L'Ylang-Ylang : Fleur de beauté et de bien-être.

Ylang-Ylang: Flower of beauty and well-being.

Ylang-ylang is an essential ingredient in perfumery thanks to its unique and wonderful smell. Obtained from the distillation of its flowers, its essential oil is present in many famous perfumes.

In addition, Ylang-ylang has many therapeutic properties, making its flower a symbol of beauty and well-being.

What is Ylang-ylang?

Ylang-ylang, from its botanical name Cananga odorata, is a plant of the Anonaceae family.

In the wild, this tree can measure up to 30 meters high and grows several meters (2 to 5 m) per year at the start of growth.

On the other hand, to facilitate the harvest of flowers, it will be pruned to 2-3 meters high, and the flexible branches will be bent. This severe pruning, however, allows this tree to produce even more flowers.

Flowering occurs throughout the year. The flowers are first white, then green. They are then harvested in spring, when they are bright yellow, their olfactory maturity being at its peak.

There are several trees of this species, but the one used for harvesting is distinguished by its small, very fragrant flowers, generally yellow or pink with a red center.

What is the origin of Ylang-Ylang?

Ylang-Ylang is native to the humid tropical zones of Southeast Asia.
On the Moluccas archipelago, east of Indonesia, where the name of this plant means “Flower of flowers”, and in the Philippines where the Malay botanical name of the tree comes from: Kananga.
It is also found in India and Malaysia.

It was subsequently imported to the Pacific islands (Polynesia, New Caledonia, etc.), Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, as well as the Indian Ocean islands (Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius, Comoros...).

The largest production comes from the island of Anjouan in the southeast of the Comoros, the island of Nosy Bé in Madagascar, and Mayotte. 


Fleur d'Ylang-Ylang à maturitéRipe Ylang-ylang flower.

The Ylang-ylang harvest.

Only mature flowers are harvested, because they contain more aromatic molecules.

Flowers are picked by hand at sunrise, from dawn until 9 a.m., because that is when the flower is most fragrant.

Ylang-ylang essence is obtained by distillation. It is an extraction process used in perfumery which consists of capturing the essential oil of plants using water vapor.

The same day of harvest, the flower is steam distilled in stills to obtain its essential oil. The distillation of the fresh flower lasts between 12 and 24 hours.

The essence is collected in several “fractions”, the best being in the first two hours, because it is denser, richer and fragrant.

The essential oils from the following fractions, Extra-superior and Extra-normal as well as the First, are intended for luxury perfumery, the Second and Third fractions being intended for cosmetic products, soaps or detergents, and finally the Complete which is a mixture of each fraction used for aromatherapy.

It will take approximately 50 kg of flowers to produce 1 kg of essence.

What does Ylang-ylang smell like?

Ylang-ylang has a powerful and sensual scent. Its floral and solar scent evokes exoticism, and is reminiscent of a blend of jasmine and monoï.

Its captivating and hypnotic notes have a sweet and creamy aspect a bit like coconut, spicy, like carnation or clove, as well as an animal side, and even a little narcotic and “medicinal”, which according to how it is worked, can very well be mitigated.

In the Suite 1209 perfume, Ylang-ylang was used for its many aspects corresponding wonderfully to the scenario of Michael Jackson's “Who is it” music video.

In a floral bouquet of white flowers, but also to recreate the features of the feminine character, sensual, with a creamy touch reminiscent of her Chanel suit.

It also helped replicate the solar aspect of the “Golden Hour” by using a touch of coconut to soften the inherent leathery quality of Ylang-ylang to create a sumptuous and luminous opening accord. touch gives a slightly creamy texture, which goes very well with vanilla. 

Its medicinal, banana-like facets have been smoothed out to allow its more voluptuous character to really shine.

Parfum Suite 1209 l'Ylang-ylang recrée la Golden Hour.

Suite 1209, extrait de parfum with a heart of Ylang-ylang.

What are the properties of ylang-ylang?


Ylang-ylang essential oil is also used for its therapeutic properties and its many virtues.

In aromatherapy, we use this essential oil pure or mixed with vegetable oils, creams, or in synergy for its calming and relaxing, anti-stress, and anti-pain action.

Ylang-ylang is also used in cosmetic treatments, in particular to moisturize, nourish and beautify the skin and hair, as well as to treat acne thanks to its sebum-regulating action.

It is also very appreciated for its aphrodisiac virtues.

You will have understood, Ylang-ylang is an exceptional flower.
Its incredible multi-faceted scent will charm you and transport you to a world of relaxation and well-being, and its many beneficial properties are a real treasure for the skin.

Photo credit (top) - Joko_Narimo - Pixabay
Photo credit (Ylang-ylang flower) - Wirestock

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