Ylang Ylang essential oil, Cananga odorata, is steam distilled from the fragrant flowers of the ylang-ylang tree (pronounced EE-lang EE-lang). It is sometimes called the "poor man's Jasmine." In Indonesia, fresh Ylang Ylang flowers are placed on the bed of newlyweds and in the Malayan language Ylang Ylang means "flower of flowers." Its exotic, sweet fragrance, is often used in high-class perfumes. In fact, the perfume Chanel No. 5 uses Ylang Ylang as one of its key ingredients.
Ylang Ylang helps to maintain moisture, and helps balance and regulate oil production to prevent excessive dryness or oiliness. It is good for dry, normal, oily, sensitive, and combination skin types.
Its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties make it a good product for acne-prone skin. Ylang Ylang soothes inflamed or irritated skin. It stimulates circulation and has anti-microbial properties, both of which help eases acne.
In hair care, ylang ylang is a hair rejuvenator, stimulates scalp circulation, and is believed to encourage hair growth. It helps condition and brighten dull hair and balances the production of sebum making it good for all hair types. It eases hair loss by enhancing circulation.
Aromatherapy Properties: The beautifully sweet fragrant, fruity-floral and soothing scent creates feelings of peace and warmth by restoring mental harmony and balance. Ylang Ylang promotes relaxation from daily stress, calms anxiety and fatigue, and promotes the faster onset of sleep. Its penetrating and sweet aroma also improves mood and helps to stimulate positive feelings. Its sweet, euphoric aroma inspires romance and is regarded by many as an aphrodisiac.
Ylang Extra, I, II, III, and Complete: What's the Difference?
When botanicals are steam distilled to produce essential oils the aromatic molecules that are the smallest, the lightest, and the most delicate notes escape first. Then throughout the distillation process, the larger and heavier aromatic molecules are released.
Ylang ylang is always distilled in “fractions.” This means that the distillation process is stopped at various stages and the essential oil produced at that point is taken off and then the distillation continues.
As a result, there are actually five different classifications or types of Ylang Ylang essential oil based on the time at which the oil is taken off (fractionated off) during the whole distillation process.
- Ylang Ylang Extra
- Ylang Ylang I
- Ylang Ylaang II
- Ylang Ylang III
- Ylang Ylang Complete,
When the steam distillation process begins, the oil that is collected within the first hour or two is called Ylang Ylang Extra which is often considered the best grade for use in perfumery.
Once Ylang Ylang Extra is collected, the distillation process continues. After a specific period of time, the distillation process is stopped, more oil is collected, and is called Ylang Ylang I. The process repeats, resulting in Ylang Ylang II and Ylang Ylang III. A full undisturbed distillation takes about 15 hours and creates Ylang Ylang Complete.
The general fragrance profile of Ylang Ylang can be described as sweet, exotic, and floral, but each higher grade has a slightly less-sweet aroma than the previous one. The different grades do not indicate the quality of the oil--Ylang Ylang III is not inferior to Ylang Ylang I--they are different! The grades reflect the difference in the main constituents present in each grade which influences the overall scent of the oil. In a mini-experiment performed at our shop, more people enjoyed the scent of Ylang Ylang I than the Extra--it is a personal preference.
- Ylang Ylang Extra: The aroma is sweeter, more fruity, and has a very dense floral scent compared to other grades. This fraction is the most volatile and thus the most aromatic but the scent can dissipate quite quickly. The floral scent can be overpowering to some.
Ylang Ylang I: The aroma is bright, sweet, and floral but “heavier” than Ylang Ylang Extra. It is more well-rounded than Ylang Ylang II. There is a nice mellow scent with a hint of spice or balsam.
Ylang Ylang II: The scent is still a bit sweet and a bit floral. It is similar to Ylang Ylang I but slightly less potent.
Ylang Ylang III: The floral scent is deeper, less sweet, and more herbaceous and earthy than the other “fractions.”
- Ylang Ylang Complete: This oil is supposed to be closest to the actual scent of Ylang Ylang since it is the result of a continuous, undisturbed distillation of the Ylang Ylang flower over 15 hours and includes the complete range of aromatic molecules. Often times it is just a blend of each of the 4 types blended back together. This fraction has fruity notes and retains a rich floral character but with heavier balsamic and herbaceous notes. The general scent is lighter, some say more well-rounded than Ylang Ylang Extra.
The Ylang Ylang Extra and Complete essential oils are more expensive than the other fractions.
Pregnancy and Children: We do not provide information on the safety of essential oils during Pregnancy or for use in Children because the available information is very ambiguous and often contradictory. If you’re interested in using essential oils during pregnancy or with young children please do your own research and consult your doctor, midwife, or health care professional before use.
Precautions: If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, have a medical condition, or have any medical concerns regarding yourself or your family consult a qualified, licensed health professional prior to use. For external use only. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. Keep out of reach of children.