2013) **Places very limited* Click here for details

3. Love~bites Cooking class~ with organic essential oils, without dairy, gluten or sugar, includes tea &tasters.

Sat 4th May 2013 10:00 – 12:00 Essential Oil Cooking and Sat 18th May 2013 10:00 – 12:00 Essential Oil Cooking

4. Tea & Tea Towels~ screenprint your own tea towel by hand, all materials provided.

Fri 10 May 2013 18:30 – 21:00 Screen Printing and Sat 25 May 2013 10:00 – 12:30 Screen Printing

To book any of above workshops please call us on tel. 0845 310 8066 or email us on or to book a place online for the Advanced distillation course please click here

Artist Open Houses

NHR Organic Oils will be part of the Artists Open Houses festival this year…

What is Artists Open Houses?

Twice a year artists and makers open their houses and studios, providing art lovers the chance to browse and buy original artwork direct from the artist. With a focus on quality and value for money, the Artists Open Houses festival aims to bring a dynamic mix of arts and crafts to the widest possible audience, providing visitors and viewers with engaging and inspiring experiences.

Visitors can expect to see a wide range of art including jewellery, ceramics and textiles, paintings, sculpture, printmaking, photography and many other media whilst also having the opportunity to chat directly with the artists. The Artists Open Houses festival is free for visitors and open to everyone.


The festival runs during the Brighton Festival in May 2013.

The Artists who will be show casing their work at our venue are as follows:

Kai Crick

Daniel Bell

Georgia Novis

Sally Piller

Elizabeth Jardine


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Star Khechara

Star Khechara is co-teacher for our Diploma in Organic Essential oils that we run at The Mill Retreat in France.

As a self-confessed ‘Potion Geek’ Star is passionate about utilising the seemingly magical properties in pure essential oils for her work in the cosmetic industry. Here she gives you an insight into the fragrant path that led her to work with NHR Organic oils.

I’ve been fascinated by the healing properties of plants for as long as I can remember; from that first time at aged 8 when I saw someone drying Chamomile to make tea, to the exciting discovery of an old-fashioned cosmetic book on my mum’s bookshelf. I read everything I could about the oils and all of my spare money (which wasn’t a lot when I was 16) went on buying essential oils so I could ‘play’ with them. I was just as in love with the fragrance as with the medicinal properties that the books I read informed me of. Making incense and scented oils became a beloved pastime and I was desperate to learn more.

At age 18 I persuaded my family to pay for me to train in Aromatherapy and had dreams of having my own treatment room where I tended to the ills of the world with my aromatic medicine. Sadly, very quickly into the course I discovered that I hated touching people physically during the massage training and unfortunately – for some unknown reason – in the UK you have to practise massage to become an Aromatherapist. Downhearted but not defeated I continued with my studies in private and spent the next decade fervently creating skincare products and cataloguing my formulations. It wasn’t long before others starting noticing my skills and I was asked to write for a couple of niche magazines: Funky Raw and The Mother. I also overcame my nerves enough to start teaching workshops in DIY natural skincare and I discovered that I really got a kick out of seeing everyone’s faces light up when they successfully created their own products, teaching gave me a joy that aromatherapist training hadn’t and I realised I had found my ‘thing’.

Via a series of contacts, while in Spain, I happened to meet someone who was friends with the MD of a publishing house, and with all those great ‘coincidences’ I found myself with a publishing contract to write The Holistic Beauty Book (Green Books, 2008). Within a few years of publication, and due to email demand from my readers, I went on to create the School of Holistic Cosmetology, teaching the science and art of advanced skincare formulation.

I’ve always had very strong ideals and wanted my skincare concoctions to be as pure and as ethical as possible, I always sourced organic wherever possible and refused to use any ingredients that harmed the planet or animals. I was so happy to find NHR oils; Kolinka’s ethical philosophy totally mirrored my own and you can just tell by the oils themselves that you’re using something really special. I never once thought we’d meet and that I would be helping to create and teach the diploma course – as usual a series of coincidences was involved…

A friend forwarded a copy of the NHR newsletter where Kolinka had asked for a teaching assistant for the diploma course at The Mill; strangely for the last few months previous I’d been looking at the postcard of The Mill that arrives in my organic oil orders and thinking ‘I’m sure I should be involved in this’. Kolinka was asking for an Aromatherapist and I am not one, but being a proactive type I sent my CV off anyway and it was obviously meant to be as I am now co-teacher of the fantastic Diploma in Organic Essential Oils and I love it. I teach the cooking with essential oils, base oils blending, essential oil chemistry and organic standards of horticulture modules. The last 2 courses have been wonderful and I even gave an impromptu wild herb walk to pass on more of my plant knowledge.

I love teaching and empowering others with knowledge and new skills so they in turn empower and inspire others. Seeing the joy in the eyes of our students on the course is the best thing in the world when you are passionate about these precious gifts from nature.

I never thought that my childhood love for medicinal plants and essential oils would lead me through such an exciting career path, no matter what else happened in my life the oils were always playing their part – guiding me on, never letting me give up on my dream.

There is something quite intoxicating and magical about essential oils, every day they delight my senses and I feel blessed to have been brought to NHR to help deliver their training to others.

I hope to meet some of you on the next course!

Places are still available for 2013 courses so for more details or if you would like to book please CLICK HERE>

Star is the author of The Holistic Beauty Book and has developed world-class skincare formulation diplomas for School of Holistic Cosmetology You can also chat to Star on Facebook: and on Twitter: @PotionGeek

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Open Saturdays in December

We will be open on Saturdays in December ~on the 1st, 8th, 15th & 22nd, from 10am until 5.30pm.  As a treat and to  make Christmas shopping a little bit more fun we will be giving away samples of our brand new Organic Christmas Cake (gluten & diary free), some of our Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh Chocolate, and some lovely hot drinks too.

There are some gorgeous essential oils to try out as gifts or to help create a yummy, cosy feel in your home this month.  Our favourites are Organic Silver Fir, Tangerine, Clove and of course Organic Christmas Spice blend… not only delicious, they are powerfully cleansing and anti-microbial, a great way to support us over the winter months*

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Win an Organic Deluxe Christmas Gift box

‘Like’ us on Facebook this month for the chance to WIN a Deluxe Christmas Gift Box worth £60.

The gift box contains the following gorgeous products ~ Organic Frankincense oil 5ml, Organic sweet orange oil 10ml, Organic Silver Fir oil 10ml, Organic Massage & Bath blend 100ml, Organic Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh Chocolate 70g, Ceramic massage dish, Free Aromatherpy book ‘Essential Health’ by Kolinka Zinovieff

We also have special offers on the following oils this month:

10% off Organic Cajeput Essential oil a great oil to support colds and coughs at this time of year as it is anti-microbial, purifying and clearing.

15% off Organic Hazelnut Oil a lovely light oil for the skin, can also be used in cooking!

For Christmas gift ideas click here to see our website>

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Pumpkin Cake Recipe

In the spirit of Halloween this month, here is some inspiration for using NHR Organic Oils in this yummy recipe:


200g Ground Almond, 4 eggs, 175g NHR Organic Virgin Coconut oil, 85g honey (light & mild), 150g pumpkin, 1tspn ground clove, 1 1/2 tspn cinnamon, 1 1/2 tspn allspice, 2 level tbsn baking powder, 3 drops of NHR Organic Red Mandarin Essential Oil.


1. Cut the pumpkin into cubes and roast in a hot oven until cooked through. Allow to cool and sit for a few hours or over night to allow the juices to separate from the pumpkin. Discard the juices.

2. Melt and cool the NHR Organic virgin Coconut oil

3. Whisk the eggs til frothy and then add the 3 drops of NHR Organic Red Mandarin oil

4. Next add the honey and whisk again, and then add the coconut oil, whisking again

5. Add the spices and the baking powder to the ground almonds and mix through

6. Add the almond mix to the egg mixture stirring anti-clockwise as you go!

7. For the finale, add the pre-mashed pumpkin, gently mixing it in anti-clockwise

8. Pour the mixture into a lined loaf tin (you can divide into an individual muffin tin if you prefer but don’t forget to adjust the cooking time to about 25 minutes)

9. Place in to a pre-heated oven, gas 2/3, 160c for 40 minutes then cover with foil for the remainder 15mins or until cooked. Test with a skewer, it should come out clean. . . . Mmmmm. . . . ready to enjoy!

Cakes available to order from


Gluten & Dairy Free Cooking for everyone

Tel: 07743 806911




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Autumn 2012 Newsletter

Our second NHR Organic Essential Oil Course was held last month at the beginning of September at the Mill Retreat Centre, it is proving extraordinarily popular (See feedback below). It feels exciting to be running a course which is completely unique and so enjoyable, everyone is deepening their knowledge of how to make extremely high quality organic essential oils, all in the beautiful surroundings of the Mill Retreat Centre. People came from all across the world including Canada, the Far East, Australia, South Africa, and USA. Please read below why I set up this course.


The next NHR Organic Essential Oil Courses will be:

Friday 3rd to Monday 6th of May 2013 – There are a few places left.

Friday 6th to Monday 9th of September 2013

To book a place please or for more information on the course click here. We advise booking soon if you would like a place as the course is filling up fast, for the next in May 2013 and the September 2013.



EXCELLENT – I would highly recommend it. ….keep up this WONDERFUL WORK. I look forward to returning for another course. ……A1 – exceptional. F S

Kolinka’s – lovely energy and knowledge, heartfelt – passionate and good teacher. Dana

Perfect balance of theory/practice. Learnt so much yet never felt it was overwhelmingly busy. Mayella

10/10 being with like-minded people. I was really tentative about meeting so many strong people, but it was great. I was so pleased that I joined in (and enjoyed) everything – like the intuitive essential oil session, I leave feeling very uplifted and with lots of ideas. Food was great. Sherry

Practical hands on approach coupled with the holistic elements was so well balanced – thank you.

Great start – loved that it wasn’t filled with “knowledge” of the mental variety. Excellent. empathetic and allowing. The teaching was balanced and quite different to others – allowed real learning on many levels. Fabulous – wonderful to be so in touch with nature – and great food. Ann R.

The venue and the meeting of Kolinka. It was magical, special restful and spiritual. Kolinka was so special. C L

Why we set up the NHR Organic Essential Oils Course

After 20 years running NHR Organic Oils and now the Mill Retreat Centre, it felt it was the right time to share my experience, knowledge and interest in Organic Essential Oils with others. I found most of my aromatherapy training dry and theoretical. I did not gain much knowledge about essential oils themselves: how they are extracted, or what makes a really good quality organic essential Oil. I often found myself getting quite bored. I decided to start a course that would hopefully be breaking new ground. The aim is to make the courses at the Mill Retreat Centre as practical, enjoyable and fun as possible, and not to overwhelm people with intellectual knowledge. Instead of just giving lectures, the course is filled with original, dynamic, intuitive and scientific exercises. We distil our own organic essential oils on site. We plant and pick organic lavender plants in the Mill herb garden so that we can learn about cultivation and organic farming. We also have an onsite GLC Chromatograph for scientific analysis of oils. We also hand out a large Course hand book/curriculum, which can be read after the course to free up our time for practical work, hopefully satisfying the most demanding intellect.

There is also a Subtle Aromatherapy module where we intuitively explore the energetic properties of essential oils. When we trust our intuition; we then have the chance to become original, creative individuals. To quote good old Einstein “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

To be a good aromatherapist we need a better understanding of essential oils themselves, students are simply taught their therapeutic properties, but have never actually made or distilled essentials oils themselves, or even know much about how or why plants produce essentials or what makes a truly good high quality essential oil. These are some of the areas we are introducing into the New NHR Organic Oils Essential Oil School.

We will be planting and picking lavender plants in the Mill Herb Garden, learning about farming to Soil association organic standards, actually getting our hands dirty with soil and cutting and harvesting the flowers and leafs. Understanding what makes a truly healthy plant which in turn makes truly good quality oil.


Course Out line:

*Distillation of your own organic essential oils on site.

*Learning about the importance of organic farming to Soil Association standards, and growing aromatherapy plants in the Mill’s beautiful herb garden.

*The art of cooking with organic essential oils, to make delicious and nourishing meals exploring nourishment and nutrition.

*Exploring the subtle and energetic properties of essential oils, using colour, creativity and intuition.

*Learn the chemical constituents of organic essential oils and how these chemicals therapeutically affect the body. An explanation of GLC (Gas liquid Chromatography) charts.

*Learn the properties of 40 Organic Base Vegetable oils.

*Massage treatments with essential oils you have made yourself.

*Exercises and meditation.

*Lavender cupcakes made during the course.

*Cooking with Essential Oils.

The ‘NHR Organic Essential Oil Course’ is the first of many courses we are planning at the Mill Retreat Centre. Over the next three years, we aim to launch a range of courses from Beginners to Intermediate as well as a three-year degree course and a Postgraduate Master Degrees affiliated with a UK university. We are also working with a Japanese company who have a large number of students, all incredibly keen to join the course, so that will start up next year with translators. Japan has the strongest and most vibrant aromatherapy community. If you would like to help and get involved in these new projects, either as a student or as a teacher or curriculum writer, please contact us at the email below.


If you would like to book a place on the next NHR Organic Essential Oil Aromatherapy Course ~Weekend of Friday 3rd of May to Monday 6th of May 2013, £695 click here>

For more detail on the course click here>


The Mill Retreat Centre updates 2012:



We have just bought a charming tiny new electric car for the Mill, but what I feel so excited about is that we will use the River Mill wheel turbine to power it, so it will be charged from our own private 100% carbon neutral natural power source, the river. Completing the whole circle of energy production and transport in to a pollution free solution. Because the main problem with electric cars at the moment is you charge them from your mains socket which gets Mains electricity from quite high polluting sources e.g. Gas, coal, nuclear etc. (long term nuclear waste pollution)

See photo of our new little green Mill Retreat Centre car:

The Mill Retreat Centre turbine that generates free carbon and pollution free electricity from the river.




We have updated our minibus from the old 16 seater to a new 23 seater to accommodate large groups at the Mill. The minibus can pick you up from anywhere in the UK and drive you directly to the Mill Retreat Centre making getting there so easy and hassle free.



We have added a lovely new outside bedroom in the form of a beautiful Gypsy wagon which people staying at the Mill Retreat Centre can choose if they want, it has a luxurious huge queens size bed inside and a cosy heater, with stained glass window, and is situated just next to the river and lake. It is so fun to be in; we think it will be an idyllic option for people who like to be closer to nature.


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Please help NHR Organic Oils support the New Soil Association saving the bees campaign:


We need your help to keep Britain buzzing

Donate and receive your free seeds and badgeHuge numbers of bees have been lost in recent years, potentially jeopardising future food supplies. Their loss is a sign that something is badly wrong.

Keep Britain buzzing

  • We want neonicotinoid pesticides, widely used in agriculture and domestic gardens to be banned.
  • We want to promote bee-friendly organic farming and show that everyone can make a difference by simply changing their shopping habits.

You can support our work, protect bees, and keep Britain buzzing by donating to our campaign today. As a thank you we’ll send anyone who donates £5 or more a campaign badge and pack of bee-friendly organic phacelia seeds. TO DONATE  PLEASE CLICK HERE


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