Following last week's ingredient spotlight on the Oahu Gardenia, I bring you a personal photo of my trip to the island from 1998. This was before I actually learned a thing or two about photography, so apologies if the photo isn't of the highest quality.
I remember the trip started with a bought of food poisoning (eating a pineapple pizza from a dingy restaurant wasn't the best idea)...but the rest of the trip made up for it. The island of Oahu is beautiful, quaint, and peaceful, and the land is overall respected by its inhabitants. One of the highlights of our trip was getting to visit the Polynesia Cultural Center in Laia, Oahu, which is a center for authentic polynesian traditions and activities—a day of educational shows, activities, and feasts ends in one of the best luau's of the island (though I've heard in recent year's the center has gone a bit downhill and has become a tourist trap). Not surprisingly, I remember really enjoying learning about the usage of herbs and plants in Polynesia for treatment purposes at the medicinal hut also known as "Hale Hana." (Fun Fact: Indian Mulberry, aka "Noni" used to be one of the most popular plants for healing of various ailments and disease.)
One of the others things I found most fascinating about Hawaii, was the landscape, particularly seeing the spontaneous-looking rock formations created by lava eruptions that slowly flowed and solidified in the surrounding waters. The idea that new land is and can still be created in this over exposed planet is exciting... and hopeful. While all the volcanoes on Oahu island are now extinct, the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has been continuously erupting lava since 1983, adding more than 500 acres of lava rock to the island's topography with no signs of stopping. I never got around the visiting the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, where you can get up close to an active volcano, but I certainly have plans to return there.
What Hawaiian islands have you visited? What would you recommend as the top sites/activities?
We ALREADY have winter vacation on our minds, and what better place to escape than Hawaii!? My trip to Hawaii in 1995 inspired our creation of the Nomaterra Oahu Gardenia perfume oil. I still remember very vividly being able to smell the pungently sweet and balsamic aroma of the exotic nanu gardenia, found in gardens and random locations on the island of Oahu. I also received a leis upon arriving at the airport in Oahu, which was made of mostly plumeria (also found in our Oahu fragrance).
In Hawaii, the gardenia was often used for corsages or leis, particularly traditionally during weddings. It has a romantic meaning, “You are lovely,” and is also a symbol for secret love. The nanu was prized by ancient Hawaiians for its fruit, which was used to produce fade-resistant dyes for kapa (a traditional cloth made of pounded tree bark).
The natural, organic gardenia found in Nomaterra’s Oahu fragrance is extracted through the ancient process of enfleurage, using only organic palm oil and organic alcohol derived from organic sugar cane. This fragile flower exudes a sweet and succulent smell that encapsulates the energy, spirit, and beauty of Hawaii. The rare species of gardenia, Gardenia Manii, also known as “Nanu” in Hawaii, is native to the island of Oahu and can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
With winter still in full swing we've got island vacations on the brain, and with that in mind we want to share what we bring in our carry-on when we're beach bound.
1. Moisturizing Face Mask and Lip Balm
- What better time to sit back and give your skin some r&r than when you're on the plane? We love bring sample packets of face masks to moisturize on the plane. Sheet masks are ideal for in-flight pampering without any messiness. We like SK-II's Facial Treatment Mask
. We also need lots of extra moisture for our lips when we fly, and for that we love By Terry's Baume de Rose
. It is super silky and moisturizing without being sticky. In other words, the perfect lip balm! Other moisturizing favorites are Avene Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water
and Korres Travel Sunscreen Face Cream Watermelon SPF 30
2.Make-Up Removing Towelettes -
Before you let your mask get to work, be sure to take off any makeup. We love Neutrogena's Night Calming Make-Up Removing Towelettes
. They get all your make-up off, even tough mascara! And they have a soothing lavender and camomile scent, perfect for those of us with any airplane anxiety.
3. Mini Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- After hours on a plane it's always nice to brush your teeth before you land. That way your smile will be ready for photos when you arrive!
- A travel must for flights with screaming babies.
5. Cashmere Sweater or Shawl
- This will be sure to keep you warm on the plane, a must to make sure you don't get sick! Ours is from Club Monaco.
6. Nomaterra Travel Spray or Travel Wipes
: Miami or East Hampton are fantastic for island destinations, and both will be a breeze to get through security!
7. Moleskine notebook and pen
- The perfect travel companion; Write out your travel itinerary, do some journaling, or start the great American novel on your flight or on the beach!
- an alternative to a sleep mask, and useful once you get to your sunny destination, too! Pick a pair with opaque lenses to keep out the glare from airplane windows and prevent other travelers from interrupting your beauty rest.
9. Change of Clothes
- In case the airline loses your bag. Be sure to toss a bikini and a pair of sandals in, too! We're big fans of Sam Edelman's sandals.
- There used to be a time when we would pick up at least three of our favorite magazines before any flight, but now we make sure to get them all downloaded and ready to go on our tablets before any flight.
And leave your watch behind, you're on island time now! What are you must haves for you carry-on?