Your once-in-a-lifetime trip to the French Polynesia is right around the corner and your excitement levels are through the roof. If you’re already planning out what you’ll order while perfecting that tan by the pool (and yes, it will be a delish Poisson Cru) and exactly what you’ll be wearing when striking that pose at Mt Otemanu, here’s one more thing to plan ahead: the hunt for the perfect souvenirs.
- For Your Better Half: Black Pearls
There are many little souvenirs you could take back home to your loved ones, but few are as precious and distinctly unique as pearls. Tahiti is basically the paradise of black pearls – and the variety of colors, shapes and sizes you will find on the market is bursting with striking black pearl earrings, bracelets and necklaces at various price points. The best place to buy a radiant gem of the sea: from one of the pearl farms in Taha’a – or, alternatively, at the Robert Wanjewelry and Tahia Collins boutiques found on every island.
- For the Bohemian Style Lover: Pareu
While their turquoise blue waters and invitingly silky beaches are the main reasons you’re heading over there, the islands of the French Polynesia are also famous for their bold and vibrant traditional fashion. Meet the Pareu, aka the perfect beach cover-up when on an exotic island – or, why not, for relaxed summer weekends back at home. Available in the widest range of vibrant patters and prints, the Pareu is used as a wrap-style dress, having its origins in Tahiti, where it was initially made out of banana and coconut leaves.
- For the Baking Aficionado: Tahitian Vanilla
You simply can’t go all the way to Tahiti and forgo spending a few bucks on one of the best vanillas in the world. Famous for its rich flavor, as well as enticing scent, Tahitian vanilla is the go-to souvenir for yourself or your friend back home who hosts those amazing pastries-galore Sunday brunches. Used around the world by renowned chefs and bakers, Tahitian vanilla comes as beans, powder or essence – and if you’ve forgotten to grab some on the islands, good news, as you’ll also find it available at the airport.
- For the Beauty Junkie: Monoï Oil
For the beauty aficionado, there’s simply no better gift to bring home than the famous Monoï Oil. As the staple product used in every single spa on the islands, Monoï Oil is an actual emblem of the exotic French Polynesia. It’s made out of coconut oil, combined with tiare flowers and Tahitian gardenia blooms – and its uses are numerous. From enhancing the health and look of your skin to revamping your hair, this hydrating oil is a delight to use, especially since it comes in enchanting scents, like vanilla, banana or coconut.
- For the Artisanal Bling Seeker: Mother of Pearl Jewelry
If Tahitian pearl necklaces are a little too dressy for your rather boho-inspired style, then simply opt for the next best thing: mother of pearl jewelry. Artisanal necklaces, bracelets and earrings made of pearl shells are sold all over the islands, but if you’re hunting for a great bargain, make sure to hit downtown Papeete in Bora Bora. Beautifully carved pendants, iridescent brooches and artsy fantasy mother of pearl earrings are all great finds, ready to be taken home and enjoyed for years to come.