Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Guide: 20+ Uses, Benefits, & FAQs

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Ylang Ylang essential oil (cananga odorata) has a sweet, romantic aroma and moisturizing properties, making it a key ingredient in many luxury skin and hair products.

How Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Is Made

Ylang Ylang essential oil is made from steam distilling the early morning flowers of the annonacea trees and shrubs, native to Madagascar, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The flowers are picked early in the morning to maximize the oil yield.

Ylang ylang originally lacked fragrance. Through selective reproduction and cloning, it's developed a distinct smell that is now commonly used in aromatherapy.

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Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Benefits

Ylang ylang essential oil has “been experimentally proven that C. odorata also possess antibiofilm, antioxidant, antidiabetic, antifertility, antimelanogenesis, insect-repellent, antihyperglycemic, sedative, and relaxing properties.” (scientific study source)

Scientific Studies Featuring Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Being a more popular oil, many scientific studies feature ylang ylang oil, also referred to as cananga odorata. Please keep in mind these studies do not indicate any specific brand being used.

  1. A suitable for use as a green repellent for mosquito control, safe for humans, domestic animals, and the environment
  2. Ylang Ylang essential oil positively impacts human attention and alertness
  3. Found to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties
  4. Ylang ylang found to have relaxing, sedative aromatic response
  5. Relaxed overactive bladder in this rat study
  6. May reduce bacterial biofilm on surfaces
  7. This study shows ylang ylang's mental calming effects
  8. This study indicates ylang ylang may be a good depression and stress relief
  9. Ylang ylang essential oil-induced neuropathic pain relief and ameliorated pain-associated anxiety, showing candidacy for neuropathic pain management.
  10. Ylang Ylang odor exposure could reverse the anxiety behaviors 
  11. Ylang Ylang essential oil inhalation had immediate and continuous positive effects on blood pressure and stress reduction and may have relaxation effects for controlling hypertension.
  12. Helps to enhance sleep quality in cardiac rehabilitation patients
  13. May repel vespid (social) wasps

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Constituents

Ylang ylang contains several essential oil constituents that provide a variety of benefits

  • Sesquiterpenes (up to 55%): b-caryophyllene, germacrene, a-farnesene, humulene
  • Esters: benzyl acetate and benzyl benzoate, methyl salicylate and methyl benzoate, farnesyl acetate, geranyl acetate, lynalyl acetate
  • Alcohols: linalool and geraniol
  • Ethers: paracresyl methyl ether
  • Phenols” Methyl p-cresol, methyl chavicol, eugenol, isoeugenol
  • Oxides: caryophyllene oxide
  • Sesquiterpene Alcohols: farnesol

20 Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Uses

Historically, ylang ylang flowers were used to cover newlywed beds on their wedding night, skin treatments, insect bites, and in women's hair.

Ylang Ylang is often classified as a heart note because it emerges just as the top notes begin to dissipate.

  1. Add it to your daily moisturizer,
  2. Use a few drops in a steamy therapeutic bath,
  3. Support your hair and scalp health using ylang ylang
  4. Use it to make a homemade hair mask for a relaxing,
  5. Create a luxuriously aromatic at-home spa day.
  6. Enjoy a custom springtime fragrance at home or in your office
  7. Create a bright summertime aroma at home or in your office
  8. Uplifting aroma helps inspire a more positive, courageous mood
  9. Supports your cardiovascular functioning (especially helpful with supporting your heart)
  10. Assists your adrenal glands and hormones
  11. Add to your favorite DIY focus essential oil blend
  12. May help repel mosquitos
  13. Nontoxic perfume, room, or linen spray to deodorize your home
  14. Support your mind, living in the moment using ylang ylang oil
  15. Diffuse or wear a few drops of ylang ylang in diffusing jewelry to inspire feelings of serenity and joy
  16. Diffuse when you feel mentally fatigued or emotionally overwhelmed to regain your emotional peace
  17. May help release anger and low self-esteem
  18. Use ylang ylang oil with your eldercare needs
  19. Create your own custom foaming hand soaps using ylang ylang oil
  20. Stop menstrual cramps, naturally using ylang ylang essential oil
  21. Add ylang ylang essential oil to your homemade romantic essential oil blends to set the mood and enhance your romantic relationship

I personally LOVE wearing diffuser necklaces and occasionally wear diffusing bracelets. You can find my favorite beautiful diffusing jewelry at Drops of Joy. Or check out our guide to diffusing jewelry.

Essential Oils That Compliment Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang ylang essential oil blends well with:

  • Anise essential oil
  • Bergamot essential oil
  • Cardamom essential oil
  • Chamomile essential oil
  • Cumin essential oil
  • Geranium essential oil
  • Grapefruit essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil
  • Marjoram essential oil
  • Sandalwood essential oil
  • Vetiver essential oil

Our favorite DIY Diffuser Recipes with Ylang Ylang essential oil

  • Sweetheart: 5 drops ylang ylang, 4 drops bergamot, 2 drops lime
  • Cupid's Strike: 2 drops ylang ylang, 3 drops lime, 3 drops patchouli
  • By The Sea: 2 drops ylang ylang, 2 drops bergamot, 1 drop lemongrass
  • Mountain Summer: 1 drop ylang ylang, 2 drops lemon, 1 drop peppermint
  • A Step In Paradise: 2 drops ylang ylang, 3 drops Citrus Fresh

** PLEASE NOTE ** Don't be fooled by clever marketing. Not all essential oils are created equally. Make sure you're not wasting your money on fake or altered essential oils (even if they're labeled as “pure essential oil”). Don't miss our explosive report outlining the dirty little secrets of the essential oil industry to ensure you're not wasting your money on brands of oils that legally mislead you through deceitful marketing practices.

You can also turn these blends into a DIY roller bottle for topical use by adding them into a 15ml empty bottle and filling it the rest of the way with your favorite carrier oil.

A carrier oil can be any cold-pressed, seed-based oil (ideally organic and unrefined). This includes most cooking oil, like coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. Personally, we LOVE using sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, and the V6 Carrier oil (made by Young Living). This is the best way to dilute your essential oils for topical use.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

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Where to find Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Don't be fooled into purchasing substandard, fake, or counterfeit essential oils using clever marketing and loose labeling laws. Be sure you know about the 10 Dirty Little Secrets of the essential oil industry so you can make the best choice for your needs for in-depth information about why quality matters, how not to be fooled, and what to look for

Warning: DO NOT purchase your oils through Amazon, eBay, Walmart, or similar websites with 3rd party sellers! Many of those oils are counterfeit and may cause health ailments, skin reactions, headaches, and a lot of misery. Most reputable essential oil brands do not allow their oils to be purchased there, so when you do find them (even if the seller appears to be legitimate), they're often fake.

If you're ready to start your essential oil journey, this is our favorite place to purchase from because of their transparency and dedication to doing what is right for their customers, and not compromising on their integrity to provide industry-setting quality standards throughout all their products.

We LOVE their farm-to-table approach to growing, distilling, bottling, and delivering your oils right to your door!​

See More Posts Featuring Ylang Ylang


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Ylang Ylang essential oil has a sweet, romantic aroma and moisturizing properties, making it a key ingredient in many luxury skin and hair products. Ylang Ylang is often classified as a heart note because it emerges just as the top notes begin to dissipate. Add it to your daily moisturizer, a steamy bath, or homemade hair mask for a relaxing, luxuriously aromatic at-home spa day.

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