Ylang-Ylang

lat. Cananga odorata

Group: Flowers

Ylang-Ylang Cananga odorata
Ylang-Ylang Cananga odorata
Ylang-Ylang Cananga odorata
Odor profile: rich, floral, banana-toned, jasmine nuances, sweet and narcotic, aphrodisiac and erotic.











Common Name: Ylang-Ylang 
Botanical Name: Cananga Odorata 

Plant Family: Anonaceae 

Genus: Cananga 

Species: odorata, latifolia

Ylang-ylang (pronounced as "ilang-ilang") is a highly appreciated flower in perfumery and aroma therapy. This flower is blessing in disguise for many health problems.

On his website Perfumer AbdeSsalaam Attar mentions its benefits:


"It is a highly valued essence both in perfumery for the power of its delicate flowery note, and in aromatherapy for its action on the nervous system in all symptoms derived from stress, such as hypertension, tachycardia and sleeplessness. From time immemorial the natives of the islands have used the flowers of ylang-ylang to treat their hair. In fact, this flower is the main ingredient of the famed Macassar oil. Ylang- ylang essence has an hormonal effect and is used in aromatherapy for the cure of many feminine problems."
 

The original home of Cananga is probably South East Asia. However, it is now naturalized in Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Pacific Islands and the Philippines. It has been introduced into tropical countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Americas, specifically as an essential oil plant. The tree requires a moist tropical climate and grows well in rich volcanic soils or fertile sandy loams. It grows both in vine and tree form. The vine bears flowers early and more blooms with fragrance in the evening when the flowers get yellow. But both are slow growers. It also thrives well in my coastal city, Karchi.

Genus Cananga has two species; C. odorata, the source of cananga and ylang-ylang oil and C. lotifolia, which produces an oil of commercial importance. The leaves are described as numerous, thin, alternate with a sharply pointed apex and a base rounded on light green petioles. Flowers are numerous, large, yellow-green, strongly scented and borne on slender,light green stalks in axillary clusters,  and have six petals with slightly recurved tips. The flowers start to droop when mature.

  Bird on the ylang-ylang tree by Desirade


Propagation is largely by seeds and usually takes place spontaneously by means of fruits (seeds) falling of the trees or by birds eating the fruit and dropping it elsewehere. The flowering of the plant also depends on the altitudes, as at low altitudes the trees require only a few years to give an economic flower harvest, whereas, at higher and cooler altitudes (500 m above sea level) they grow much more slowly and require seven to ten years to produce flowers in quantities sufficient for harvesting. Periodic pruning of the tree has to be undertaken to prevent growth of the tree beyond 2-3 m height. Trees of more than 20 years old reach a height of about 30 m.
 

The tree flowers throughout the year, however, the main flowering seasons are immediately after rain and during the dry season.

Talking of harvesting, the question is when to harvest flowers? Initially, the flowers have little fragrance when the petals are still green and are covered with fine white hairs (which disappear with maturity). After 14-21 days, the petals become pale green, then yellow and their scent becomes progressively stronger. When a small reddish tint appears on the base of the petals, the flowers are ready for picking. The harvesting should be done during early morning hours as the flowers contain more essential oil during night, particularly just before daybreak, and as the day progresses, especially in strong sunlight, the oil content rapidly diminishes.

  Cananga odorata by Tatters:)

Steam distillation is a preferred method for the extraction of oil. We will particularly talk about C. odorata as this is the source of cananga and ylang-ylang oil. The main use of cananga oil is in soaps, toiletries and less expensive perfumeries. Whereas, ylang-ylang oil is highly appreciated in perfumery because of its delightfuly sweet, heavenly and strong odor. Ylang-ylang oil is normally available in four grades, namely, extra, first, second and third. Extra grade oil is extensively used in high quality fragrances.

When Perfumer Anya McCoy spotted Ylang-Ylang flowers blooming in her garden she shared about it on her blog, and I loved the last part so much that I asked for her permission to share it with you all. She says:


''If you live in the tropics, I urge you to grow it. The flowers have a delicate sweetness that is not present in even the best distillation, the extra grade, nor is it in ylang concrete or absolute, created with solvents. My garden is perfume heaven right now, and if you can grow this, and keep it pruned to a reasonable size, you will have a perfume heaven in your garden, also.''
 

I would like readers share their favourite Ylang-Ylang fragrances or anything that they like about this flower or perhaps they have learnt about it for the first time.  

 



Author: Naheed Shoukat Ali (naheed)
Fragrantica Writer

 

 

 

 


 


 

Perfumes and Colognes With Ylang-Ylang

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Ylang Austral Givenchy
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Ombre D'Or Jean Charles Brosseau
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Ylang Ylang Companhia da Terra
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La Petite Mort Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.500128584287
Arboretum Library of Flowers
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Plaisir de Frederic Frederic Haldimann
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Lady Dream Comely Dzintars
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Rich Hippie Rich Hippie
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Chypre Patyka
1.500042861429
Vol 870 YUL-CDG Monsillage
1.500042861429
Exotic Ylang Ylang 40 Notes Perfume
1.500042861429
Chic Eudora
1.499957138571
Vanilla-Ylang Durance en Provence
1.483324041447
Paper Flower Love & Toast
1.454716445716
Layan Syed Junaid Alam
1.454716445716
Nymph Nina`s Nature
1.444786891432
Yog Nog Lush
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The Phantom of the Opera Parlux
1.428742445716
Moroccan Tuberose Illuminum
1.428699584287
Avah Serge Normant
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Purple Haze Rich Hippie
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Dewmusk Montale
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Nuvola Farfalla
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Bic Nuit Bic
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Desert Pure-Fume Sand Verbena Aveda
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Ilang Ilang Tsi-La Organic
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Aveda Love Aveda
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APOM Pour Femme Maison Francis Kurkdjian
1.37585722858
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Diorissimo Extrait de Parfum Christian Dior
1.375085722858
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.3697183333333
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
1.369224387253
Aqua Allegoria Ylang & Vanille Guerlain
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Chakra 5 Creativity Aveda
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Mini Flirt Ulric de Varens
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Vanilia L`Artisan Parfumeur
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Diorissimo Extrait de Parfum Christian Dior
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J`Adore Extrait de Parfum Christian Dior
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Fire Leo CnR Create
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Mi Corazon Oscar de la Renta
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Blu Bruno Acampora
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Sheer Passion The Healing Garden
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Magic Marilyn Miglin
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Aqua Floralis Ylang Florascent
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Oros Pour Femme Oros
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Audace Les Fleurs De Bach
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Ala Baali Nabeel
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Giglio Gentile Giardino Dei Sensi
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D Rouge Luciano Soprani
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Yu Perfect Sense Mane
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White Jasmine Bjork and Berries
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PG15 Ilang Ivohibe Parfumerie Generale
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Gigi Lulu Beauty
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Leilani's Lei Stand Maoli
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Musc Venitien Des Filles a la Vanille
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Laawan S4P
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Santalove Nishane
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Persica Strange Invisible Perfumes
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J'Adore Extrait de Parfum Christian Dior
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Oiseau Woman In Yellow Anthropologie
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Alguien Sueña Fueguia 1833
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A Scent by Issey Miyake Eau de Parfum Florale Issey Miyake
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OH ± Denim UER MI
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Ming Shu Fleur de l'Aube Yves Rocher
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White Rose Natural Shiseido
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White Tubereuse Eau de Toilette Reminiscence
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Flor D'Arancio Laura Tonatto
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Deva des Fleurs Sama
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Musc Ambre Jeanne Arthes
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Tiffany Parfum Tiffany
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Lily Dior Christian Dior
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Nani Saffron James
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Ylang Ylang Nosy Be Perris Monte Carlo
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Mon Parfum Gold M. Micallef
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Caldo Fruttato Officina delle Essenze
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Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
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160 Molinard
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Chanel N°5 Eau Premiere Chanel
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Lust Lush
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Samsara Eau de Parfum Guerlain
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Millesime 1849 Creed
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Courage One Seed
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Aventure Jasmin de Karnak L`Arc
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Black Gardenia Illuminum
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The Babes Spicy Mango Oriflame
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Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang Estée Lauder
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Jasmin Bruno Acampora
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Cocktail Lush
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Harvest 2008: Ange ou Demon Jasmin Sambac Givenchy
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Songes Annick Goutal
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Elle L'aime A La Folie Lolita Lempicka
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Bronze NANADEBARY
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Vanille Fleurie de Tahiti La Maison de la Vanille
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Givenchy Harvest 2010 Amarige Ylang Ylang Givenchy
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Creme Drift Parfum de Terre
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Lace Garden Teo Cabanel
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Velvet Love Dolce&Gabbana
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Harvest 2008: Amarige Ylang-Ylang Givenchy
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Iris Pourpre Keiko Mecheri
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Fleur de Peau Keiko Mecheri
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Velvet Rose Anglia Perfumery
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CK One Scene Calvin Klein
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Endless Love Victoria`s Secret
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Heliotrope Ylang Ylang Citron Korres
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A Demi-Mot Galimard
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Loverly Coeur d’Esprit Natural Perfumes
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Trance Essence Pink Kat C.O.Bigelow
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Charming C. Darvin
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White Musk Montale
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Passion Flower Eau Fraiche Bronnley
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Note Ambree M. Micallef
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Voilette de Madame Guerlain
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Juicy Jasmine Krigler
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Ex`cla-ma`tion Dare Coty
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Lavanda Imperiale Santa Maria Novella

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