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
1 part Monoi de Tahiti
5 parts virgin coconut oil
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.
I’m not familiar with your measurements. I was wondering if you could send me conversions of the different measurements that you use. Cups, ounces etc. for the recipes that you use them in. Thank You
Hi Crystal—In this recipe, I’ve used “parts”, which is not a unit of measurement, but a ratio system. A part can be anything you like, as long as you keep it consistent through the recipe. It could be a pound, 100g, a tablespoon, or the weight of your pet monkey 😉
As for converting metric measurements to the imperial system—I’d really recommend learning the metric system as it is both easy and awesome 🙂 Otherwise, just go to google and type in something like “10g in ounces”, and it will take you straight to a handy little calculator for converting measurements. Easy as pie! (This also works the other way around, of course!)
I’d like to make the coconut and monoi body butter for myself and for gifts …..where do I buy the monoi ??
Thank you !!
Saffire Blue 🙂
What is the difference between virgin coconut oil and just coconut oil that I buy at the grocery?
It’s generally the amount of processing—the thing you will notice most is the scent. Virgin coconut oil smells wonderfully coconutty, but straight-up coconut oil has generally been deodorized. You’ll also notice a price difference between food grade and cosmetic grade coconut oil, with the cosmetic grade being cheaper.
So, is there a difference between virgin and extra virgin?
From my research, no—the introduction of “extra virgin” into the coconut oil world is a marketing gimmick, taken from the olive oil world, where there is a distinction between the two grades.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Monoi de Tahiti. I too ordered mine from Saffire Blue and made a perfume stick using it and natural beeswax. Heavenly! I put it in a lip balm tube but have oval tubes on order to distinguish from my lip balm and my scent sticks since I’m slow to label. I’m still working on perfecting the ratios and have ordered Monoi de Tahiti fragrance oil to experiment with also. Would love if you could replicate the Fruits and Passion Monoi de Tahiti lotion. Have been gathering my materials for my own experiment in replicating that using mango butter, grapeseed oil, coconut oil and, of course, the Monoi de Tahiti. Did I mention I LOVE Monoi de Tahiti? 😀
It is just divine, isn’t it? Like tropical luxury in a bottle 🙂 And I shall add your lotion to my list! I have all the ingredients you mentioned so I might as well, haha 😛
Ohhh, I would love that lotion too! I want to try making my own sun screen lotion this year. That smell would be divine!
Watch out on homemade sunscreen—I put in in the same category as DIY antibiotics… just not a good idea when long-term skin damage and cancer is on the line.
I am wondering if I could whip this, to make it fluffy?
This will depend very much on where you live, and what the ambient temperature is like, but it’s definitely possible 🙂 Coconut oil melts at 24°C, so if you live somewhere that is frequently about that warm, you’ll find your whipped coconut oil turns into a puddle pretty fast. Otherwise, it’ll be just lovely! You should also check out my coco-cocoa whipped butter, which uses some cocoa butter to raise the melting point so it’ll stay solid longer. Have fun & thanks for reading!
So basically just virgin coconut oil? but in the comment section of your coconut body butter, you say that virgin coconut oil is a pretty crappy moisturizer… I’m confused 🙁
Yeah, I wouldn’t make this again. There’s nothing horribly wrong with it, it’s just not up to my current standards anymore 🙂 It’s from 2013—pretty early in my DIY days! Some people do really like straight coconut oil on their skin, and if that’s you, this would be a good choice. But that’s not me—at least not anymore!