Botanical Name: Cananga Odorata
Botanical Origin: Philippines
Common Method of Extraction: Steam distilled.
Distillation Type: Complete (after 15 hours), Extra (after 15 hours), I (after 4 hours), , II (after 7hours) , III (after 10 hours) ;
Part Typically Used: Fresh flowers
Color: Clear with a yellow tinge
Consistency: Liquid, clear
Perfumery Note: Middle/base
Shelf Life: 2-3 years
Strength of Initial Aroma: Floral, heady, exotic, intensely sweet, fresh, slightly fruity, fragrant yet delicate.
Blends Well With: Clary sage, geranium, lavender, lemon, bergamot, rose, orange, patchouli, grapefruits, rosewood, sandalwood, tuberose, vetiver, peru balsam, petitgrain, frankincense, jasmine essential oils.
Common name: Ylang-Ylang is sometimes called the other tree - Anona Odorantissima (Cananga), but there are suggestions that it is one and the same plant, which varies depending on growing conditions and soil type. Both Ylang-Ylang and Cananga are members of the Annonaceae plant family; they also both belong to the same genus - Cananga. Even their species is confusing; both are Odorata species. The small distinguishing feature that separates these two very similar plants is in the addition of the words var. genuina to Ylang-Ylang’s botanical name and the addition of var. Macrophylla to Cananga’s botanical name. This is simply a “lower” rank than that of a species in the botanical ranking system, and it helps to separate out the subtle differences between each plant. In fact, the two plants are so similar, and produce such similar essential oils, that you will notice some suppliers (mistakenly) selling Cananga essential oil as Ylang-Ylang essential oil.
Ylang-ylang essential oil is a more floral oil than Cananga essential oil. Therefore, those that find the heady aroma of Ylang-Ylang essential oil too much may prefer the aroma of Cananga essential oil. Note that the chemical components of each oil also vary.
Chemical structure: The chief components of the essential oil of Ylang-Ylang are benzyl acetate, benzyl benzoate linalool, caryophyllene, geranyl acetate, methyl benzoate, p-cresyl methyl ether and other components known as sesquiterpenes, which all contribute to its aroma and medicinal properties.
Note: Depending on your condition and what you want to use it for, it can double as both a relaxant and a stimulant.
Ylang-Ylang comes from a Tagalog word “Ilang” meaning “Wilderness” or the word “Ilang-Ilan” meaning “Rare”.
The trees (Cananga Odorata) from which the essential oil is distilled - known as perfume trees - originated in the Philippines and have now spread throughout tropical Asia. They were introduced to the island of Reunion in 1884, then to Madagascar, nearby Mayotte and Tahiti: they can be found in the wild in Malaysia, India and Indochina.
The trees are generally small, but can reach a height of about 30 m (100 ft). The bark is smooth, with shallow cracks, and the branches "weep" like willow. The leaves are large, oval and shiny, as much as 20 cm (8 in) long, with a slightly hairy underside. The flowers form in axillary clusters, greenish to start with, then, about 20 days later, they become yellow and very highly perfumed. These flowers appear constantly, but are more abundant in the rainy season. A many-seeded, greenish fruit succeeds the flowers.
Many varieties of the tree are cultivated for their essential oil, the ones bearing the smallest flowers producing the most subtle perfume. Strangely, the flowers of the wild trees have little perfume. A young tree of about 5 years old yields about 5 kg flowers: when it reaches the age of 10 years, it can give as much as 10-15 kg.
Primary distillation stage (about an hour) are of the highest quality, known as Ylang-Ylang Extra, has super floral flavor, special complex chemical composition, and used in perfumery. Subsequent parts of distillate are much poorer, lighter and less floral - I st Fraction (after 4 hours), II nd Group (after 7hours) III rd Group (after 10 hours) And Complete - Full distillate is 15 hours. The best oil is obtained from the early summer and early in the morning collected flower rings:
The quality of Ylang-Ylang oil depends a lot on the cultivation of the flowers that are used - specifically the time of day that the flowers were picked. It’s believed that flowers picked early in the morning yield the most beneficial oil, since the flowers are pollinated by night moths. The drop in temperature and dewiness that can occur overnight might also have positive effects on the oil’s chemical structure. The most intensive smell is released from dusk until dawn so when sunrise comes, the flowers natural aroma fills the air.
The 15-hour-long distillation process used to Extract Ylang-Ylang oil also impacts its potency and abilities. Steam distillation is the preferred method since this preserves the oil’s volatile compounds best. And during the long distillation process, the proportion of oil that is extracted first is believed to be the highest quality of the whole batch - often called “Ylang-Ylang Complete” or “Ylang-Ylang Extra”.
The oil is very liquid, clear and has an extraordinary fragrance, with high notes of Hyacinth and Narcissus.
According to a 2014 report published in the Journal of Experimental Botany, the floral scents of Ylang-Ylang are a key factor in plant-insect interactions and are vital for successful pollination since they repel pests and bugs.
Submitted by OperaDreamhouse (May 1, 2014)