I'm not sure how long you are staying in Honolulu, but I have a couple more ideas at the moment.
1 - Maybe it would be worth your time to take a trip to Kahala Mall. So there is a little kiosk that carries the SJ, I think. (Not really a big deal, b/c I might just do Nordies where I know that they have the testers set out.) However, the other thing that might make your trip there worthwhile is the new-ish Whole Foods Market. As you may already know, WF is big into supporting local suppliers/farmers/artists. I stopped there for a cup of tea this a.m. and took a quick walk through their personal/body care items and found some things that might interest you:
- The entry to this section of the store is set up with a big table piled high with soaps made locally. I believe one was called something like "hawaiian bath and body" and had scents like plumeria, chocolate, and maybe mango-with-something. The other side of the table had another line (had patchouli and maybe two other types?). Both lines sell their soaps by the ounce. Plenty to choose from and they seemed to move well over the holidays.
- As you enter the department, there's a long shelf on the right with more things. Today, they had set up the end of the shelf with candles made in Hawaii. These soy candles are cast in gourds (at least I think they are gourd or gourd-like) - i.e., the containers are a beautiful dark, polished nut-brown. The candles are scented with tea, florals, etc. They would make great gifts.
- Just around the other side of the aisle I found 2-3 more lines. One is the same "hawaiian bath and body" as the soaps at the front table, but they also have some lotions, etc. There was maybe a skin care line and also a line of products made with honey...which reminds me...
2 - Every Saturday morning, there is a farmers' market at the Kapiolani Community College (KCC). KCC is located on the slope of Diamond Head, and I believe that there are several city buses that stop there. The farmers' market opens at 7 or 730 and closes at 1030 or 11. Besides a nice (and mostly inexpensive) selection of fresh fruit and veggies (perfect if you are staying in a condo??), there are locally made products that I see visitors taking back as gifts, including...honey! I'm trying to remember if I've seen much in the way of soaps or candles, but I think it's a nice little Saturday morning diversion. One of my favorite vendors sells organic produce from Maui - yummy. I've also seen visitors purchasing things that you can only get in Hawaii, like jellies or jams made with lilikoi, poha, etc.
You are right, btw, about avoiding tourist traps & not wasting your money there. There's an inexpensive line or two that are carried in the Longs Drug chain...I took a sniff - it's beyond foul.
OK, I will let you know if/when I make it to the big mall...