Discovering Monoï, this treasure of Polynesia…
A prodigious care oil for skin or hair, Monoï is the emblematic INGREDIENT of summer. Resulting from the meeting of Coconut Oil and Tiare Flower, it is at the heart of Tahitian customs. Know-how and care rituals that are passed down from generation to generation to perpetuate the tradition for more than 2000 years.
Embark today towards Tahiti and its heavenly beaches to discover this Polynesian treasure!
“'ia ora na”
An ancestral history
More than 2000 years ago, the Maohis settled on the islands of Polynesia and created Monoï which means “fragrant oil”. This oil accompanied them from their birth to their death during religious ceremonies. It was applied to the bodies of newborns to prevent their skin from becoming dehydrated in hot weather and from cooling when temperatures were cooler. During embalming, it was used to perfume the body and help the soul of the deceased travel to the afterlife.
A little paradise on earth, the waters of the South Pacific have attracted many foreign sailors. One of them, James Cook, discovered Tahiti between 1768 and 1771 and mentioned in his logbook this sacred oil with which the Polynesians coat their bodies.
Little LOVE anecdote:
Looking for true love in Polynesia? The Tiare Flower symbolizes love. So if you ever come across someone wearing it on their right ear, that person is single... If it's on their left ear, move on, they're not available!
Monoï has always been part of their way of life, with each family producing its own Monoï. The family “mamas” prepared this oil themselves by collecting coconuts and Tiare flower buds at dawn. They then collected the coconut flesh and pressed it to obtain oil in which the flowers macerated for several days. Even today, we find this traditional Monoï called the “Monoï des Mamas”. Emblem of Polynesia, the Tiare Flower was also used by women to perfume their hair and adorn their traditional costumes and headdresses. At the beginning of the 1940s, the Tiki perfumery decided to manufacture and market its Monoï. Since then, Monoï and its fabulous benefits have been exported internationally. This ingredient is today very popular with women looking for care, escape and sunshine.
Due to the expansion of Monoï around the world, this oil has often been imitated and misused. In the 1980s, many oils actually came from Asia. To ensure its authenticity, its provenance and its manufacturing process, Monoï de Tahiti was officially recognized in April 1992 by the Appellation of Origin. To be sure you are buying real Monoï, check that the label “Monoï de Tahiti, Appellation d’Origine” appears on the product.
Monoï de Tahiti - Appellation of Origin - remains very faithful to the recipes of Tahitian “mamas”. It had to undergo some transformations in order to meet the high demand and exports. So, fresh Coconut Oil was replaced by Copra Oil. This oil is made from coconut flesh dried in the sun for 7 days which is then crushed and heated to collect the oil.
The Tiare Flower only lives for one day, in the morning it opens and in the evening it dies. The buds are therefore quickly picked at dawn before the dew alters their benefits. The flowers are then added to the oil (10 buds minimum per liter of oil) and infuse for 10 days. At the end of this period, the Monoï is ready and divinely scented.
The beauty secret of the vahinés
The beauty of Polynesian women no longer needs to be proven, their hair and sublime skin make us all dream. Monoï de Tahiti is a must-have in their care kit. And if when we say Monoi, you instantly think of summer, you are mistaken... Yes, Yes, this oil is also used to combat the cold! Long wrongly considered as a sun oil, it is its moisturizing and restorative properties that make it an ideal treatment all year round.
If Monoï is such a popular treatment, it is thanks to the richness of its unique ingredients. The emblematic flower of Tahiti, the Tiare, is an incomparable source of active ingredients which give it an essential role in traditional medicine “Ra'au Tahiti”. But it is in Monoï that it reveals all its soothing, moisturizing and softening properties. Coconut Oil, rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, protects the skin and penetrates easily to restore soft and supple skin.
Thanks to its properties, Monoï is ideal for taking care of damaged skin. It stimulates cell renewal for repaired and soothed skin. A little extra, it enhances your tan in summer and satinizes the skin to give it an ultra-natural golden tan.
The Tahitian secret to having supple and silky hair? Apply Monoï to their lengths and ends to nourish and protect the hair. If you have fine hair, apply the oil to damp hair to avoid the greasy effect. Shine and strength guaranteed!
Monoï de Tahiti is also ideal for treating yourself to a moment of well-being. Oil is at the heart of an ancestral Polynesian art, Taurumi. Traditional massage, it reestablishes the links between the body, heart and soul to ensure protection and power. Its sweet scent allows the mind to escape and the body to relax. If you can't immediately leave everything and go to Tahiti (!) you can do a self-massage by pouring a few drops of oil into the palm of your hands. And if someone can do it for you, even better! You can also put a few drops of oil in your bath for a delicious moment of relaxation.
Its delicious fragrance with sweet and sunny notes will transport you to the white sand beaches of Tahiti. Otherwise, apply a few drops of oil directly to your skin so that the Tiare Flower and Coconut leave their solar imprint in your wake.
Tip for future mothers: Monoï is the favorite treatment of Polynesians to limit the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy. It allows the skin to be deeply hydrated and softened. A well-kept secret that Tahitian women pass from mother to daughter.
Monoï, this beauty ritual of the vahinés now has no secrets for you!