Thursday, July 10, 2014Focus on French Launches

Monoï passion...

© L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

Summer cosmetic product par excellence, monoï smells good on holidays. This essential of the most sensual season is now available in high protection sun oils, after-sun creams, body and hair care products, perfumes and even home fragrances! Carried by the fashion of oils, the monoï unites everyone, from the most luxurious brands to the most popular.

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First of all, a smell…

Of course, it inevitably evokes Polynesia and its beautiful vahines with lush hair and amber and satiny skin, a whole culture of the South synonymous with paradisiac islands, but it is above all its smell that bewitches. That of the tiaré flower with creamy, sweet and languid solar notes. The kind of smell that makes many women hysterical! Almost a perfume of her own. The Monoï de Tahiti (AOC, Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) is obtained by macerating tiaré flowers (Gardenia tahitensis flower extract) for at least ten days in coconut oil (Cocos nucifera oil), obtained by hot pressing the dried almond extracted from the coconuts. The AOC stipulates that coconuts must come from the coconut tree. Cocos nucifera which grows in French Polynesia on soils of coral origin. The tiaré flowers must also come from this terroir. They could never be cultivated outside the Tahitian archipelago. Monoï being the subject of many imitations (and synthetic perfumes added!), it is not useless to recall that the label "monoï de Tahiti appellation d'origine" is the assurance of an authentic and quality product.

Sensual sunglasses

It is obviously in this category that it is most present. If for a long time it was wrongly applied as tanning oil, whereas it was devoid of SPF (which is always the case for certain brands of large distribution like Soleil des îles), one can now find it in high solar indices. Thus, the new Dry Oils SPF 30 with Monoï de Tahiti Hei Poa (spray bottle 150 ml, 14.95 €) and Lovea (200 ml ,  10.69 €, limited edition for the brand's 20th anniversary, at Monoprix), or Monoï de Tahiti de Lovea SPF 50 Moisturizing Milk (90 ml, 5.99 €), which the brand also offers in 90 ml (6.99 €) pocket size. The Tahitian Sun Monoï Milking Grease from the islands is also available in a SPF 30 (150 ml, 6.10 €). In pharmacies, Klorane's Polysianes range, which has made monoi its star ingredient, is launching a Spray Velouté with monoi SPF 50 (150 ml, 18 €), as well as a Fluide Velouté anti-âge visage SPF 50+ (40 ml, 11.70 €). Monoï can also be found in the 2014 creations of the Lancôme Soleil Bronzer range, such as the SPF 50 Sun BB Cream (50 ml, 33 €).

Multifunctional aftersun units

After sunbathing, monoi oil nourishes and regenerates the body's skin and hair. Historical brands dedicated to monoï like Hei Poa, Tiki Tahiti, Lovea, Tanoa… launch limited editions in pretty Collector bottles (Monoï with 1000 flowers Hei Poa,  200 ml, €17.79; Authentic 99% Monoï Lovea, 100 ml, €5.99; Fragrant Oil of the Pacific Islands Body and Hair Frangipanier Tanoa, 125 ml, €11.70). Others offer more elaborate formulas, combined with mango butter (Baume Corps Beauté des îles Soleil des îles, 150 ml, 4.95 €), Aloe Vera (Gelée Apaisante SOS Lovea sunburn, 200 ml, 6.49 €), or argan and musky rose oils (Soleil Bronzer Lait Après-Soleil Hydratant Sublimateur de Lancôme, 200 ml, 39 €). One of the most voluptuous is that of Guerlain, a soft cream with a divine trail (Terracotta After Sun Cream, After-Sun Cream - Accelerator and Tan Extender Complex, 150 ml, 48 €).

Precious body care

Out of solar context, the monoï arouses such a craze that whole ranges and sometimes top of the range are devoted to its benefits with enchanting scents. This is the case of the Moana Fleur de Tiaré de Baïja line, distributed in spas, institutes and on the Internet, which offers Liquid Marseille Soaps (500 ml, 11.90 €), Body Cream (212 ml, 29.90 €) or Body Scrub with sea salts, white Bora-Bora sand and vegetable oils (212 ml, 27.90 €). And even a home fragrance (Home Fragrance, 100 ml, €19.90)! Cinq Mondes has just reformulated its Sublime Body & Hair Oil, Island Ritual, Polynesia (150 ml, 38 €), which can be used as a pre-shampoo to beautify hair and facilitate detangling. The Sephora (latest innovation: Monoï Foaming Scent Bath & Shower, 260 ml, 8,95 €), Cottage (Monoï Extra-Nourishing Precious Dry Oil, 150 ml, 6,20 € ; Monoï Extra-Nourishing Repair Body Lotion, 250 ml, 4,70 €…) or Parashop (Mon Vanilla & Monoï Body Lotion, 125 ml, 4,55 €) ranges are more accessible.

Exotic and indolent perfumes

Sunny, carnal and caressing, the tiaré flower or frangipani flower accords are declined in numerous summer creations..: Terracotta Le Parfum Guerlain (eau de toilette 100 ml, 62 €) ; Absolu Tiaré balancing Les Sensorielles d'Acorelle (certified organic eau de parfum 50 ml, 30,70 € or fresh water 50 ml, 18,60 €) Exotica by Roberto Cavalli (eau de toilette 75 ml, 67 €) Rêve Élixir by Van Cleef & Appels (eau de parfum 50 ml, 70 €) ; Bronze Goddess d'Estée Lauder (eau fraîche 100 ml, 63 €, limited edition) ; Tiaré de Chantecaille (75 ml, 145 €) ; Les Senteurs Gourmandes Eau de parfum Vanille Monoï Laurence Dumont (100 ml, 20,90 €) ; Solinote Tiaré ou Frangipanier (50 ml, 9,90 €, chez Sephora). Often associated with ylang-ylang, vanilla or coconut, these compositions evoke skin warmed by the sun. Um, it smells good in the summer!

Monoï bio: still some efforts…

You can find certified organic monoï at Logona, Huiles et Sens, Sens et Bio, Bi O.K or Clairjoie. The latter has just released a Polynesian Facial Care Set (€31.99, with a satinating and softening Monoï face and body oil 30 ml, a Coco -Tiaré face scrub 50 ml, a Tiaré-Frangipanier face cream 50 ml). But, due to the ban on absolutes in certified organic cosmetics, the latter is not yet able to restore its unique fragrance. An organic monoï that really smells like monoï, a new challenge to take up?

Ariane Le Febvre

The Observatory of Cosmetics
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