Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (Cananga odorata)


Ylang Ylang may also be referred to as Ylang-ylang, Perfume Tree, Cananga, Cadmia, or Cananga odorata var genuina. It is typically processed in Indonesia using steam distilled as a method for extracting oil from the flowers.


Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, pronounced as Eee-lang Eee-lang. Ylang ylang oil comes from the flowers of the Cananga odorata tree. It has a sweet, floral scent.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is a rather interesting essential oil as its distillation varies a bit from most other oils, and this can affect the composition and aroma of the oil.

Essential Facts

  • Aroma Description:

    Exotic Floral Fruity Sweet Woody

  • Common Name(s): Ylang-ylang, Perfume Tree, Cananga, Cadmia, or Cananga odorata var genuina
  • Botanical Family: Annonaceae
  • Botanical Genus: Cananga
  • Major Compounds: Linalol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Geranial, Benzyl Acetate, Geranyl Acetate, Eugenol, Methyl Chavicol, Pinene, Beta-Caryophyllene, Farnasene
  • Perfumery Note: Base/Middle
  • Consistency: Thin
  • Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium - Strong
  • Color: Clear with a Yellow Tinge
  • Countries of Production: Indonesia
  • Processing Methods: Steam Distilled
  • Part Typically Used: Flowers
  • Conservation Status:  [LC] Least Concern
    IUCN Red List category abbreviations (version 3.1, 2001)
  • Ethically and sustainably sourced Ethically and sustainably sourced
  • Vegan Vegan

Essential Details

Cautions & Safety

Cautions when using Ylang Ylang:

The strong scent may cause headache or nausea.

Tisserand and Young indicate that Ylang Ylang Essential Oil may pose a moderate risk of skin sensitization and recommend dermal maximum of 0.8%. They caution to avoid use for those with hypersensitive/diseased/damaged skin and in children younger than 2. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 476-480.]

Can cause headaches and nausea if used in excess. [Julia Lawless,The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils(Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 104.]

Safety Precautions for Ylang Ylang:

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.


Ylang Ylang Articles or Publications: