Ylang-Ylang is in high demand by the perfumery industry, especially for the formulation of oriental, floral and many high-end perfumes. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil is used extensively as a fragrance in all kinds of cosmetic products such as soaps, shampoos and conditioners. Other than cosmetics and perfumery, the oil can also be found in some foods (mostly desserts), beverages, and fruit flavours. Cananga odorata, Ylang-Ylang, also known as Cananga Tree, Ilang-Ilang, Kenanga or Fragrant Cananga is a fast growing tropical tree. It has pointed oval, smooth and glossy evergreen leaves with highly fragrant, pink, mauve or yellow flowers that are tender and large. This tree can grow up to 20 meters tall. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil is a pale to a golden yellow liquid. It releases an intensely sweet yet soft, exotic, floral, balsamic and slightly spicy aroma. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil is obtained by water or steam distillation from the fresh fragrant flowers of the Cananga Tree. The yellow flowers are considered to be the best for the production of the essential oil. The oil’s principal chemical constituents are methyl benzoate, methyl salicylate, methyl para-cretol, benzyl acetate, eugenol, geraniol, linalol, terpenes: pinene and cadinene among others. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil has been used as an aphrodisiac and antidepressant. Its anti-infectious, antiseborrhoeic, antiseptic, euphoric, hypotensive, nervine, regulator, sedative (nervous), stimulant (circulatory) and tonic properties provide benefits to our health.
Even though the name Ylang-Ylang is commonly interpreted as “flowers of flowers” it is possible that the name originated from the Philippines. In the Tagalog language spoken in the Philippines, the word ilang means “wilderness” and refers to the tree’s natural habitat. The word ilan means “rare” and suggests that its flowers hold a rare and exceptionally delicate scent. The name could also have come from a combination of both Tagalog words, ilang-ilan, referencing a rare and wild tree. People have always been attracted to Ylang-Ylang’s sweet aroma. It is traditionally used as an ornamental flower and perfume. People living in the regions where the tree is native have been using it for centuries. People of the Bori Bori tribe from the Tahiti islands in French Polynesia, traditionally decorate themselves with Ylang-Ylang flowers. They use the oil as a hair conditioning agent, to help stimulate hair growth and to maintain overall good health. In Indonesia, Ylang-Ylang flowers are traditionally spread on the bed and around the room of a newly married couple. The aroma is known to stimulate adrenal glands, enhance the sexual energy, and promote the feelings of love, joy and peace. The oil was useful to the natives for the preparation of ointments. When rubbed onto the body, it was effective in preventing fever and malaria and would help the body fight infections. The oil became popular in Europe in the 19th century when it was used as an ingredient in Macassar Oil, the popular hair treatment of the time. Due to its stimulating effect on the scalp, the treatment was believed to encourage hair growth. The most famous product using Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil is the worldwide known feminine fine fragrance, known under the name Chanel No. 5. It was formulated in the year 1920 and released to the market the following year.
The Ylang-Ylang tree is native to tropical Asia and most likely to the Philippines and Indonesia as well. It is commonly grown across the tropical areas of Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Madagascar and the Comoro and Reunion islands.
Skin & Body Care
Ylang ylang essential oil is a known remedy for the following; acne, insect bites, irritated and oily skin, and for general skin care.
Ylang ylang essential oil is a known remedy for hair growth and used for hair rinses.