The Beauty Product from Another Country I’m Irrationally Obsessed With column features international beauty gems that cross my path about which I feel you, the reader, are on a need-to-know.
In June, I journeyed to Tahiti with Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price, the tourism aspect of which I covered here and here. But what I didn’t cover was the tour we took, The Monoi Road or La Route Du Monoi en Francais. Monoi is made of coconut oil and the native Tahiti tiare flower. The flora is indigenous only to French Polynesia, rendering it a Champagne situation if a counterfeit version is produced and hailed as monoi. Read on…
There are 22 stops on The Monoi Road and we made quite a few of them, led by the fearless Eric Vaxelaire, Director of The Monoi Road. We learned about how the oil is used to practice Taurumi, the ancient art of Tahitian massage, about how the coconuts are gathered and processed into oil in factories and in small mom and pop shops, how monoi is produced en mass and entirely by hand. We even discovered that one gentleman uses the stomach of a HERMIT CRAB to speed the fermentation process of the monoi when making it by hand.
My favorite stop? The headquarters of Parfumerie Tiki, the most delightfully designed monoi items EVER. I first discovered this family-owned company’s delights at Long’s Drugstore in Hawaii, when I was visiting Erika last year. I purchased as many bottles of the vanilla and coconut iterations of the oil as I could fit in my luggage. From soaps to perfumes to shower gels, this brand boasts incredible quality at reasonable prices. They were the first to include the tiare flower in the bottle simply as a marketing tool in 1942.
The people of Polynesia use monoi for EVERYTHING. Bug bites, hair hydration, pimples, rashes, massage, instead of body lotion. It offers endless utility, much like Windex did for Toula Portokalos’ father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Learn more about Parfumerie Tiki in Tahiti here.
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