Ylang Ylang, as weird as the name might sound to you, the oil is really one of the kinds that a normal being would love to use in any kind of beauty session or simply to relax the senses and feel pampered.
Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina) is a tall tropical tree that grows up to 65 feet high with large delicate flowers that come in shades of yellow, mauve, or pink. The yellow flowers are preferred for the extraction of the essential oil, which is steam distilled from the freshly picked flowers in fractionated rounds to separate the –
- Floral notes (about 40% of the yield)
from the more earthy-bourbon type notes of the successive fractionations.
It is indigenous to tropical Asia, but the most prized oil comes from Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. The oil is characterized as intensely sweet, soft, floral-balsamic, with a slightly spicy scent and a creamy-rich top note.
Ylang ylang essential oil is one of the first oils I remember smelling as a child. At that time I had never even heard of aromatherapy, but I just loved the aroma as I walked into the room (it was being burnt in a diffuser), and I wanted to know what it was!
Sensual and exotic ylang ylang is renowned for its aphrodisiac properties and is often used in the name of love! Ylang ylang means ‘flower of flowers’….and that in itself conjures up romance!
The tree grows to a height of 60 feet, and there are three varieties with different coloured flowers – pink, mauve and yellow. The best essential oil comes from the yellow flowered tree. The finest of all comes from flowers picked early in the morning in early summer!
There are several grades of ylang ylang essential oil as it is produced by fractional distillation. The first distillation is called ylang-ylang extra, which is the purest and finest. Then comes ylang ylang 1, 2 and 3. The ‘extra’ is not used in aromatherapy, but used in the perfume industry.
Ylang ylang essential oil appears to work best when it is blended with other essential oils. However, it can be overpowering, so it is best to use it in small amounts whether on its own or in a blend.
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