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Complete Essential Oil Profile

By Dawn Copeland and Jeanne Rose


Latin Binomial/Botanical Family:
     Cananga odorata
/Family Anonaceae

Countries of Origin:
     Native to Molucca & the Philippines, also Comoros Islands (Madagascar), Réunion, Haiti and Zanzibar [Molucca are a group of islands of eastern Indonesia between Sulawesi and New Guinea. Discovered in the early 16th century, the islands were settled by the Portuguese but taken in the 17th century by the Dutch, who used them as the basis for their monopoly of the spice trade.]

General description of plant, habitat & growth:
     Tall tropical tree growing over 60 feet high with large, up to six inches, drooping yellow flowers. The flowers first appear green and are without fragrance and covered in white hairs, then, roughly twenty days later, change to white then a very
fragrant yellow.

Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods & yield:
     Steam distillation of the flowers. The first yield produces the finest oil, known as “Extra” and is used in aromatherapy. The same flowers can be distilled a second time for a grade ”1”, first 2 1/2 hours, a third for grade “2”, first three to four hours, and lastly for a grade ”3” which is mostly used for removing varnishes. This process can take up to fourteen hours. Yield: 1.5-2%.

Ylang-Ylang oil may also be produced by
extraction with ether, forming a concrète and absolute.

Organoleptic Characteristics:
- A deep, dark, golden like 20 carat gold
- Clear
- Non-viscous
- Mild taste of bubble gum!, slightly numbing
     Odor Intensity - Gentle (5); Odor is floral, fruity and green with some spice.

Chemical Components:
     Linaloöl, Geranyl Acetate, Benzyl Benzoate, B-Caryophyllene, Benzyl Acetate, Methyl Benzoate, Methyl Salicylate, Eugenol, Cresol and Terpenes [for more information see the Chemistry section, chapter 5 of the Aromatherapy Studies Course and Aromatic classes with Jeanne Rose]

Historical Uses:
     Perfumery and as an aphrodisiac and anti-depressant - [Natural Perfumery class]

Interesting Facts
      The fruits of the Cananga odorata are inedible. When flowers are picked at night they are the most fragrant and the resultant essential oil is known as the “Queen of Perfumes”. It is a little-known fact that it is used in confectionery, enhancing fruit flavors such as peach and apricot, for candy, icings and baked goods, as well as in soft drinks and chewing gum.

Properties (by IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation or AP=application):

     Aphrodisiac, nervine, calmative.

     Aphrodisiac, sedative, antidepressant, calmative, cardio tonic, euphoric.

     Antiseptic; the “second” and “thirds” are antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic

Physical Uses & How used (IG or AP):

     PMS, regulate circulation, uterine tonic, aphrodisiac, cardio tonic

     Skin care products, antispasmodic and to ease physical pain

Emotional Uses (AP or IN):

     Aphrodisiac, nervousness, anti-depressant, euphoric, relieves tension, stress, irritability and anger, cardio tonic, sedative, PMS, physical exhaustion

Hydrosol Use
     The hydrosol is occasionally available. It is pleasant smelling and can be used in skin care and in baths. For those who live in Florida, the flowers are easily available and are best distilled in a Copper Still for most fragrant results.

Key Use
     Sexual tonic and in perfumery

Safety Precautions

Source for Oil

Many places list the oil in their catalogs.  For choosing a specific Ylang for your needs, choose:
The Woman’s Kit for Ylang-Ylang complete
The Love & Romance Kit for Ylang Extra
The Stress Relief Kit for Ylang #1
 The Hypertension Kit for Ylang #3.

Bibliography and References for Essential oil profiles:

Buksh, Genie. Bergamot. student. date? 1999
Herbal Studies Course- Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992.
Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils.
Miller, Richard & Ann. The Potential of Herbs as a Cash Crop. Acres USA. Kansas City. 1985.
Mojay, Gabriel. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press,
Prakash, V. Leafy Spices. CRC Press. NY. 1990
Rizzi, Susanne. Complete Aromatherapy. Sterling. NY. 1989.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. San Francisco, California:
Worwood, Susan & Valerie Ann. Essential Aromatherapy, a pocket guide to essential oils and
Aromatherapy. Novato, CA. New World Library, 2003.

Essential Oil Profiles were compiled Dawn Copeland of Chicago, Ill. with permission.
All Rights Reserved 2003, 2004. No part of this article may be used
without prior permission from The Aromatic Plant Project.
©Author's Copyright and Jeanne Rose,

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