The most rare and special lei from Hawaii is not one made of flowers but of leaves. It is called a Maile (pronounced my-lee) lei and is made from the fragrant leaves and bark of the indigenous Maile vine that only grows in the rainforests of Hawaii. What makes Maile so unique and unforgettable is its intoxicating fragrance that is clean, fresh, woodsy, vanilla, sweet, and spicy all at the same time. Once you smell true Hawaiian Maile, you want to smell that scent all the time. It is one of my most favorite fragrances but I have never been able to find a company that makes a true nice smelling Maile--so far nothing can beat the real thing.
Maile leis are the perfect leis for all occasions. Maile leis are traditionally worn at weddings (usually by the groom and men in the bridal party), graduations, birthdays, award banquets, anniversaries and all other special occasions. Maile is also a suitable "open ended" lei to give to a pregnant woman because in Hawaiian cultural it is bad luck to give a closed lei to a pregnant woman--it symbolizes the umbilical cord around the baby's neck.
The prestigious Maile lei is worn draped around the neck with the open ends of the lei hanging in front of you to waist level or below. Men like it for its masculine appeal and light fragrance, but it is suitable for both men and women of all ages.
Because of the high demand for Maile, some online companies sell Maile leis with NO scent. How is that possible? It is because they are selling Maile leis that do not come from Hawaii, but come from other Pacific islands such as the Cooke islands. Be sure to ask where their Maile comes from so you can get what you are paying for.
If you want to buy Maile lei online, we can ship fresh and fragrant Hawaiian Maile leis from the Big Island to the mainland. Please order at least one week in advance as there are no commercial growers of the Maile vine, and Maile pickers have to go deep into the Hawaiian rainforest to their secret locations to carefully hand gather the Maile vines. Maile leaves from the Big Island are large, about 2-3 inches, whereas Maile leaves from the island of Kauai are much smaller, about 1-2 inches long.
After your event, you can let your Maile lei dry naturally to continually have a light fragrance in your room as a beautiful reminder of your special occasion.
If you are familiar with Maile, please describe what it smells like to you, and your favorite Maile lei memory.