10ml Ylang Ylang Oil

10ml Ylang Ylang Oil


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Ylang ylang essential oil is produced from the freshly-picked flowers of the Cananga odorata tree, which is native to Indonesia and the Philippines. Madagascar, Reunion and the Comoro Islands are the major oil producers. Ylang ylang is very closely related to cananga, or Cananga odoratum var. macrophylla, but is considered to be of more superior quality. Both species belong to the Annonaceae plant family.

Ylang ylang essential oil is extracted by water or steam distillation, which is collected in several fractions. The first distillate is referred to as ylang ylang extra, with the successive distillates known as first, second and third grade. Ylang ylang extra is the highest quality oil, while the third grade is the lowest quality. There is also another oil available, referred to as ylang ylang complete. It is not collected in fractions, instead representing the total oil, however it is usually produced by blending ylang ylang extra together with the first and second grades. Ylang ylang complete and ylang ylang extra are the preferred oils in aromatherapy.


Ylang ylang essential oil is a pale yellow, oily liquid with a powerful floral and intensely sweet aroma. The base note becomes more pleasant, softer and sweet. The lower grades do not smell as powerful and rich as the top ones. Ylang ylang has a base note and blends well with many oils such as jasmine, vetiver, rose, bergamot, lemongrass, may chang and lime, although it is considered to be a perfume in its own right.

Chemical Constituents

The main chemical constituents found in ylang ylang essential oil vary depending on the grade, but typically include:

  • benzyl acetate – an ester that gives ylang ylang its highly fragrant aroma

  • linalol – an alcohol that has antiseptic and sedative properties

  • beta-caryophyllene – a terpene that has antidepressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties.

Safety Considerations

Ylang ylang essential oil is generally non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitising. Excessive use may cause headaches or nausea due to its heady scent.

Historical and Traditional Uses

Traditionally ylang ylang was used in skin and hair care, and as an ointment to prevent fever and fight infections. The oil was also used to ease insect bites, and as a regulator for the cardiac and respiratory rhythms. In Indonesia, ylang ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newly-weds on their wedding night. Ylang ylang is also used extensively in cosmetics and toiletries, with the top grades being preferred for use in high-class perfumes, and the lower grades more suited to soaps.

Therapeutic Actions

The therapeutic properties of ylang ylang essential oil include:

  • aphrodisiac

  • antidepressant

  • antiseptic

  • euphoric

  • sedative

  • tonic.

Aromatherapy Use

Skin Care:

  • acne – skin oil or lotion

  • general skin care – massage, skin oil or cream

  • hair growth – oil or hair care product

  • insect bites – skin oil or cream

  • oily skin – massage, skin oil or lotion.

Circulation, Muscles and Joints:

  • high blood pressure – massage, bath or vaporisation

  • palpitations – massage.

Genito-Urinary System:

  • frigidity – massage, bath or vaporisation

  • premenstrual syndrome – massage, bath or vaporisation.

Nervous System:

  • anxiety – massage, bath or vaporisation

  • depression – massage, bath or vaporisation

  • stress and tension – massage, bath or vaporisation.

Emotional and Spiritual Connection

Ylang ylang is associated with the colour orange and the sacral chakra. It has a cooling energy and helps to clear heat and tension from the heart. Ylang ylang helps to create feelings of peace and dispel anger, frustration and rage, which are often obstructions to healing, meditation and spiritual activities. It also promotes femininity, charisma, confidence, passion and sensuality.