Friday, April 15, 2011


@Institut du Mono'i

The weather has been amazing for the past few weeks here in Tahiti... Living in a place where it's summer all year round, you sometimes forget the simple joy of a sunny day. As I know most of you are heading towards winter, I thought I’d share a little secret with you so you too can enjoy a bit of my paradise all year long. If you can’t come to Tahiti (yet), bring Tahiti to you, wherever you are.
When I lived in Europe, I missed my paradise islands, especially during those long cold winter months, so I always had a bottle of Mono’i oil with me. It was a bit of paradise in a bottle.

For those of you who don’t know Mono’i, keep reading, you are going to absolutely want a bottle or two! For those of you who think you know Mono’i, keep reading, you might learn something new.

Did you know?
As natural oils are the newest trend in skin and hair care, Mono’i is becoming a hot product on the beauty scene and today more than 250 beauty brands (among them names such as Chanel, Dior, Mac, Schwarzkopf, Estée Lauder, Nars, to name just a few) use Mono’i de Tahiti as the signature ingredient of their creams, hair products and even lipsticks or foundations.

Nars Monoi Body Glow, voted one of the 5 sexiest beauty products

what's all the fuss about?
For centuries, the beauty of Polynesian women has been at the center of travelers’ accounts upon returning from Tahiti and at women all over the world have been trying to uncover the secret to the vahine’s legendary beauty. How could they too have smooth golden skin and long shinny hair? Once again, this ancient secret can be found in our legends, in our culture, in our nature, in our legacy: Mono’i, the sacred perfumed oil. This miracle oil is a unique blend of fresh Tiare (gardenia taitensis) flower essence, known for its soothing and purifying properties, and refined Polynesian coconut oil. Another great tradition which was once a privilege of the arii, the Polynesian royalty and remains part of our everyday way of life.

@ Institut du Mono'i

The legend of Mono’i

It is said when Tane was born, he had the appearance of a giant jellyfish, a shapeless mass. So his father Ta’aroa, the god of creation, used Mono’i to give Tane a perfect skin, and turn him into a man of infinite beauty, making him the the god of beauty and of all beautiful things.

The traditional uses of Mono'i
This elixir of the gods not only has a divine intoxicating smell which will transport you to far away islands and white beaches, it also has myriads of unique exotic properties. In addition to being used in sacred rituals by priests, Mono'i was used essentially as a skin and hair cosmetic, but also as part of traditional medicine. Women used it as a moisturizer for their skin and hair as well as an alternative to perfume. It was also used in traditional massages on both newborn and adults. Basically, Mono'i seems to have all the qualities one could hope to find in a product: moisturizing, protective, nourishing, aphrodisiac, therapeutic, etc.

@Mono'i addict

Mono'i in the modern world
One could think that Mono'i would have been relegated to the status of a grandmother's remedy and forgotten. Yet, as many of our traditions, it has found its place in our modern lives. The traditional uses have been preserved and cosmetic companies around the world have revisited Mono'i de Tahiti to create new products and rituals with this exceptional oil in the era of wellbeing.

Fun with Mono'i
So you still think Mono'i is not for your? Wait, I haven't finished. If you are not into spa treatments, wellness and cosmetics in general, there are other ways you can enjoy Mono'i! Here are a few examples:

Mono'i Battle: take a few paintball guns or water pistols, add two teams of modern warriors, put them on a white sand beach and let the fun begin! 

  • Cosmetic Academy: an original concept introduced by the Laboratoire de Cosmétologie du Pacific Sud, this competition invites aspiring creators to discover the universe of cosmetic products and try to create an original product with Mono'i as its main ingredient. A fun and great way to discover all the different Polynesian products and types of Mono'i available. The contest is open to French residents with the possibility of winning a trip to Tahiti & her islands. See the creators live on

  • The Mono'i route: the first tourist road dedicated to Mono'i in Tahiti, with an itinerary of 22 "à la carte" stops, embark on an unforgettable discovery of nature, culture and the art of caring for you skin and hair.
@Institut du Monoi
A few things you should know 
  • Make sure you're buying the proper stuff! Many people buy oil calling itself Mono'i thinking that they are getting their paradise in a bottle only to discover that the oil they bought wasn't even made in Tahiti! Before buying, make sure the stamp of Appellation of origin is on the bottle!
@ Institut du Mono'i

  • Temperatures below 20°C cause Mono'i to solidify, DO NOT PANIC! Just place your bottle in the sun or under warm water and it will liquify again. The quality will not be affected.
If you know of any other fun or original ways to use Mono'i, please share with us!

Still not convinced that Mono'i should be on your must have list of beauty products? Find out more about Mono'i on these sites:


  1. Loving your post on Mono'i....
    I'm off to the shops to get me some..!!
    Thank you Gina B.

  2. don't forget to let us know which scent u chose!!! Today, it's sandal wood for me.



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