Ylang-ylang Essential Oil


Family name: Annonaceae - Soursop or Custard Apple Family
Botanical name: Cananga odorata J.D. Hook. & T. Thompson f. odorata
Other names: Cananga, Flower of flowers, Perfume tree, Alang-ilang, Ilang-ilang (Filipino), Kenanga (Malay, Javanese), Kananga (Indonesian), Moso oi (Samoan), Ylang-ylang (Fr, Ge)
Parts used: The flowers
Extraction: Steam distillation of the fresh ylang ylang flowers obtained from plantation-grown trees (not wild trees). Production takes place throughout most of the year, but especially during the rainy season (November-April).

The first distillate is called Ylang-ylang extra, which is the top grade. You can also find on the market Ylang-ylang I, Ylang-ylang II and Ylang-ylang III. These differ in the hours of distillation. There is also Ylang-ylang complete, which is produced by mixing together the I, II and III fractions.

Ylang-ylang extra and Ylang-ylang I are sufficiently high enough in sesquiterpenes and esters to be of any therapeutic value. All grades are are useful for perfumery!

Yield of essential oil: 1 kg oil yield from 40 - 80 kg of the fresh flowers (a good yield)
Chance of adulteration in essential oils: Mild and usually at the source with the flowers of climbing ylang ylang (Artabotrys uncinatus)
INCI-name on cosmetic products: Cananga odorata


Ylang-ylang is a tall tropical tree up to 20 meters high with large, tender, fragrant flowers, which can be pink, mauve or yellow. The yellow flowers are considered best for the extraction of essential oil.


Ylang-ylang is native to tropical Asia, especially Indonesia and the Philippines. Major oil producers are Madagascar, Reunion and the Comoro Islands.


In Indonesia the flowers are spread on the beds of newly married couples on their wedding night. In the Molucca Islands, an ointment made from ylang ylang and cucuma flowers in a coconut oil base for cosmetic and hair care use, skin diseases, to prevent fever (including malaria) and fight infections. In the Victorian age, the oil was used in the popular hair treatment Macassar oil, due to its stimulating effect on the scalp, encouraging hair growth. The oil was also used to soothe insect bites and is thought to have a regulating effect on cardiac and respiratory rhythm.


Appearance: A mobile pale yellow fluid
Taste: Sweet, bitter
Aroma: Strong, smooth floral-sweet odor with faint lemony overtones
Perfumery status: A heart note of very high intensity and moderate persistence
FruFloRa Principle: Flo-note (Heart note)


Skin Care: Acne, hair growth, hair rinse, insect bites, irritated and oily skin, general skin care.

Circulation muscles and joints: High blood pressure, hyperpnoea (abnormally fast breathing), tachycardia, palpitations

Nervous system: Depression, frigidity, impotence, insomnia, nervous tension, stress-related disorders, low self-esteem, loss of sexual interest, anger, fearfulness, restlessness, euphoric, sedative.

Ylang ylang soothes and inhibits anger born frustration!


Blends well with Rosewood, Jasmine, Vetiver, Bergamot, Mimosa, Cassie, Rose, Petitgrain, Peru balsam.


Chakra: Sacral chakra
Astrological sign: Pisces
Planet: Neptune
Element: Water
Quality: Yin
Dosha effect: PV-, K+


Aroma energy: Sweet
Movement: Circulating
Warmth: Neutral
Meridian tropism: Liver, Hearth, Kidney
Five-Element affinity: Wood, Water, Fire
Essential function: To regulate the Qi and harmonize the Shen


Safety summary: non-toxic, non-irritant, skin sensitization (moderate risk) in hypersensitive individuals.
Contraindications: None known
Cautions (dermal): Hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin, children under 2 years of age.
Maximum dermal use level: 0.8 %


Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl salicylate, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Linalool 


Just Chillin´ - Therapeutic evening oil


Aromatica vol 2. - Peter Holmes LAc, Mh
Essential Oil Safety - Tisserand and Young
The Energetics of Western Herbs - Peter Holmes
The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils - Julia Lawless
Ayurveda & Aromatherapy - Dr. Light Miller, ND and Dr. Bryan Miller, DC
Aromainfo Database - www.aroma-database.com
Tisserand Institute - Essential Oil Education