Ylang Ylang – A Three Word Buzz

Natural scent lovers from far and wide I salute you! Do love love the heady fragrance of Ylang Ylang or is it a bit too strong for you? As a deep oriental floral, it is very basey in its fragrance and because of this I find my male friends quite like it too. I think it’s one of those essential oils that is polarising so I’d love to know your thoughts.

The Ylang Ylang flower, Cananga odorata is spidery in appearance and its vibrant yellow colour also resonates with the Solar plexus chakra. In classical aromatherapy it can be used in skincare, may help to relieve tension and anxiety and can create a sensual feminine mood. 

There’s one thing for sure, this oil has a distinct and powerful scent, and here are some Australian perfumers and “noses” to give you their 3 word buzz on this unique oil.



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Spidery Ylang Ylang flower



Who are you and what are your 3 words for Ylang Ylang essential oil?




Kim Landsdowne-Walker from Temp L D’or:

sensual, exotic, beauty




Jocelyn Fullerton from Cult of Scent:

tropical, lilies, chilling out




Ylang Ylang flower
photo credit photo credit: Zaqqy J. Sexy Curls.. via photopin (license)




Julie Nelson from Aromatique Essentials:

sexy, playful, femme fatale




Candace Gabelish from Pearl Perfumery:

passionate, tropical, intoxicating




Bright, pretty Ylang Ylang flowers




Suzanne Banks from banksbotanicals:

exotic, heady, sensual




Portia Turbo from Australian Perfume Junkies:

thick, creamy, luscious




The Results – from most popular to least:

  1. exotic, tropical
  2. sensual, sexy, femme fatale
  3. intoxicating, heady
  4. passionate, playful
  5. luscious, creamy
  6. chill out

So I’ll give you an extra hint – this oil is fantastic for getting you in a sexy mood, helps you connect with your femininity and resonates with floral exotic explosions. It is deeply luxurious and has can help even out skin tone and help speed scar tissue recovery.

This is a beautiful oil! Do you love it?


Ylang Ylang Essential Oil – Yeah!

Cananga odorata- pic via www.rareflora.com

A mass of Cananga odorata flowers on a branch – pic via http://www.rareflora.com


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!

Wh!at a gorgeous flower

What a gorgeous flower

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.

Heavily laden Ylang ylang tree with flowers - pic via blog.proxisante.com

Heavily laden Ylang ylang tree with flowers – pic via blog.proxisante.com


Stay tuned for my next article with recipes with this stunning oil!

copyright suzanne




The Divine Scent of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Anthemis nobilis - a classic illustation from Kohler's Medicial Pflanzen

Anthemis nobilis – a classic illustration from Kohler’s Medicinal Pflanzen

I have brushed over the chamomiles previously but would love to go into more detail about Roman chamomile. You can check out my previous blog Softly and Gently with the Chamomiles, but lets go into the world of this special, petit fluer in this article.

As with many plants this chamomile has a couple of botanical names – Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile. Either way you can pick up that it is considered a nobile plant – distinguished by rank and manner. It is part of the Asteracae family (daisies) and the genus Chamaemelum. I’ve always loved daisies because they are so sweet, simple and pretty. This chamomile also has a very pretty scent and the essential oil is magnificent! For a small flower the scent is BIG!

This scent greatly differs from the other chamomile used in Aromatherapy – German chamomile – which is much darker in colour, darker and heavier in scent too. Our beautiful little “Roman” daisy will appeal to everyone from kids to the elderly, and even our pets.

Chamomile - sweet flower, sweet scent

Chamomile – sweet flower, sweet scent

It’s hard to tell the chamomiles apart as a flower but the German chamomile tends to have a more prominent pointed centre with leaves pointing downward, whereas the Roman chamomile flower is generally more balanced and larger, with a flat centre and daisy-like leaves. This is a generalisation and I’m sure the gardeners out there will have something to say about that!

In Aromatherapy today Roman chamomile is used;

* for stomach cramps as it is a great anti-spasmodic

* as a stomach calming oil in general

* as a calming oil in all respects – both physically and mentally

* as a soothing tonic to overwrought emotions

* as a calming oil for children

* for headaches

* for period pain

* for any kind of cramping whether it be in the body, the emotions, the mind or the energetic body

* in body oil blends and treatments for red, inflamed skin

Roman chamomile - pic via 3morganic.com

Roman chamomile – pic via 3morganic.com

I find it difficult to describe scent but I would say that this oil is sweet and intoxicating, with honey-like tones. This is a description from Wikipedia –

“The word chamomile, and the genus name Chamaemelum come from the Greek χαμαίμηλον (chamaimēlon), “earth-apple”, from χαμαί (chamai), “on the ground” + μήλον (mēlon), “apple”, so-called because of the apple-like scent of the plant. “

I suppose it has an apple-like scent but at least this gives you an idea and also indicates how long this plant has been around.

According to chamomile.co.uk/history.htm

“Chamomile was known to the Romans and used for incense and in beverages. Ironically, the name ‘Roman Chamomile’ by which it is sometimes known, does not stem from this time, but from a rather arbitary naming of the herb in the 19th century by a plant collector who happened to find some growing in the Colleseum in Rome!”


This site also refers to the use of chamomile in Egypt for treatment of fever but as we know it was various monasteries throughout Europe who consolidated the use of many herbs in the Middle Ages and who’s recipes still exist today in alcoholic beverages and perfumes.

Old medicine = good medicine!

Stay tuned for some recipes with this stunning essential oil which is more commonly retailed in a 3% blend in jojoba. This way we can use it straight from the bottle and it makes a wonderful perfume on it’s own. Fore more info on 3% blends check out my story here.

copyright suzanne




Sage – An Essential Oil of Wisdom and Abundance

Sage is a herb from the Lamiacae family and the genus Salvia. Its soft, furry leaves pack a powerful punch when it is steam distilled into an essential oil. I did touch on the herb oils in this earlier article “Essential Oils from Herbs are Spectacular!”, but they are so important in Aromatherapy I thought I must elaborate!


Interestingly this is also the name we give to someone who is wise, shares wisdom and perhaps weaves some magic too. A sage would be someone we hold in great esteem and who holds the wisdom of the universe in their healing hands. So does the essential oil of sage also contain these properties within its molecules?

Yes! Of course. I’ve always used sage as an oil of abundance and as the perfect treatment for a sore throat, sage encourages us to speak truthfully and wisely and opens the throat chakra. When we speak kindly and feel compassion we are able to feel the abundant intelligence of the universe move within us.

Sage -  illustration from Köhler's Medizinal Pflanzen

Sage – illustration from Köhler’s Medizinal Pflanzen

Sage is one of the ancient herbs that has been used for healing for centuries and the Romans named it salvia after “salvare” meaning to heal. According to Patricia Davis the Latin name also indicates the word “salvation” as this plant was seen to save people from disease. During the centuries since then, sage has mainly been used in women’s health to normalise menses and as a stimulant for childbirth.

It is high in camphor and thujone – which has a few contra-indications including the warning not to be used in pregnancy or with epileptics, or kids. I use this oil sparingly and with great respect. Just because something is natural does not mean it is totally safe. Having said that please do your homework and use your intuition when using natural remedies.

In aromatherapy today sage is used –

* to stop milk production in lactating women

* as a diuretic

* to ease sore throats

* to ease rheumatic pain

* to help regulate periods

and sometimes to stimulate digestion and remove catarrh.

sage sticks for energetic cleansing of a space - pic via liveinart.com

Sage sticks for energetic cleansing of a space – pic via liveinart.com

Sage also gives another form of healing in the way of “sage sticks”. They are used for smoking, purging and cleansing ceremonies but are usually made from white sage (Salvia apiana) which is mostly found in north America. It does feel fantastic when you smoke a premises to renew the energy of the space!

Anyway lets check out a few recipes –

a simple hairdressing mist bottle will do the trick for your amazing essential oil mist

a simple hairdressing mist bottle will do the trick for your amazing essential oil mist

1. Personal Aura Cleansing Mist & Room Mist

In a 50ml mist bottle filled with water add 25 drops of oil

“New Start”

When you actually move into a new home or office or to renew your space –

Sage          5 drops

Orange     15 drops

Geranium   5 drops


“Begone Bad Stuff”

Get your witchy-poo magic happening –

Sage              6 drops

Lemon         12 drops

Peru Balsam  7 drops


get any cute little dish to mix your oils in

get any cute little dish to mix your oils in

2. Pure Pulse Point Perfume

In a little dish mix these oils and anoint your pulse points or chakras – 3 drops of essential oils and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil – always patch test first!

“Wise ol Owl”

Tap into the wisdom of the universe –

Sage           1 drop

Vanilla CO2  1 drop * see my article for more info on CO2 extracts What are CO2 Extracts in the World of Aromatherapy?

Lime            1 drop


“It’s a New Day”

Seize your chance to have another go –

Sage             1 drop

Cardamom    1 drop

Mandarin       1 drop




copryright SR Banks 2014





10 Recipes with Clary Sage Essential Oil – Salvia sclarea

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10 Recipes with Clary Sage Essential Oil – Salvia sclarea



I tend not to use Clary sage very often but maybe that’s just a phase I’m going through – I used it frequently when I was first introduced to essential oils. It belongs to the Lamiacae family and the genus Salvia. It is a strong sweet, heady oil with an herbaceous note. Clary sage is an expansive oil I consider it to be a very spiritual oil, as it relates well to the crown and third eye chakras. It seems to have the ability to open our conscious minds, and stimulate the subconscious to stir. I use Clary sage as a stimulus for the dream dimension – daydreams and night-time dreams, which can help shape our lives.

Looking back over the centuries it has been employed to help people over come depression and melancholy. Clary sage is an inspiring oil and has been to referred to as an  oil of euphoria. We can connect to the creativity of the universe too when we encounter Clary sage.

The essential oil is made from the flowering tops and the foliage

The essential oil is made from the flowering tops and the foliage

It is also powerful as an analgesic particularly in regards to period pain and I’ve used this oil with pregnant clients in preparation for labour and even in oil blends in a birthing suite. It also works well for symptoms of menopause.

Let’s check out some recipes –

1. Nourishing Body Oil Blend

For a coat of your body use 3 teaspoons of carrier oil in a little dish and, add 7 – 8 drops of essential oil.

***** Always put the drops of essential oil into the bottle or dish first, then add the carrier oil. It gives the scents time to create a synergistic fusion.

For a 50ml bottle of oil add 25 drops and see my articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and  “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”

“I’m Ready for You Baby”

For the birthing suite or getting prepared for labour –

Clary Sage       3 drops

Jasmine 3%   10 drops * see my article for more info on 3% blends in jojoba



When you have pain and can’t relax –

Clary Sage      2 drops

Peppermint     2 drops

Lavender        3 drops


Take a huge whiff to change your focus in seconds

Take a huge whiff to change your focus in seconds

2. Open The Bottle and Take a Huge Whiff

Take a GENTLE whiff of this oil to open your consciousness or when you can’t see past the little nitty-gritty parts of your day.


A personal mist is easy to make! pic via ebay.com.au

A personal mist is easy to make! pic via ebay.com.au

3. Personal Aura Cleansing Mist

In a 50ml mist bottle filled with water add 25 drops of oil

(depending on the packaging you have, you may need to use a little alcohol -like vodka- at the bottom of your bottle first, so the oils disperse into smaller drops to prevent clogging the atomiser top. I’ve found sometimes it works just with water, and sometimes it doesn’t – very annoying!)

“Universal Consciousness”

Expand beyond your self-imposed limitations –

Clary sage          6 drops

Mandarin           12 drops

Rose Geranium   6 drops

Cinnamon           3 drops


“I Just Love Everything Right Now”

To help convince yourself life isn’t so bad when you are having a challenging day –

Clary Sage          7 drops

Frankincense   10 drops

Orange                8 drops


“I Can Dream”

Dream big – it pays off –

Clary Sage                     5 drops

Cedarwood Virginian      8 drops

Petitgrain                      12 drops


Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

Anoint yourself with pure essential oil blends

4. Pure Pulse Point Perfume

In a little dish mix these oils and anoint your pulse points or chakras – 3 drops of essential oils and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil – always patch test first!

“Oh Wow I Created That”

Feel supported by the universe –

Clary Sage                   1 drop

Sandalwood Australian 1 drop

Lime                             1 drop


“It’s Been A Long Day”

Anoint yourself after a long day at work to settle in and relax –

Clary Sage    1 drop

Lavender      1 drop

Marjoram      1 drop


“I’m Over These Hot Flushes”

Clary works well for menopause symptoms too –

Clary sage    1 drop

Fennel          1 drop

Palmarosa    1 drop



You are……..

Clary Sage     1 drop

Myrrh             1 drop

Bergamot      1 drop


Happy blending and remember to use your intention when you are creating your formulas.See my article about intention.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013