Out of all the wonderful specialty oils with long histories of use in exotic and wonderful places, Monoi de Tahiti may be the most exotic. It’s from Tahiti, and has been made for over 2000 years. It’s the result of macerating the blossoms of the tiare flower (also called the Tahitian Gardenia) in virgin coconut oil, giving us a beautiful oil with all the benefits of coconut oil and the exotic, intoxicating scent of the tiare flower.
While beautiful, the scent of Monoi de Tahiti is very strong—you can smell it through the bottle. So, I like to blend it with virgin coconut oil, which not only dilutes the scent, but compliments it beautifully. The resulting oil maintains its 24°C melting point, so it tends to bounce between solid, soft, and liquid, depending on the ambient temperature. It’s fantastic for dry skin, and if you’re looking to do a hot oil treatment on your hair, it’s a great choice (I don’t really recommend hot oil treatments if you’re using homemade shampoo bars, though—they aren’t as strong as commercial shampoo and you’ll have a really hard time getting all the oil out).
The popularity of Monoi means fakes are common. It’s easy to add some artificial fragrance to some coconut oil, slap a label on it, and hope you don’t read the ingredients list. So, make sure the ingredients are just coconut oil and tiare flowers, and get yours from a reputable supplier. I got mine from Saffire Blue.
Coconut & Monoi Body Butter
Melt the two oils together and stir to combine. Store in a tin or wide mouthed bottle—tin if your ambient temperature is under 24°C, bottle if it’s over.