Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil Profile

Posted by Daniela Pelonara on


Yang-Ylang (Cananga odorata ) essential oil benefits

The sweet, exotic scent of Ylang-Ylang is widely used in perfumery to add a sensual and enchanting note. Excellent in skin care when used in small dilutions. The names ‘Cananga’ and ‘ylang-ylang’ are used interchangeably to describe the Cananga trees; however, there are differences and similarities between the two species. Ylang-Ylang is Canagaodorata var. genuina while Cananga is Cananga odorata va. macrophylla.  The essential oil of the Cananga tree is used to treat insect bites, in skin care, to relieve anxiety, depression, and stress-related illnesses; it is antiseptic, sedative, aphrodisiac, antidepressant, a tonic and a nervine. Ylang-ylang essential oil is used to treat insomnia, stress, to treat hyperactivity in children and as an aid to sexual difficulties; it is antiseptic, aphrodisiac, calming, balancing and a sedative.

Ylang-ylang is used to balance the skin and treat acne and blemishes, as well as to relieve inflammatory conditions of the skin.

There are different ‘extractions,’ of ylang-ylang and Cananga oils, as it is done in 3 different and separate phases. The first phase contains the highest amount of fragrant esters and therefore has the most intense aroma (quality ‘extra’). This Cananga is the first extraction. The highest the extraction the most expensive the oil will be.



Botanical Name: Cananga odorata var. genuina

Method of Extraction: Steam distillation from the flowers

Color: Bright yellow

Aroma: Intensively sweet and floral

Yield: 0.5% – 1.0%

Blends well with:  Bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, clove, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine, lemon, may chang, mandarin, neroli, orange, palmarosa, patchouli, petitgrain, rose, sandalwood, vetiver

Therapeutic properties: carminative, deodorant, nervine, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, antiseptic, sedative, aphrodisiac, antidepressant, a tonic, and a nervine.


For an exotic and sweet blend burn or diffuse 2-3 drops together with a base note or a citrus oil. Ylang Ylang can be overpowering and if diffuse for too long can trigger headaches.

Enjoy a relaxing massage adding 2-3 Petitgrain to every 5 ml of carrier oil. it can also be applied on pulse points with similar dilutions as perfume.

Add 5 drops of Petitgrain oil and 3 of Geranium to warm water for a refreshing and floral bath

For combination skin, blend with aloe vera gel or plain cream at max 0.5% dilution. Ylang Ylang is a very active oil and must be used in low dilutions when applied topically.

Always patch test as Ylang Ylang can be quite a reactive oil. Do not use if you have sensitive skin or broken skin.

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