Maile--The Most Desired of Garlands, The Freshest Fragrance

(a short story by Anty Kalei)
A maile lei for your hair
has a special meaning,
it’s a sweet aloha
made with loving care…
From mountains kissing the blue
near the ridge of heaven
I have brought this maile
Maile lei for you…
(Maile Lei song and lyrics by Norman Kaye)
Since ancient times in Hawai’i, a maile lei was one of the most desired of garlands. And it was the vine itself is what was used for the lei, not the flower. The vines had to be stripped, pounded and twisted to release its fragrance. And the maile scent, once breathed in, is an aroma not soon forgotten. The pounded vine also became supple enough to wear as a lei or lei po’o (lei for the head).
Now days you will find photos of graduates, wedding parties, newly elected officials, etc. all of them bedecked with the bright green leaves of maile, usually entwinned with a favorite flower. Even “grand opening” events will eschew the traditional ribbon and have fastened strands of maile that must be untied before the doors are opened (and absolutely not cut!).
And the amazing maile scent? To me, it smells like freshly cut grass, still damp from the morning dew; subtly sweet and refreshing.
Trying to get this fragrance just right was a tough one for our factory team. Shannon, our production manager, mad-scientist and (fussy!) designer of perfumes started to create our maile collection late in 2018. After lots beaker clanking, mixing, re-done recipes and kabitches (local slang for every swear word you can think of), it was ready for testing…. And more testing (I told you she was fussy). Finally it was ready (finally!).
Wanna try some? We have a collection of Maile soap, body wash, lotion crème (with some shea butter whipped in), oil and body butter. And for a limited time, you can order online at our Island Essence website using the discount code of: Anty and receive 15% off!
P.S. if you get the chance, go online anywhere to hear the beautiful song: A Maile Lei for Your Hair.
Anty Kalei