Essential Oil:  Ylang Ylang

Botanical Name:  Cananga odorata

Botanical Family:  Annonaceae

I’ve heard Ylang Ylang pronounced so many different ways.  Lang Lang, Yang Yang, EE-long EE-long.  The way it sounds will totally depend on your own language and accent.

Ylang Ylang essential oil is steam distilled from the flowers of the Cananga tree.  The Cananga is a flowering evergreen native to Southeast Asia.   For essential oil production Ylang Ylang usually comes from  Madagascar, Reunion, The Comoros Islands, and the Philippines.

Ylang Ylang is an essential oil produced by fractional distillation within which producers typically end up with 4-5 different variations of the oil.  The Extra which is the first 10-15% of essential oil that comes out of the still.  Ylang Ylang #1 appears next and the final is usually called Ylang Ylang 3 or Ylang Complete.  The most variation in scent and price occur between the Extra and the remaining qualities of oil.   Ylang Ylang Extra has a sweet heady floral scent and typically sells for $15-$22 for 10mL.  This is the fraction most sought after for perfumery.   Other fractions of Ylang Ylang sell for about $10-$15 for a similar quantity.

Ylang Ylang is one of the few inexpensive floral essential oils.  The low cost and high intensity make it a very cost effective addition to soaps and other skin care products.  She works well with many other essential oils but can easily overpower them so use a light touch when blending.  Use Ylang Ylang whenever your blend needs a floral, feminine, or sexy element.  It’s a bit like Jasmine but far lower in price.

In Aromatherapy Ylang Ylang is best known for being an aphrodisiac and lowering blood pressure.  The rich sensual fragrance can help arouse sexual desire but can also lull you to sleep.  In fact, its aphrodisiac action is attributed to its ability to alleviate stress and anxiety which can inhibit sexual desire.  Ylang Ylang is also indicated for individuals dealing with depression, anger, and frustration.

In skin care Ylang Ylang is useful for softening the skin and balancing moisture as well as sebum production.   It is recommended in hair care to heal split ends.  For this purpose it could be added to an unscented hair conditioner, or carrier oil and applied to the ends of your hair.

Spiritually, Ylang Ylang is for those, especially women, who are in need of self-love and appreciation.  For men, Ylang Ylang can help smooth the rough edges in a personality and reveal the feminine qualities of intuition and understanding.   Ylang Ylang is undeniably sensual and is a good match for anyone who wants to increase their lust for life, especially those who are inhibited and reserved.

Like Patchouli, Ylang Ylang tends to be an essential oil people either love or hate.  Too much Ylang Ylang can be hypnotic (in a bad way) causing sudden sleepiness, headaches, and nausea.

Here’s an  Ylang Ylang blend I like to diffuse at home:

3 Ylang Ylang
10 Lemon
1 Vanilla Absolute

Try it and let me know what you think!  Enjoy using your Ylang Ylang.

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