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