ESSENCE OF PARADISE

...taking the Cook Islands home in a bottle 

BORN IN A GARDEN

This is where "Perfumes of Rarotonga" started out in 1999 in what was called a "garden factory"...because it was quite literally in a garden in Matavera on the east side of the capital island. They're now in a more conventional building you can visit near the airport. But everything is still made by hand using natural products and sustainable packaging

This device is the closest they get to machinery. It's a 50 year old hand operated press for moulding soap

Many of the staff have been with the business for years and have a lot of traditional knowledge in making healing products like Mauke Miracle Oil (great for bites, stings and sunburn) and  coconut soap 

Just like the perfumes, the handmade soaps are created using only natural ingredients. And if you're wondering about product testing, the staff do that on themselves

The leaf of Pandanus tree or Rouara is one of the natural products used for packaging. It comes from the northern group island of Penrhyn. The business supports the community by purchasing pandanus leaves and baskets 

The premium product  includes a real Cook Islands black pearl from Manihiki is inside the perfume bottle. The cologne for men (red bag) is created from the root of the pandanus tree. The scent of frangipani (blue bag) will bring back instantly memories of the islands. And last but not least, a selection of concentrated oils with wonderful scents

"FACTORY" TOURS

If you're in Rarotonga, take a "factory" tour and also visit the neighbouring Pacififc Weave store where you can view and buy genuine crafts from the region. Or you can call into the Perfumes of Rarotonga shop at Cooks Corner in town (Avarua) near where the buses depart and arrive. And you don't even have to visit Rarotonga (shame if you don't though) to capture the scents of the islands. Perfumes of Rarotonga have their own web site where you can browse and buy but unfortunately they can no longer ship perfumes

   Author's note: Perfumes of Rarotonga has not paid for or requested inclusion on this website. I'm sharing information about them with you because I am so impressed with the business and the people who make these amazing products. Product photos are theirs