In Ma’ohi, mono’i means fragranced or sacred oil. The meaning of Monoï indicates its traditional uses. In the Islands, Monoï oil has been an integral part of Polynesian life for over 2,000 years.
Newborn babies are gently massaged with Monoï oil by their mothers. The massage starts at the top of the head (nini) and follows the energy lines of the body towards the extremities. It stimulates the psychomotor development of the child and conditions his or her skin, offering nourishment and protection.
Tahitians use Monoï as a genuine second skin, the properties of which can be modulated with different plants. Monoï keeps you warm when bathing in a river, when made with Miri it protects you from evil spirits, or with Rea Tahiti it provides protection against sun damage…
In the Marquises Islands, the Humuei is a type of Monoï obtained by macerating selected fragranced plants to attract the loved one. Monoï is also greatly appreciated by Tahitians for nourishing their long and thick hair, dried up by the sun, sea salt and winds.
In the preparation of Monoï de Tahiti AO (Appellation of Origin), the flower is used fresh, gathered in the morning, at the bud stage and macerated within a maximum of 24 hours. The maceration in refined coprah oil lasts for a minimum of 10 days during which the beneficial compounds of the flower are extracted. The active oil is then carefully filtered.
Today, Monoï de Tahiti® has become the ambassador of this culture. It acts as an inspiration for the most prominent brands in the cosmetic industry - they carry the Spirit of Monoï and spread a unique “art de vivre”.
All year long, on the lovely island of Tahiti, you will be able to meet people who know all about how this precious oil is made and discover Polynesian beauty rituals: nature, culture, body-care – all you have to do is choose!
Two formats are available:
• create your own Monoï Road®: wherever you may be, whether you’ve just a few hours to spend or a whole day, there’s a choice of 22 stops.
• ask a tourism professional to suggest where to go and organize your transport: ask your travel agent to suggest some stops they think you might like plus whatever services you may require (transport, guide etc).
More information: www.monoiaddict.com
From the wild orchids species, the first vanilla plants were introduced in Polynesia in 1848 by Admiral Hamelin. Planted in the Governor's garden in Papeete, the vanilla aromatica species imported from the Philippines developed quickly. In the following decades, other varieties of this wild orchid were imported from the Antilles and Mexico. Intensive farming began around 1890 and spread quickly to all the high islands. The best liked species today (vanilla tahitensis) comes from long gone cross-breeding and, due to a generous climate, makes it possible to produce one of botanic's greatest success. Vanilla farms are located in valleys with moist soil, rich in humus. The islands of Tahaa and Huahine produce the quasi totality of the local vanilla commonly found in the Papeete market and most grocery stores in the islands. From over 200 tons in the early 20th century, exports fell to 3 tons in the 70's and 80's. More recently production has increased to reach an annual level of 25 to 30 tons, with 70% of the production coming from the island of Tahaa.