What Does Ylang Ylang Smell Like?

What Does Ylang Ylang Smell Like?

By Barrett Shepherd

What Does Ylang Ylang Smell Like?

There are a few critical players in the world of perfume ingredients that you should be aware of. And, while buzzy outsiders can be the entire buzz, we're currently intrigued by familiar but under-the-radar scents that pack a punch. They could already be in your perfume set (you don't know it).

Take, for example, ylang-ylang. If you enjoy great-smelling scented candles and scented oils, you've probably seen the word "Ylang Ylang" on ingredient lists a few times. While it is becoming more popular in scented products, this aromatic is still widely misunderstood.

If we questioned you to describe the fragrance of Ylang essential oil, but I told you that you couldn't use the words "floral" or "sweet,"... What else can you say? It can be challenging to find the correct terms to explain the aromas of various essential oils. This is because smell and language occur in separate regions of the brain.

In this guide, we'll go over the botanical extract known as Ylang Ylang in depth so you can determine if it's a fragrance you'd like to incorporate into your everyday routine.



The term ylang-ylang refers to the tree and the flower of Cananga odorata, a tree native to Southeast Asia's rainforests, particularly Indonesia. The fragrant ylang-ylang flower is of primary concern to perfumers.

The flower's essential oil is obtained by steam distillation and is commonly used as a core or middle note in many perfumes.



Ylang-ylang is a heady, soft, slightly exotic scent with fruity and occasionally rubber notes in the dry down. It's most comparable to jasmine, which has a powerful and strange smell.

Because of its distinctive fragrance, ylang-ylang is commonly used in perfumes to complement citrus notes and sweeten or enhance wood notes. Ylang-ylang complements bergamot, geranium, grapefruit, lemon, sandalwood, and vetiver incredibly well. As a result, it is a famous heart note in many favorite perfumes, like Chanel No. 5.

Those with sensitive skin or severe skin conditions can find ylang-ylang irritating. Before adding the ingredient into your everyday routine, consult with a health professional or perform a patch examination. Also, if you want to use it as an essential oil, combine it with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, avocado, or sweet almond oil) first. Now go out and enjoy the delicious scent of ylang-ylang (and get yourself that Chanel No. 5 too).

Ok, What Does Ylang-Ylang Smell Like?

The scent of ylang-ylang will vary depending on the distillation process. However, the flower's regular (and most popular) aroma is a fruity, soft, and romantic aroma. (As examples, consider jasmine, neroli, or carnations.) It can also emit a rich, spicy, and intense fragrance at other times.

When made into essential oil, the potent (or notes) may be classified as one, two, three, or extra. The extra level is present in most fragrances and has the strongest floral, sweet, and fruity scent, while the other three phases differ in radiance, purity, and floral notes.



Manufacturers extract oil from the tree's blossoms using the steam distillation process to create ylang ylang essential oil, the aromatic material applied to candles and perfumes to offer them their distinctive fragrance. They can extract various types of the oil through this distillation process, ranging from the widely sought-after ylang ylang extra used in perfumes and top-quality essential oils to softer, less fragrant extracts that may be used in cosmetics or soap.

Five distinct designations are used in the processing of this highly desirable essential oil. You may have seen phrases like "Ylang-ylang full" on the labels of fragrant goods, revealing a lot about the consistency or intensity of the ylang-ylang in the formula. A grading system is often used to indicate the character and features of ylang-ylang extract.

Extra: After one hour of distillation, Ylang ylang extra is extracted. It is the most concentrated and potent variety of this essential oil. It's commonly used in high-end perfumes and aromatherapy candles. Naturally, because it is so powerful and well-liked, extra-large

First through Third:  Following the harvest of extra-grade ylang-ylang, producers will enable the distillation process to proceed several hours before harvesting another round somewhat gentler than extra. The first, second, and third distillation rounds each yield distillates with increasingly subtle properties and aromatic characteristics.

Complete: When ylang-ylang oil is referred to as "complete," it indicates that it contains all four distillates listed above. It usually takes 10 to 20 hours of distillation to process. Though it is less commonly used in perfumery, ylang-ylang complete is still ideal in products where a milder fragrance is preferred, so don't dismiss it altogether.



The flower has a plethora of benefits (based on scientific studies and cultural heritage), varying from beauty (it is renowned for its fragrance) to health benefits such as:

It elevates the mood

The essential oil ylang-ylang has been shown to alleviate anxiety, depression, and overall mood. Scientists found the flower to increase calmness in participants in a 2009 report. The elements found in flowers can be a great way to relax, whether introduced directly to the skin or inhaled through a diffuser.

 It has the potential to reduce blood pressure

There have been no records of ylang-ylang alone decreasing blood pressure. I t can work when combined with lavender, bergamot, or neroli oil. It should be noted that, although it should help lower blood pressure, you should not use it instead of any drug or treatment.

 It prevents infections and relieves pain 

Linalool, a compound contained in ylang-ylang, is present. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal (talk about a triple threat). The combination kills bacteria (such as head lice), reduces infections (fungal), and relieves pain.

It has aphrodisiac properties

There is no evidence to support this argument. The flower's soothing properties, on the other hand, have been related to stimulating sexual urges and balancing mental wellbeing.

It improves the skin's appearance

 Linalool, the main ingredient, utilizes its anti-inflammatory properties to nourish, hydrate, and heal the skin. According to a 2017 report, the benefits include relieving skin problems (dermatitis and eczema), drying up acne, and increasing elastic properties over time.

Remember to check out our list of natural scented candles here.


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