Ylang Ylang Oil
Botanical Name: Cananga Odorata
A yellow star shaped flower that grows in southeast Asia, the rich, fruity, heady scent is considered the “queen of perfumes.” Ylang Ylang oil is steam distilled in a complex process that yields several grades of oil that are progressively refined. Ylang Ylang “complete” is the grade that contains all of the oil components. The remaining grades, in order of degree of refinement are “extra”, “first”, “second”, and “third.” As Ylang Ylang is refined, the potency is decreased and the fragrance becomes more earthy, but longer lasting. The more refined grades are less expensive. Regardless of the grade, it is always used in tiny amounts since it is so potent.
Used widely in perfumes and to scent cosmetics. Ylang Ylang is used in aromatherapy as an anxiety reducer, relaxer, and mood enhancer. Folk wisdom attributes an aphrodisiac quality to the oil, and it is used to sprinkle the bed of newlyweds on their wedding day.
Fragrance Family: Floral
Perfumery Note: Middle or Base, depending on grade
A sophisticated floral fragrance that is rich and sweet with herbal earthy notes. Ylang Ylang is said to have a complex profile that includes notes of jasmine, a fruitiness, and slight medicinal and herbal qualities. Each of these components is accentuated differently through the different grades, with the floral notes taking a declining role in each level of refinement. Ylang Ylang complete is actually less delicate than Extra or any of the refined versions and can be quite earthy.
Jen’s blending notes:
Ylang Ylang blends well with other herbal oils and can easily take over a blend if overused. Care should always be taken to blend with the herbal notes in mind and not just the floral, as it is easy to clash with the more earthy and spicy components of other oils.
Jen’s soapmaking notes:
This oil is quite expensive so using it in soapmaking is not recommended. The floral and fruity notes burn off in the heat of cold process soap making, leaving the medicinal, herbal qualities.
Acceleration: When overused, this oil will accelerate trace. You have to really use a lot though.