Ylang Ylang brings comfort to your soul. It brings peace and relaxation.
Ylang Ylang is sweet, heavy, sensuous. It has the sultriness of a perfume-laden tropical evening when the sun has gone but the heat of the day remains. It talks to you softly but firmly, and the message is clear: ‘Why the hurry? Slow down, take it easy. Whatever you think you ought to be doing, right now you probably don’t need to be doing that. Just chill out and enjoy the moment.’ Maybe this oil has something special and important to say to us right now?
Ylang Ylang means ‘flower of flowers’, and although the plant is native to the Philippines and South East Asia it was introduced to Reunion, the Comoros Islands and the island of Nossi-Be (Madagascar), where it thrives in the volcanic soil. It is from here that most of the Ylang Ylang now comes. The trees are pollarded to prevent them from growing too high, so they can sometimes look a bit odd.
Uses & Benefits
Use Ylang Ylang to help you to relax, and for sleep (if it is overthinking and anxiety that keeps you awake). It is a very sensual oil which can be used as a perfume, and you may also find it brings confidence and self-esteem, or perhaps as an antidote to depression or anger. Physiologically it is antispasmodic, it is the ‘go to’ oil for high blood pressure, and is one you could turn to for help with ADHD-type symptoms. Simply smell it from a personal inhaler stick, put a couple of drops on the pillow, use a room diffuser add to a massage blend, or simply as a perfume.
Within the normal sensible safe use of essential oils there are no known contraindications. I wouldn’t suggest it if you have low blood pressure, but if that’s the case, you probably won’t like it anyway…
Which Ylang Ylang oil to choose?
This can be confusing as we offer seven different oils. Ylang Ylang is widely used in the perfume industry which specifies different ‘grades’, which have subtly different aromas. These ‘grades’ are actually different fractions from the distillation process. The oil that comes first is called ‘extra’, followed by grades I, II, and III. When all the fractions are carefully blended back together, this is the ‘Complete’ oil, and it is this which would probably be the first choice therapeutically.
Impressions of the different Ylang Ylang oils:
Ylang Ylang Complete Organic (3030): This is the one you probably want for aromatherapy: a beautifully-crafted rounded blend of the different fractions. It absolutely feels ‘complete’.
Ylang Ylang Extra Organic (3041) and Ylang Ylang Extra (3040): The ‘Extra’ comes from the first part of the distillation. This one has the most powerful top note, ethereal, light and playful with immense complexity. An immediate ‘hit’ to the limbic system when inhaled. The organic one has more top notes.
Ylang Ylang I Organic (3026): Distinctly ‘heavier’ than the Extra, with a buttery, minty, rich, saturated, more grounding effect.
Ylang Ylang III (3028): Distinctively missing the ethereal top notes of the earlier fractions, yet with a charming simplicity and directness.
Method of extraction: The oil is steam- or water-distilled from the flowers of Canaga odorata forma genuina. The ‘Extra’ oil comes in about an hour, I comes up to two and a half hours, II is after 3-4 hours, and III is after that, surprisingly up to 14 hours.
Note: Cananga oil is also derived from Cananga odorata but from a different form of the tree: Cananga odorata forma macrophylla rather than genuina.
A Sensual Perfume for you to try
This one is created and recommended by Feli Hoo, the Oshadhi representative in Malaysia. Gratitude to her of course, but feel free to create your own (and do a patch test first if in doubt):
6 drops of each of: Ylang Ylang Extra, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Clove, Nutmeg, blended in 6ml Olive Oil.