Lesson 35: Essential Oil – Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)

Leiann’s Video

Brenda’s Video

YouTube Videos

Required Reading

Foundational Aromatherapy page 151-152

Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang is normally considered to primarily be an aphrodisiac oil. However, it has a wide range of properties that help with heart related challenges, relaxing of muscles, and working to encourage the body to produce pain reducing hormones. This oil generally promotes a state of happiness and well being.

Safety Notes

➢ Non-toxic and non-irritating

➢ Use in moderation; too much can cause headache or nausea

Tried and True Uses

✓ Often used for irritated or oily skin, restoring the skin and natural contours of the face, and relaxing facial muscles; from harboring hatred, rage, and frustration that result in grinding teeth.

✓ A stimulant for hair growth when used with shampoo or Jojoba oil.

✓ An aphrodisiac oil used as a sexual tonic, especially for impotency and frigidity.

✓ Very beneficial with high blood pressure, releasing tension headaches, blesses the circulatory system.

✓ Soothes and inhibits anger borne of frustration.

How Do I Use It?

SOAK IN THE TUB – Mix 3-4 drops in 1⁄4 cup unscented Dead Sea Salts, milk, powdered milk, or coconut milk. Swish in warm water; soak for twenty minutes.

IT’S IN THE AIR – Diffuse 10-12 drops for fifteen minute intervals every two hours during the day.

BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT – Inhale 3-4 times a day from bottle lid. Or put 1-2 drops on tissue or cotton ball inhale directly or put in pillow case. Or 1-2 drops in palm of hands, rub together, cup hands over mouth and nose without touching face, and inhale.

RUB IT IN – Add 5 drops in 1 Tablespoon carrier oil, lotion or cream. Massage into areas needing relief.

PUT IT ON – Apply 1-2 drops, or in 2-3 drops of a carrier, on bottom of feet. 1-2 drops on wrist of other pulse points. Add 1 drops in 1⁄4 teaspoon skin toner and apply with cotton ball. Add 3-5 drops in a Tablespoon of carrier, massage into scalp, cover with towel, leave on overnight, wash out in the morning, and avoid eyes. Add 1-2 drops in 5 drops of face oil for night-time regime.

Blends Well With
  •  Bergamot
  •  Clary Sage
  •  Jasmine
  •  Lemon
  •  Red Mandarin
  •  Green
  •  Mandarin
  • Palmarosa
  • Neroli 10%
  • Sandalwood
  • Analgesic – relieves pain
  • Antidepressant – alleviates depression
  • Anti-seborrheic – reduces oily skin/scalp
  • Antiseptic – assists in fighting germs and infections
  • Aphrodisiac – sexual stimulant
  • Hypotensive – lowers high blood pressure
  • Sedative (nervous) – tranquilizes activity of body part.
  • Stimulant– increases functional activity (circulatory)
  • Tonic – strengthens and fortifies the heart
Key Emotions:

Passion, Fortifying, Giving, Gratitude, Pleasing, Serenity, and Rejoicing

Key Body Systems:

Nervous, Circulatory, and Reproductive

Technical Data: 

BOTANICAL NAME: Cananga odorata

WHERE GROWN: Madagascar, Reunion, Comoro

AROMA: balsam, exotic, sensual, floral, sweet


EXTRACTION METHOD: steam distillation


Main Chemical Families: 

MONOTERPENOLS – prevents infections, immune stimulant, emotional balancer, healing to the skin

SESQUITERPENOLS – anti-inflammatory, grounding, cooling, a tonic to the whole body, enhancing the body systems  and the mind.

ESTERS – nervous system sedative, emotionally uplifting, stress relieving, anti-infectious, antispasmodic (especially for digestive cramping), healing to the skin

Botanical Family:

ANNONACEAE – only species in family is Ylang Ylang

User Experiences

One day my husband was having an extreme headache associated with high blood pressure. I rubbed Ylang Ylang along with Sweet Marjoram on his feet and back of his head, and immediately the headache went away. Now I keep a jar with Ylang Ylang and Sweet Marjoram mixed in unscented Dead Sea salts by our bed and open it prior to retiring at night. It helps reduce my husband’s snoring. Plus, I have made a massage oil for him, blending both oils with Cedarwood.

Josephine C. Hopkins.


*DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for educational purposes only, not to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition, or prescribe in any way. The data presented here may not be complete or fully accurate. As with all essential oils, do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner.

*SAFETY WARNING: If applying an essential oil to skin, always perform a small patch test by properly diluting the oil in an appropriate carrier oil and applying to an insensitive part of the body, such as inside of elbow. Use vegetable or milk to remove any essential oils causing irritation. Always keep essential oils and blends away from children. To slow oxidation and protect shelf life, store in a cool, dark place with lids tightly secured. Never put oils in the ear canal or eyes.

 Additional Reading

The Ylang-Ylang: Queen of the Perfume World

Wiki page on Cananga Odorata

How to Pronounce

How to say Ylang Ylang

How to say Cananga Odorata