Many essential oils share similar qualities and properties, although they are all unique in their characteristics. Scent is the main way we distinguish essential oils from one another, and we know how varied the beautiful fragrances are!
Ylang Ylang – Cananga odorata is a beautiful oil used extensively in perfumery AND aromatherapy and hails from a beautiful and unusual looking flower. I love using Ylang Ylang anytime. It works well with orange oil and is great to counteract frustration and even anger. Soothing and calming to the nerves, it also works as an aphrodisiac with its deep, base scent.
The plant is grown in tropical climates and Salvatore Battaglia claims this wonderful, spidery looking flower is strewn on the wedding bed of newly married couples in Indonesia. How divine!
Some of its chemical constituents are:
* linalool (an alcohol) – also found in lavender and basil and has a warming effect
* B-caryophyllene (a sesquiterpene)- also found in cloves and could be considered balancing
* Benzyl benzoate (an ester) – also found in jasmine and can be seen as calming
Each chemical constituent within an essential oil gels with all the others to produce a general effect on the body. However, not all oils with esters will necessarily be calming oils, and this can be said for most active ingredients.
Energetically it is said by some to be a “yang” (masculine) oil, and has an absolutely stunning oil with a heady, sweet aroma. It seems to have many feminine uses but I also know many men who adore this oil.
In Aromatherapy today Ylang ylang is used :
* for calming nerves
* as an aphrodisiac
* for stimulating cell growth in scar tissue and for general skin care and hair care
* for treatment with people who have high blood pressure
* for symptoms of menopause and PMS
Unlike other oils, when essential oil of ylang ylang is produced it creates a few different levels of oil. When you buy from a wholesaler they will indicate what level you are buying but when you buy from a retailer you may not get this information.
“Extra” – the first part of the distillation which is the most finely scented of the oils. I always use this
1st Grade – the next best bit
2nd Grade – the next best bit
3rd Grade – the level of oil with the lesser quality of all.
My wholesaler also offers “Complete Ylang Ylang” which is a combination of Extra, !st and 2nd grades so could be seen as a more rounded oil. I still use Extra all the time.
No other oil (as far as I know) has such a distinctive production and collection process, and this is where I think some multilevel marketing essential oil companies get their marketing ideas from – claiming they have the highest therapeutic grade oils in the world. There is no doubt some grades of essential oils are better than others, and one of my suppliers has created their own list of grades – Certified Organic – Conventional – down through a couple of levels to Commercial (which would be used for body products and some food flavourings). It’s all very interesting but have no doubt that raw ingredients, especially the oils of flowers (jasmine and rose) and sandalwood are becoming very expensive.
Stay tuned for my next article with recipes with this stunning oil!