What is ylang ylang? (pronounced EE-lang EE-lang") Most people, myself included, upon their first encounter with this exotic frangrance, can't seemed to pronounce it or even figure out what it is. If this is the case with you as you're reading this, let me provide you with a little background. Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) is the flower of the cananga tree. It is native to the Malaysian/Indonesian region where it has since spread to many parts of the world's sub-tropical and tropical regions, including Central & South America and the Caribbean. (I've actually came across this tree in several locations in St. Lucia.) The flower has star-like shaped petals that takes on a drooping appearance. The color ranges from a light green to yellow and yields a highly fragrant essential oil that is usually steam distilled.
Ylang Ylang essential oil is prized throughout the world because of it's strong, sweet, floral, natural, perfume-like scent. I stumbled upon this essential oil over 10 years ago, when the natural skincare sector was still fairly new. I was new to essentials oils and didn't see much of this particular oil in the natural skincare world. I remember being completely intrigued and fascinated that nature could create such a seemingly exquisite perfume scent. In fact, when I received my first order of ylang ylang essential oil and got a whiff of it, I was taken back. It was a lot more than words could describe. Floral, sweet, heady, intense are just some of the adjectives I could find to describe it. I knew that I wanted to work with it, even if I had to pare it with other essential oils. After several rounds of blending, sniffing, trial and error. I landed on a blend with hints of black pepper and ginger essential oils. I was satisfied and thought my customers would be too.
My experience with creating skincare products with ylang ylang essential oil is that the oil itself is still not relatively known. I am only recently starting to encounter more customers who are aware of this mystifying oil. This past weekend at the Fad Market in Brooklyn, I was shocked at how many people mentioned that they do not encounter it too often but have truly developed a love for the scent. I was delighted! These customers have ignite my love for this oil again as over the years I wasn't sure if this product was going to make it. I decided to continue to have it as part of our product range for the true ylang ylang lovers with hopes of also introducing this "nature's perfume" to a wider audience.
Tell me, have you tried ylang ylang oil before? How do you use it? What are you favorite essential oils?
4 Benefits of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
- It's great for oily skin as it's known to regulate sebum production of over active oil glands in the skin.
- Great for treating anxiety and depression. Studies have show that combined with bergamot and lavender and inhaled each day for a month resulted in reduced blood pressure levels as well as lower levels of stress and cortisol.
- Prohibits microbial growth and can help prevent bacterial, viral and fungal infections on cuts and infections on the skin.
- It's excellent for all types of hair! Ylang ylang can reduce scalp inflammation (something that can cause hair follicles to wither and die), clean and unclog the scalp because of it anti-microbial properties, reduce oxidative stress and cellular ageing in the scalp due to its antioxidant nature.