By Katrina Scampini, Certified Aromatherapist
Sometimes you come across a particular scent that seems to instantly transport you to a whole new place. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just crack open a bottle of Ylang Ylang Complete! Its exotic, tropical, floral aroma can evoke a sense of warm sun, sparkling sand, and gentle waves on the shore. The perfect get-away!
The Ylang Ylang tree is indigenous to South Eastern Asia and produces flowers with long, star-shaped petals that begin a pale green and turn to deep yellow color. Its name has been said to originate from the Malay word ylang-ylang, meaning “flower of flowers” .
It may also come from the Philippine word alang-ilang, which describes how these beautiful flowers hang from their branches and flutter lightly in the breeze .
These flowers are carefully hand-picked in the early morning hours, at their peak fragrance, and then distilled immediately . The gorgeous aroma is popular in the perfumery world and has been a key ingredient in such timeless masterpieces as Chanel N°5 and Opium by Yves Saint Laurent.
But Ylang Ylang isn’t just a pretty smell. Its medicinal properties were recognized in the early 20th century by French chemists Garnier and Rechler and continued to be enjoyed by many people today for both emotional and beauty concerns.
So are you ready to fall in love with one of the most fragrant flowers in the world? Let’s take a closer look at why you need this lovely essential oil in your collection.
A positive attitude can make any day a great one!
How can you even look at this bright yellow flower and not feel at least a little bit happier? It’s almost like each one of its cheerful petals are smiling at you as they bask in warm, tropical sunlight. Eloquently stated by an acclaimed registered practitioner of aromatherapy, shiatsu, acupuncture, and medical herbalism, Gabriel Mojay comments in his book, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, “Instilling us with the sweetness of peaceful paradise, yet revealing the spice of the tropical sun, Ylang Ylang both soothes and entices, opens and centers.” And such a perfect description that is.
Ylang Ylang encourages you to look at life through an optimistic lens by promoting feelings of positivity. It’s supportive to the nervous system by helping to calm feelings of nervous tension, while helping to cool down negative emotions, such as anger and jealousy, and periods of restlessness and agitation .
Try it in a soothing bath after a long day. Blend together 1 drop of Ylang Ylang and 3 drops of Sweet Orange to 1 tablespoon of unscented body wash. Then mix in half a cup of Epsom salt and sprinkle into the tub for a sweet and uplifting experience!
Diffuse it to help reduce worry, calm the mind, and help uplift the mood. Please keep in mind that this essential oil is incredibly sweet, sometimes overwhelming so, and it is often enjoyed by diffusing it in a blend. Try it alongside citrus oil for a fun, bright fragrance! Or, pair it with woody or earthy oils, like Sandalwood and Patchouli, for something more sensual.
And speaking of sensual….
Ylang Ylang has a well-deserved reputation as an aphrodisiac . Not only has it long been used in some of the most luxurious and expensive perfumes, but its sweet and sensual aroma is said to support symptoms of sexual dysfunction , which can encourage more intimate moments with your partner. There is a beautiful tradition in Indonesia where the Ylang Ylang petals are sprinkled onto the marriage bed of a bride and groom to symbolize their union and ignite passion.
Ylang Ylang Complete makes a wonderful addition to romantic massage oil blends. In two teaspoons of your favorite carrier oil, add 1 drop of Ylang Ylang, 2 drops of Sandalwood, and 2 drops of Bergamot. This sensual blend of essential oils is a great way to promote closeness and romance with your partner. If you find that the Ylang Ylang aroma in this blend is too strong, increase the number of drops of Sandalwood and Bergamot to 3 each.
Get a youthful glow.
Having beautiful, glowing skin is unsurprisingly something that we all want. And Ylang Ylang Complete can help! It is also known for its ability to help prevent the signs of aging and even help promote the development of healthy skin . It has a sebum-balancing effect that is great for all skin types and has a long history of traditional use to nourish and rejuvenate skin .
A quick and easy way to enjoy the benefits of Ylang Ylang Complete for your skincare is to use it in a steam facial. To do this, add a single drop of Ylang Ylang into a bowl of hot, but not boiling, water and hover your face above the bowl for a few minutes. This technique has a few functions. First, the hot water will diffuse the oil, allowing you to take a few precious moments out of your day to simply enjoy Ylang Ylang’s gorgeous aroma and mood-boosting abilities.
Second, the steam from the bowl of water will open up pores, releasing dirt and bacteria from your skin. And finally, the skin-nourishing properties Ylang Ylang will infuse your skin, helping support a youthful complexion while also giving your skin a lovely sweet scent.
Enjoy strong, healthy hair.
Salty, tousled, sun-kissed beach hair might be great for a few sexy snapshots, but that’s about it. After that, it’s usually a painful wrestling match with a comb followed by about half a bottle of conditioner. Even our ancestors recognized the need to protect their hair from the damaging effects of the ocean, so what was their solution? They massaged Ylang Ylang into their hair to act as a kind of barrier against salty sea water before they swam .
Today, Ylang Ylang continues to be recognized for its wonderful hair and scalp benefits and can be used in oils and tonics designed to encourage hair growth and shine .
Try adding 7 drops of Ylang Ylang Complete into an ounce of Jojoba Carrier Oil. Apply the mixture by massaging it into your scalp. It will help to promote healthy and shiny hair and support strong and moisturized locks all year round. It’s full of organic compounds that make your hair look great, while also helping to detangle and reduce flakiness.
Learn more about Ylang Ylang Complete:
Need more great ideas, recipes, and information on Ylang Ylang Complete? Make sure to head over to our Safe Essential Oil Recipes Facebook group. With thousands of enthusiastic and active members, you’re going to love the helpful, knowledgeable community of oily lovers!
 Purchon, N., & Cantele, L. (2014). The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition. (Novato, CA: New World Library. Pg. 117.
 Mojay, G. (2005). Aromatherapy for healing the spirit: A guide to restoring emotional and mental balance through essential oils. London: Gaia. Pg. 128.
 Worwood, V. (2016). The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition. Novato, CA: New World Library. Pg. 631.
 Leelapornpisid, P., Wickette, R., Chansakaow, S., & Wongwattananukul, N. (2015). Potential of native Thai aromatic plant extracts in antiwrinkle body creams. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26665978