Ylang Ylang – Cananga Odorata – Floral

Origin:  South East Asia

Blending Note: Top 

Main Benefits: Mood Lifting

Other producers are:  Madagascar, Reunion and the Comoro Islands

Allergy Warning:  Fragrance may cause headache or nausea if used in high concentration. It is referred to as narcotic or intoxicating, in perfumery terms. In sufficiently high concentration they can also be intoxicating in the medical sense of the word. So never exceed the recommended quantities in a recipe

Short History of Ylang Ylang

Woman used the flowers to decorate and perfume their hair. In 1866 the French historian Guibourt recorded aMoluccan Island recipe for an aromatic ointment called boori-boori, made by macerating Ylang Ylang flowers in coconut oil. The islanders used this to protect their hair from sea salt as they swam and to nourish and soften the skin. During the monsoon, they applied it as a body rub to prevent infectious disease and fevers including malaria. In Indonesia it is customary to spread ylang ylang flowers on the bed of a couple on their wedding night. The intoxicating perfume is believed to calm the nerves and lessen inhibition. In the Victorian times the essential oil was an ingredient in the famous Macassar hair oil, used by both men and woman to promote lustrous growth.

Today ylang ylang is used to create floral-type perfumes. At the turn of the century, two French chemists discovered that ylang ylang was affective against malaria, typhus and other fevers. Consultant psychiatrist Dr. Tim Betts, at the Queen Elizabeth Psychiatric Hospital in Birmingham, has discovered that Ylang Ylang can effectively control certain forms of epilepsy, especially when inhaled before the onset of a seizure. The oil may contain a pharmacological agent, as yet unidentified, which reduces seizures.

About Ylang Ylang:

In the Malayan language, ylang ylang means flower of flowers. No tree produces blossoms with a more intensely sweet and flowery fragrance. Ylang ylang grows up to 20m tall. The branches are gracefully arched like the weeping willow and bear glossy oval shaped leaves and abundance of pendulous, yellow green blooms throughout the year. The flower develops their fragrance two or three weeks after the buds open. The mature flowers are gathered by hand in the early morning when the essential oil is most concentrated. As soon as possible after collecting them, the flowers are processed by steam distillation. In terms of fragrance quality, there are several grades of ylang ylang. 

  • Ylang Ylang Extra (superior)

  • Ylang Ylang 1, 2 and 3

  • Ylang Ylang Complete

The extra grade is collected from the first distillation. The plant material is distilled two or three more times to obtain the other fractions. The ylang ylang complete is unseparated oil which is collected after a long process of distillation. Aromatherapists favour the more expensive ylang ylang extra or complete grades. Both oils are virtually colourless, with and intense, floral balsamic fragrance reminiscent of almond and jasmine.


Medicinal uses:

Fever, Palpitation, High Blood Pressure, Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Nervous tension, Awakes Sensuality, PMT

Other uses:

Bath Oils, Bath salts, Massage, Hair Oil, Body Creams, Facial Skin Care, Lingerie Perfume, Sensual Candles