Published by N-essentials Team on 2nd Jul 2021

Some fragrant yet meek yellow flowers covertly bloom in the dead of night — releasing its iconic, sensual aroma. As they hang delicately from their branches, these captivating ylang ylang flowers produce a unique element: the  ylang ylang essential oils. Although a little under the radar, its scent is a classic and an epitome of elegance dating back to the Victorian era. Truly, the ylang ylang scent is all over the place. Let us unpack more about this oil and its undeniable allure.


Although little is known about it, ylang ylang has a long history. There are several versions of its folklore. But whichever legend is your favourite, the moral of the story is that ylang ylang inherits the purest of scents.

In the Wiccan tradition, these fragrant and beautiful flowers are associated with the planet Venus because they identify its aroma with self-accepting love and dispels fear. Because of its distinctive fragrance, the flowers are being used for meditations and embellished during honeymoons. Everywhere it grows, people always try to utilise its scent, even in the most mundane matter — like accessorising the hair.

The tropical tree also got the attention of European explorers in the 1600s. Over time, it became popular on the continent. And, around the 1700s, Macassar oil was invented. It was a concoction of natural oils, ylang ylang essential oil included.


Pronounced as “ee-lang ee-lang”, this tropical species means “flower of flowers” in the Philippine language. It is a reduplication of the Tagalog-derived term “ilang”, meaning wilderness, suggesting the flower’s natural habitat. These fast-growing trees thrive in the tropical forests located in the South Pacific and Asia. Scientifically identified as Cananga Odorata botanical, it is popularly known as the Fragrant Cananga or, the perfume tree.

When trees are grown for oil production, farmers need to do extensive pruning regularly so that the tree stays shorter and that flowers are easily reached. By doing so, the growth of the tree is restricted by two meters in height. Growing these trees beginning from a seed will take about 3 to 4 years before the ylang ylang starts blooming. It will only bloom twice a year but eventually, as the tree matures, it will bloom almost constantly, producing a massive 25 kilograms of flowers per year.

Moreover, the star-shaped flowers release their most intense fragrance at night to attract moths that pollinate them. To capture the fragrance at its peak, the flowers are harvested for oil production during these nocturnal hours to retain their highest aromatic concentration. Traditionally, the production process is done right away the same morning it is harvested. Their potent properties are then preserved and this will guarantee the highest quality oil extracted. Pretty in name as it is in nature, we get its signature floral scent in the oil.


The production of ylang ylang trees has long been an ongoing source of income, particularly to struggling areas. More significantly, they help reforest existing forests and woodlands that have depleted. For this reason, their production is both an economical and an environmental win. Last January of 2017, the Pangasinan province of the Philippines had an ylang ylang initiative. Successfully, they were able to plant an astounding number of 200,000 trees. What's more, the drive has steady plans to sow thousands more.


Ylang ylang essential oil is the natural oil extracted from the flowers of the Cananga odorata tree via steam distillation. The oil is described as fluid and clear.

As one of the complex essential oils, its composition comprises about 161 different individual compounds in a substantial amount. Indeed, it is characterised by authenticity. While many compounds are identified, its main contributing component is linalool, which happens to be also found in Basil, Lavender, and Coriander oil — all of which are beneficial oils in their own right.


It has been said that it takes about 100 kilograms of flowers to make 2 litres of oil. The production process is simple yet effective. Similar to olives, these fragrant flowers produce more oil with gradual processing. The first and most intense distillation of the flowers, known as the Ylang ylang extra, is usually reserved as a top note for the perfume industry. During the 3 rd to its last and weakest distillation, the extracted oil is often intended for soap making and other skincare products.

The fifth and final variety is called the “Ylang ylang Complete”. The word “complete” is referenced to a variety that resulted from a continuous 6 to 20 hours of undisturbed distillation. Blending is a crucial procedure in the final stage. It needs to be carried out well at the end of the process to guarantee the purity of ylang ylang essential oil. At this stage, the oil significantly retains its scent but with lighter and herbaceous undertones. In total, there are only 5 diversifications present for this oil.



We have been mentioning the whole time how ylang ylang oil is beneficial for its fragrance that other equally significant benefits are overshadowed. Take its skincare benefits and application, for instance. Recent studies were carried out to explore the benefits of this oil in terms of cosmetic and topical use. The research concluded that the oil can balance the sebum production of the skin. For this reason, we can prevent breakouts. In addition to this, it works efficiently as a facial cleanser because of its cleaning properties. Not to mention, its ability to retain hydration makes the oil befitting to moisturising products thereby preventing excessive dryness.

And, finally, like most natural oils, the ylang ylang essential oil is rich in antioxidants and makes an effective ingredient to work against tired-looking, ageing skin. For facial application, dilute 1 to 2 drops of this nourishing oil with a carrier oil, then gently massage it into your face during the skincare routine.


For hair care, the macassar oil was a good proof in history that proves the ylang ylang oil’s effectiveness in hair. More than that, reports were stating that a combination of this beneficent oil and coconut oil had a 95% effectiveness in eliminating head lice among children. It is no surprise why commercial shampoos are incorporating this oil. What’s more, its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties aid our scalp in removing dandruff debris. Applying diluted oil into your scalp will promote healthy-looking, radiant skin. It provides just the right amount of shine and bounces that your hair needs.


A touch of ylang ylang oil in your  homemade soaps and DIY bath bombs will instantly create a luxurious relaxating sensation. Other than lavender and chamomile, this nourishing oil will give you that spa-like experience.

If you decide to start making your customised blend of skincare products intended for your bath routine, a good rule of thumb is to focus on one type of essential oil and mix it with a carrier oil. The basic ratio for blends to use in the bath is 5-20 drops of essential oil, the ylang ylang oil, to one tablespoon of your preferred carrier oil.

For our ylang ylang, the common carrier oils that blend perfectly well are Coconut oil and Jojoba oil. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, some suggestions that create a bespoke, indulgent blend are Macadamia, Argan, and Sweet Almond oil.



In perfumery, this fragrant oil is generally used as a heart or middle note. At the heart of Channel No. 5 – the world’s most legendary fragrance and the grande dame of perfumery industry, is our ylang ylang oil.

Its distinctive fragrance with fruity nuance finds favour from across the globe. Some celebrities are sworn fans of the fragrance. Other than Chanel No. 5, many opulent perfumes are created using this fragrant oil today. Its well-established prominence makes the concoction desired by many. This is why the oil may be more common than you think. They may already be a part of your scent. You’re just not aware yet. Included in even the smallest, substantial amount still makes this oil remarkable.


In aromatherapy applications, this nourishing, scented oil can be used for massage and at the same time, reap its skin benefits. Like Jasmine and Rose, the aroma of Ylang ylang is also considered sensual. Like most essential oils, they are favourable to use in a diffuser or as fresheners for their pleasant fragrance. When sprayed to freshen up an indoor space, this essential oil blends well with Palmarosa, Clary Sage, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lavender, and Sandalwood essential oils. For an aromatic bath that all together creates a romantic atmosphere, combine 10 drops each of the Ylang ylang oil and Grapefruit oil to be blended with 2 cups of Dead Sea Salt in a glass bowl. Moreover, you may simply add 3 to 5 drops of ylang ylang essential oil to the wall. The hot water will do the job of diffusing the aroma. Lastly, for an aromatic massage, dilute 5 drops of this nourishing oil with 10 ml carrier oil preferred.

IMPORTANT: This product is intended for external use only. Keep out of reach of children and perform a patch test before use to avoid skin sensitivities.


There’s been an ongoing awareness today of green cleaning. Making use of natural oils is the way to go. It is sustainable, environmental-friendly and, not to mention, less harmful to our household.

For instance, combining ylang ylang oil with Citronella oil and Corn starch can make an effective insect repellent which is considered safe for both humans and animals. Known to have insecticidal elements, our ylang ylang can drive away insects, arachnids, and other arthropods. A study supports its claim that, indeed, the extracts of ylang ylang oil have repellent properties. What’s more, the study mentioned that the oil can proactively kill mosquito eggs. For application, add a few drops of this beneficent oil to your homemade insect repellant and into your DIY floor cleaner.

However, they have to be applied with caution. Ylang ylang essential oil is among the essential oils that can be harmful to our beloved pets. This is because cats and dogs have a heightened sensitivity when it comes to smell compared to their human counterparts. Considering our topic today, we have been mentioning the oil’s fragrance the whole time. What you believe to be minimal might already be a significant amount for them.


There are several ways to get creative with this natural oil. Some will be enumerated below:

  • USE FOR LAUNDRY SPRAY — For an added natural concoction to your ironing mist that will scent your clothes, add 1 to 2 drops of the ylang ylang oil and blend it with 2 drops of Sandalwood oil to a small spraying bottle filled with clean water.
  • USE FOR DISHWASHER — The cleansing properties of this beneficent oil is useful to remove grease from your cooking vessels. For application, blend 3 drops each of this oil and lemongrass oil. Then mix it with 2 tablespoons of cooking soda, which is also a good cleansing product, to create an instant natural dishwasher.
  • USE FOR SCENTED CANDLES — You may want to try this as we’ve found that a mixture of this beneficent oil together with Juniper Leaf oil creates a mesmerising aroma for a homemade candle.


Up to the present, ylang ylang oil remains an important raw material with its demand continually being high for both the cosmetic and fragrance industry. It’s one of the key players you ought to know and for good reason. Used across the globe, different cultures have adopted this nourishing oil for its myriad of benefits. And its uses are far and wide as recorded in history.

Finally, we hope you found this rundown useful. Visit our blog page to know more about sustainability and natural goodness. See you again next week for a fun and educational read!


Choose only the best nourishing essential oils for your skin, personal, and household needs. Purchase your own bottle of nourishment and fragrance now by buying  Ylang Ylang essential oil here at N-essentials. It is available in bulk orders for a wholesale price.

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