Gardenia taitensis DC. - Rubiaceae - Tahitian Gardenia, Tiaré, Tiare Tahiti, Tiaré, Tahiti-Gardenie
Evergreen shrub, up to 4m high, native to Melanesia and Western Polynesia; leaves glossy dark green, opposite; flowers creamy white, pinwheel-shaped, 5-9 lobes, very fragrant.
„Tahitian gardenia is used to produce the cosmetic oil called Monoi de Tahiti, a traditional natural product made by soaking Gardenia taitensis blossoms (Tiare flowers) in rich, purified coconut oil. „Monoi“ is an ancient Tahitian word meaning „scented oil“ and the product is part of long-established cosmetic practice among the Tahitian people. The beautiful Tahitian women, „Vahines“, use Monoi de Tahiti daily to hydrate and protect their skin and to condition their hair.“ http://www.ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=5454&rid=939
„The name Tahitian Gardenia is somewhat a misnomer because it is neither native nor naturalised in Tahiti. The first acceptable scientific name for the plant was based on Tahitian specimens collected by Dumont d'Urville in 1824. Hence the scientific name of Gardenia taitensis, and the English name of Tahitian Gardenia. It is interesting to note that it was also first collected in Tahiti, by the Forsters on Captain Cook's first Pacific voyage (1768-1771), although it was mis-identified as Gardenia florida.“
„The major oxygenated constituents [of the hexan extract from concrete of G.taitensis flowers] were found to be linalool (4.4%), methyl salicylate (2.5%), (Z)-3-hexenyl benzoate (2.2%), dihydroconiferyl alcohol (1.1%), (Z)-3-hexenyl salicylate (0.7%), benzyl benzoate (6.2%), dihydroconiferyl acetate (12.2%), 2-phenylethyl benzoate (6.2%), benzyl salicylate (2.5%), geranyl benzoate (2.1%) and 2-phenylethyl salicylate (2.2%). The identification of numerous dihydroconiferyl esters appears to be unique to this species.“
[Volatile constituents of the flower concrete of Gardenia taitensis DC., Claude-Lafontaine, A., Raharivelomanana, P., Bianchini, J. P., Schippa, C., Azzaro, M., Cambon, A., Journal of Essential Oil research, 4(4), 1992, 335-343]
The headspace (SPME) of G.taitensis growing in New Caledonia contained mainly esters of (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol (free alcohol 0.8%) like (Z)-3-hexen-1-yl tiglate (39.6%), (Z)-3-hexen-1-yl acetate (2.7%), (Z)-3-hexen-1-yl butanoate (1.2%), (Z)-3-hexen-1-yl 2-methylbutanoate (0.5%), (Z)-3-hexen-1-yl (Z)-3-hexenoate (2.7%), and (Z)-3-hexen-1-yl benzoate (0.5%), together with linalool (11.8%), phenylacetaldoxime methyl ether (9.0%), methyl salicylate (18.0%), and 1H-indole (2.9%). Minor components were also 2-phenylethanol (0.7%), phenylacetonitrile (1.3%), 2-phenyl acetate (0.6%), hexyl tiglate (1.8%), and butyl benzoate (1.3%) e.g.
An inhouse-prepared absolute of the flowers contained as key odor contributors linalool (5.5%), 1-nitro-2-phenylethane (0.13%), phenylacetonitrile (0.88%), methyl salicylate (6.86%), together with 1H-indol (1.1%), (Z)-3-hexen-1-yl benzoate (9.0%), and (Z)-3-hexen-1-yl salicylate (5.1%) e.g.
[Joulain, Daniel. „Flower scents from the Pacific.“ Chemistry & biodiversity 5.6 (2008): 896-909]
G.taitensis, collected in Tahiti by the Forsters, mis-identified as Gardenia florida
Natural History Museum, London, The Endeavour Botanical Illustrations
Tahitian Gardenia - tiare, CC BY-SA 2.0, Author: troy mckaskle from SF Bay Area