Friday, August 5, 2011


@ Monoi Road

If you are on holidays in Tahiti & her islands, you will probably want to bring some Monoi and other local cosmetics back for your friends and family. After all, it is the oil of the gods and makes a wonderful gift. Of course, you can go to the Papeete Market or any curious shop and find what you are looking for...however, if you want to make it truly special and have an experience out of the ordinary, then the Laboratoire de cosm├ętologie du Pacifique Sud is the place for you.

Stop 16 on the Monoi Road, in Papara, the laboratory does not only produce gorgeous products from Tahiti & her islands (I would recommend the Gold Sublime Body Lotion without hesitation), it also offers its visitor a journey into the world of beauty and cosmetology. 

Olivier, explaining how it all works @ Labo du formulateur

Olivier Touboul will welcome you at the lab and take you through the various vegetal and mineral substances Polynesia's nature has to offer and through the different stages of creating your own cosmetics.

@ Cosmetic Academy

Explore and discover traditional phytotherapy through the laboratory's unique portfolio of natural extracts, vegetal oils and exfoliating powders to create a truly unique product. Open the door to the secrets of Tahitian beauty and loose yourself in the exciting world of cosmetology.

Monoi galore!

                                                           so many ingredients to choose from @ Labo du formulateur

Discover the tens of different monoi oils available, from the traditional monoi, combining the properties of Tiare and coconut, to original oils, a combination of monoi and plants (pineapple, basil, cinnamon, lime, frangipani, etc.) or even fragranced oils (ylang ylang, sandalwood, etc.). Be inspired by the palette of fragrances available to you, from the sweet smell of vanilla to the musky sandalwood.


Learn about the specific properties of each plant and design your own product, whether it be an oil, a gel or a cream... Mix the oils that you prefer with your favorite fragrances. You can even add some glitter,    sand, pearl extract and coloring to make it really special and unique.
concentration is key 
The magic is happening

I was lucky enough to visit the laboratory twice. The first time I created a regenerating balm, rich and creamy, with a smell of caramel and golden glitters. Today, I went back to participate to the famous Cosmetic Academy contest. Participants create a product and the marketing around it and the lucky winner will see his creation sold in Tahiti, France and Canada. This year's theme was the Heiva. 

My lovely assistant for the day, showing me the long list of ingredients and their properties

I had a great time and came back home with 2 jars of hydrating gel that I truly love. The consistency, the smell and the feel of it are tailored to my taste. I spent the day testing oils, discovering their properties, their texture, their smell (no not all oils were made equal). Verdict: my favorite monoi for properties is most definitely Kaupe (and it doesn't hurt that such companies as Chanel have used it in their products).

After testing all the Monoi oils in the lab, I finally chose the 2 I wanted to use, Kaupe and passion fruit.

My 6 secret ingredients

Then I went onto testing fragrances, mixing them, smelling them to create the perfect (well almost) balance of Tiare, Jasmin, Vanilla and Sandalwood. And finally, I played with coloring and glitters trying to decide what the gel should look like... I wanted my gel to be special,  a tribute to the bodies of the dancers and athletes I see performing year after year at the Heiva; languorous, mysterious, alluring.

Finally, find a name for your creation: mine was called Arearea (Pleasure). Be original, be unique, this is a truly beautiful experience. You may not become an expert on Monoi (although I can say that I have tested and smelled most of them), but you will most definitely have a lot to talk about when you go back home!

Have you visited the Lab? Please share your experiences with us!

Location: PK 39,5 mountain side, Papara, Tahiti, French Polynesia
Stop 16 on the Monoi Road
Tel: 77.37.64
Open all week
A session lasts approximately 4 hours

1 comment:

  1. Little update dear readers, I am one of the 10 finalists of the Cosmetic Academy competition!!! Very excited!



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