Ylang Ylang

In Indonesia, ylang ylang flowers are placed on the bed of a newlywed couple on their wedding night...

Ylang ylang is intoxicating and uplifting with an intensely sweet, floral scent.

Nature: exotic, enticing

It is sedative and soothing, making it particularly useful for calming rapid breathing and increased heart rate.

It has a balancing effect on skin and can be used for both oily and dry skin conditions.

Ideal in a hair rinse (add 2 drops in your rinse water), and as a general tonic for the scalp.

Principal Actions: Euphoriant, skin and hair rejuvenator, circulatory system stimulant.

Practical Uses

Methods of Use: massage, bath, shower, add to skin care products, body oil, face oil, air spray, burner, deodorize, vaporize

Skin Care with Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang is used in general skin care for acne, dry skin conditions, hair growth, hair rinse, insect bites, irritated and oily skin.

To clarify and balance oily or combination skin: Mix 2 drops ylang ylang, 4 drops bergamot, 2 drops geranium into 20ml/4tsp of a light carrier oil such as grapeseed. Apply to the face as necessary.

Circulation, Muscles & Joints

Ylang ylang has a regulating effect on the cardiac and respiratory systems and is helpful in cases of high blood pressure, hyperpnoea (abnormally fast breathing), tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) and palpitations.

To help balance high blood pressure and ease hypertension: Mix 2 drops ylang ylang, 4 drops sweet marjoram 4 drops lavender and use in a bath or vaporize.

Add this mixture to 20ml/4tsp carrier oil to use in a massage. Additional oils that are helpful include lemon balm (melissa), lemon, clary sage and yarrow.

To ease palpitations: Mix 2 drops ylang ylang, 4 drops sweet orange, 4 drops rose into 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and use in a massage.

Nervous System

This exotic oil lifts the spirits, promotes relaxation and is well known for its sensual properties. The uplifting scent is superb in relieving emotional states of anxiety, depression, frigidity, impotence, insomnia, nervous tension and stress-related disorders.

The following blends can be mixed together and used in a bath, vaporized or added to 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and use in a massage:

To ease emotional anxiety: Mix 2 drops ylang ylang, 4 drops jasmine and 4 drops lavender

  • For emotional anxiety, ylang ylang can also be combined with bergamot, lemon balm (melissa) or frankincense.

To ease nervous tension: Mix 2 drops ylang ylang, 4 drops rose and 4 drops sandalwood

  • For nervous tension and stress-related disorders, ylang ylang can also be combined with clary sage, cedarwood, chamomile, frankincense, jasmine, lemon balm (melissa), sweet marjoram, neroli, patchouli, rose or vetiver.

Safety Data: non-toxic, non-irritant, although ylang ylang may irritate sensitive skin - some cases of sensitization have been reported. Avoid using ylang ylang on inflammatory skin conditions and dermatitis. Powerful oil, dilute well and use in small quantities, in moderation; the heady scent of ylang ylang can cause headaches or nausea.

Ylang Ylang in Aromatherapy

Botanical Name: Cananga odorata

Note: Base - 91

Parts Used: large flowers from a tropical tree 20 m high

Source: water or steam distillation of the flowers of the tall tropical tree native to Asia. Most of the oil is produced in Madagascar, Reunion and the Comoros Islands. Some sources are distilled from the flowers of the tree in the Philippines.

Description and Odor Effect: a pale yellow liquid with an intensely sweet, floral scent reminiscent of a blend of jasmine and almonds. Its odor effect is intoxicating and antidepressant.

Blends well with: clary sage, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, neroli, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, citrus essences, other floral essences

Applications: massage, bath, shower, add to skin care products, body oil, face oil, air spray, burner, deodorize, vaporize

Therapeutic Properties: antidepressant, antipruritic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, calmative, carminative, emmenagogue, emollient, euphoriant, fixative, hair/scalp tonic, hypotensor, moisturizer, muscle relaxant, nervine, rejuvenator (skin and hair), relaxant, sedative (nervous system), stimulant (circulatory system), tonic

Safety Data: non-toxic, non-irritant, some cases of sensitization reported. Use in moderation; the heady scent of ylang ylang can cause headaches or nausea.

Chemical Composition

Chemical composition includes: (Percentage composition figures are given as a guide – ylang ylang is an oil of variable make-up.)

Cananga Odorata Flos [ylang ylang] Annonaceae
Representative constituents
Hydrocarbons
monoterpenes a-pinene, ß-pinene
sesquiterpenes a-farnesene and ?-cadinene 6.5–17.4%, ß-caryophyllene 15–22%, germacrene D 15–25%, d-cadinene 2–4.7%, a-humulene 0.9–2.5%
Alcohols
monoterpenols linalool 11.6–30%, geraniol, nerol
sesquiterpenols farnesol
aromatic benzyl alcohol
Phenols eugenol, isoeugenol
Methyl ethers p-cresyl methyl ether 15%, methyl eugenol
Benzodioxoles safrole, isosafrole
Esters (15%)
monoterpenyl geranyl acetate 5–10%
sesquiterpenyl farnesyl acetate 1–7%
aromatic methyl anthranilate, methyl salicylate 1–10%, benzyl benzoate 5–12%, benzyl acetate 3–8%, benzyl salicylate, methyl benzoate 1–5.5%, p-cresyl acetate

Other: There are four grades of this essential oil – ylang ylang extra, ylang ylang #1, ylang ylang #2, and ylang ylang #3. The essential oils are obtained by slow distillation, and the producers draw off different grades of essential oil at different stages. The first distillate (about 40 per cent) is called ylang ylang extra, and is considered to be the best grade. There are three further successive distillates, called grades 1, 2 and 3. Ylang ylang Extra has the most therapeutic value for use in aromatherapy.

Ylang Ylang – Quick Reference

Skin: acne, hair growth, hair rinse, insect bites, irritated and oily skin, general skin care

Circulation, Muscles & Joints: high blood pressure, hyperpnoea (abnormally fast breathing), tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), palpitations

Nervous: depression, frigidity, impotence, insomnia, nervous tension and stress-related disorders

Keyword: Sensual

Ylang Ylang Magic: The calmer and creator of peace and love. Used to dispel anger, negativity, fear or frigidity.

Ylang Ylang Harmony

Add these essential oils to 20 ml / 4 teaspoons carrier oil

To lift mood and ease depression

  • 2 drops Ylang Ylang
  • 4 drops Benzoin
  • 4 drops Tangerine
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Home Essentials

  • One drop of lemon essential oil on a soft cloth will polish copper with gentle buffing.
  • When washing out the fridge, freezer or oven, add 1 drop of bergamont, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange or mandarin essential oil to the final rinse water.
  • Essential oils of Atlas cedarwood, cypress, frankincense, myrrh and vetiver all make wonderful firewood oils. Drop approximately 2-3 drops of oil or blend of your choice on a dried log and allow time for the oil to soak in before putting the log on the fire.
  • Flies and moths dislike lavender oil. Sprinkle it on the outside of your window frames.

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Body Essentials

  • Overindulge last night? Essential oils of carrot seed, cedarwood, fennel, grapefruit, juniper berry, lavender and lemon help soften the effects of a hangover. Make your own blend from these oils and use a total of 6-8 drops in a bath.
  • 6 – 8 drops of eucalyptus oil in the bath cools the body in summer and protects it in winter.
  • Add 1 drop geranium oil to your facial moisturizer to bring out a radiant glow in your skin.
  • Place 1 or 2 drops of rosemary on your hair brush before brushing to promote growth and thickness.

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Creating a Balanced Blend

For a balanced massage blend, combine the essential oil drops in these proportions of essential oil "notes":

  • 3 drops Base Note
  • 7 drops Middle Note
  • 5 drops Top Note

For a total of 15 drops of essential oils per 30ml (1 oz) of carrier oil.


Top notes are the first impression of the blend; short-lived, yet brilliant. Top notes are sharp, penetrating, first to evaporate, extreme, and either hot or cold. Top notes provide the "ahhhh" in a blend.


Middle notes give body to blends - the developing phase with breadth and variety. Middle notes are warm, round, soft and mellow. Middle notes often provide the bulk, 50% to 80%, of the blend.


Base Notes are the final, lasting message of the blend; they deepen your blend and draw it into the skin, giving it roots and permanence. Base notes are deep, intense, rich and sensual. Base notes should be used sparingly, about 5%, so as not to overpower the blend.


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