Aromatherapy Thursdays: Ylang Ylang

Ylang-Ylang Canang odorata (the name actually means “strong-smelling”)


I really want to share the amazing properties and uses of essential oils and carrier oils with you, so I decided to start a series on all the benefits these oils have to offer. Let’s hope I stick to a weekly post, instead of “monthly” posts!

I thought I’d start of with a oil that I just recently learned to love. The fragrance is quite strong, so I did not use it as much as Lavender or Geranium (my ULTIMATE favourite!). It’s only when I did my research more that I discovered all the wonderful properties that Ylang-Ylang has.

Quick facts:

  • The locals in Malasia spread on the beds of newlyweds, as the scent is thought to mentally prepare them for the act of love! (Just a note, Ylang-Ylang is considered one of the top aphrodisiac essential oils)
  • The intoxicating smell aids anxiety and it is also used perfumes. In fact, a few drops on a tissue, inhaled deeply for a few minutes, can calm down anger and frustration.
  • The fragrances also helps to “recharge” your energy.


  • For a hair tonic, put 1-2 drops essential oil on the palm of your hands, and rub vigorously into scalp. I do this when my hair needs to “freshen” up. At first the smell is quite overpowering (with just 2 drops!) but it settles to a wonderful scent, and my hair looks shiny too!
  • When added to your body lotion, it helps prolong a tan, and restores and refreshes the skin. Summer here I come!
  • Add a few drops to Jojoba oil, for a light day oil. The Ylang-Ylang is said to have a balancing effect on sebum.


  • Some sources regard this as a toxic oil, so it not to be taken internally!
  • Because of the strong odour, it can cause nausea and headaches, use in moderation.

I get my oils from Natural Oils ( They are very helpful and their oils are good quality.

Because this is a blogpost, I will not go into the deep “scientific” breakdown of each oil, but if you need it, just pop me an email or a comment, and I will be glad to share! (And also let me know whether you’d like my future posts to have more info and recipes!)


Hoare, J. (2010) The Complete Aromatherapy Tutor: A Structured Course to Achieve Professional Expertise. GAIA: London

Ryman, D. (2007) Secrets of Youth & Beauty: Aromatherapy for Natural Rejuvenation. Rodale: London


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