Ylang-ylang is a passionate, joyful, heady, and exotic flower that bestows the uplifting joy of the sun and the exotic richness of the jungle. It lights an inner fire within us, illuminating our innermost corners and showing us the good, bolstering our confidence and self-worth. These beautiful flowers share with us the beauty and abundance that the universe has to offer. Channel ylang-ylang for calmness, listen to it for love and practice with it to experience paradise within both our inner and outer worlds.

Cananga odorata

Cananga odorata is a tropical evergreen tree native to tropical Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. This delicate beast can grow up to 65 feet high. This flower of flowers is known for its, well, flowers. These trees produce show-stopping fragrant mauve, pink, and yellow flowers. Specifically, its yellow flowers are the best to use while producing essential oil. It also produces deep green shiny leaves and dark berries. The berries are an important food source for birds in is native habitats. 

Fun Facts

Cananga odorata is known as the perfume tree. 

In Indonesia, flowers are spread on newlyweds' beds on their wedding night. 

Ylang-ylang was used during the Victorian Age in Macassar oil for its stimulating effects on the scalp. 

In the South Pacific ylang-ylang flowers are used to make leis.

In the Philippines, the flowers are macerated in coconut oil to make boori-boori, a pomade used to prevent fevers and infections, especially during the rainy season when malaria spikes. 

In the Tagalog language, ilang-ilang means wilderness. Ylang-ylang is a Spanish translation of this word. 

Ylang-ylang is used in Chanel’s No. 19 and Diors Miss Dior perfumes.



Cananga odorata can be propagated from seeds or cuttings.

To propagate from seeds:

1) Soak the seeds for up to 24 hours in water.
2) Plant the seeds in moist soil at a temperature of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
3) Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
4) Transplant the seedlings outdoors once they have a few true leaves.

To propagate from cuttings:

1) Take semi-hardwood cuttings in spring or early summer.
2) Cut the cuttings 6 inches long, just below a leaf node.
3) Remove the lower leaves.
4) Plant the cuttings in moist soil in indirect sunlight.
5) Keep the cuttings in a humid environment.

Cananga odorata thrives in USDA hardiness zones 10-11. It requires full sun, 6-8 hours per day, and moist, well-drained soil. It can grow up to 16 feet per year and reach a height of 65 feet. Be careful where you plant it, as it is a fast-growing plant.

Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang-ylang essential oil is graded into five types: Ylang Ylang Extra, First, Second, Third, and Complete. Ylang-ylang Extra is the most potent oil, obtained from the first distillation. The First, Second, and Third grades are obtained from subsequent distillations. Ylang-ylang Complete is a blend of the Extra, First, and Second grades. The grade of the oil is determined by the number of times the flowers are distilled.

Properties of Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil:

Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, anti-infectious, antiseborrheic, antiseptic, euphoric, hypotensive, nervine, regulator, sedative (nervous, stimulant (circulatory), tonic

Ylang Ylang Card

Skin and Hair

Ylang-ylang is amazing at balancing all skin types. It both reduces oil and soothes dry skin. If you suffer from acne add some ylang-ylang to your skincare regime to benefit from its antibacterial properties. Ylang-ylang soothes irritation and inflammation caused by insect bites and stings. Ylang-ylang encourages hair growth and reduces hair loss, making it a good oil to add to shampoos for fine or thin hair. Ylang-ylang mixed with coconut oil is also an effective treatment for lice. 

Nervous System:

Ylang-ylang is a known aphrodisiac. Add some ylang-ylang if you want a blend to be extra spicy.

Circulatory System

Ylang-ylang is a champion for the circulatory system. It can regulate and, soothe tachycardia and palpitations. I used to suffer from hyperthyroidism and suffered from extreme panic attacks. I always carried ylang-ylang around to ease the racing heart that came with them. Ylang-ylang can also help reduce high blood pressure.


Ylang-ylang is the ally to have if you suffer from depression, anxiety, or insomnia. It is calming, and uplifting, soothing, depression, stress, tension, anxiety, panic, and fear. Ylang-ylang calms the internal chitter chatter relieving insomnia. Even though ylang-ylang is a calming, soothing oil it also Improves alertness and attention. Ylang-ylang is a wonderful tool to use in meditation as it helps foster self-awareness and introspection.

Energetic properties

 Ylang-ylang is a supportive, positive, and cheery plant. It is truly a balm for the soul. Ylang-ylang encourages self-confidence and warmth. This calming plant fosters joy, gratitude, and selflessness. Ylang-ylang loves to love. It encourages love for self and others. Reach out to Ylang-ylang when you need support while doing deep spiritual and emotional work. 


Use in moderation. Excess can cause headaches or nausea. Avoid with history of low blood pressure. Do not use it while pregnant or nursing.

Ylang-ylang is a true tropical beauty. Its fragrance is as beautiful as its blooms. She works wonders for us. She ignites joy and passion, self-confidence, and love.  Ylang-ylang not only does wonders for our minds and spirits, but she also benefits our bodies. When you need to ignite the spark of life add ylang-ylang into your routine.

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