Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Latin name Cananga odorata var genuina – Family species Anonaceae / Annonaceae

Ylang ylang essential oil is separated into different grades (Premier, Extra, Ylang Ylang I, Ylang Ylang II, Ylang Ylang III) according to when the distillates are obtained. Premier is produced to order. Extra is used in aromatherapy applications. See this AgroForestryTree Database article for more information on the various grades and their uses.

“Two forms of C. odorata are grown commercially: cv. group Ylang-ylang, which produces ylang-ylang oil and cv. group Cananga yielding cananga oil.” – according to the AFT Database.

“The oil [ylang-ylang] has a soothing effect, and its main therapeutic uses are to slow an excessively fast heart rate and to lower blood pressure. Ylang-ylang has a reputation as an aphrodisiac and may be helpful in treating impotence.” –The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants

“An important oil for perfumery, soaps, and sebum-balancing skin lotions, it [ylang-ylang essential oil] is also a commercial food flavoring. Aromatherapists use the oil to reduce high blood pressure, premenstrual syndrome, depression, insomnia, and sexual anxiety. It lowers rapid heartbeat and breathing, helping those who dislike crowds or are prone to panic attacks or work frustration.” –Crabtree & Evelyn Fragrant Herbal: Enhancing Your Life with Aromatic Herbs and Essential Oils by Lesley Bremness

Ylang Ylang is very versatile, blending well with many other essential oils (see list below), however a less is more approach is recommended as the scent can be overwhelming and sickeningly sweet if overdone. A drop in a blend goes a very long way.

Oil Selection Guide

Color – Pale yellow
Viscosity – Medium to watery
Scent – Intense, balsamy, floral, sweet, exotic, somewhat spicy, softening with time
Perfume Aroma – Middle to base note

Oil Source Information

Plant Type – Tree
Parts Used – Flowers
Countries of Origin – Indonesia, Phillipines, Comoro Islands (Madagascar), Réunion, Zanzibar, Haiti
Extraction Method – Steam distillation

Known Chemical Constituents

linalool, geranyl acetate, benzyl benzoate, b-caryophyllene, benzyl acetate, safrol, eugenol

Applications and Uses

Used in aromatherapy (Extra) and in the production of perfumes, soaps, detergents, cosmetics, skin care lotions for oily and combination skin. Also used some commercially as a flavoring for food and drink.

Ylang Ylang blends well with

Recipes and Ideas

Precautions / Contraindications

It is suggested to use Ylang Ylang only in moderation (if at all).
Ylang Ylang can cause headaches and nausea in greater quantities.
It can also cause irritation to sensitive skin.
See also Essential Oils Safety and Usage.

References and Resources

See Aromatherapy References and Resources page.

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