Opening a bottle of monoi oil from Tahiti is like starting a journey of the senses that will take you straight to the fine sandy beaches under the sun of the antipodes. During your stay in French Polynesia, you will not fail to smell these particular and bewitching fragrances.
The Tiare flower
The white, or more rarely yellow, flowers produced by the Tahitian Tiare flower shrub are harvested at the bud stage. At the latest the day after the harvest, the harvested buds are macerated in coconut oil for a minimum of ten days. No less than ten flowers per liter of oil are needed for the preparation. A decantation, a filtration and an addition of antioxidant will follow before giving the monoi oil. This thousand-year-old recipe is now accompanied by an appellation d’origine contrôlée, a label that assures you of a natural product that is faithful to Polynesian traditions.
Body and hair care
Legend has it that Tane had the physique of a jellyfish, which was not very appealing. The creator god Ta’aroa used what Nature offered him to give Tané a perfect skin. Tane became the Tahitian god of beauty and monoi became an important part of Polynesian daily life. In French Polynesia, monoi is a commonly used product, unlike in Europe where it is only associated with sunny vacations. In the islands, mothers give monoi massages to children from an early age to stimulate their psychomotor development. Monoi oil acts as a body care and pharmacopoeia product.
Its moisturizing virtues make it an essential ally for skin and hair care. Applied on clean and wet skin, it helps to fight against dryness. Pregnant women will be happy to know that the application of monoi on the belly helps to fight against stretch marks. Its use also acts as a barrier against the cold, so it is not by chance that fishermen coat themselves with it to remain sealed against the cold and the aggressions due to the salt. Dry and dehydrated hair regains its softness when monoi is used as a mask or conditioner. When massaged, monoi oil soothes the tensions of the body and mind. Some even say that it is an aphrodisiac…
Be careful not to use it as a replacement for a sun product, as it does not contain a UVA or UVB filter and could damage your hair if you apply it in the sun. On the other hand, it will soothe your redness and sunburns and will help your tan last longer and become more sublime. Below 24 degrees, your oil will freeze, remember to put it under hot water to recover its virtues intact.