Cananga odorata is more commonly known as Ylang-ylang. It is derived from the flowers of the Cananga tree, which is native to the Philippines and Indonesia. The Tagalog mean of the root word ilang-ilang can mean "rare", perhaps indicative of the highly valued perfume oil extracted from the flowers. Ylang-ylang flowers are large, star-shaped and very fragrant. The oil pressed from the flowers is sweet scented, slightly yellow in color. In aromatherapy, Ylang-ylang is good for relieving stress and anxiety. Applied on the skin it can aid in the reduction of acne, as well as assist in the growth and treatment of damaged hair. It is important to note, however, that some people experience headaches and nausea when presented with Ylang-ylang oils, so it is possible that this is one of many potential migraine triggers in perfumery, and should be worn with that in mind.
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The scent of Ylang-ylang is very popular, and both the oil and the flowers themselves have been used for thousands of years. A traditional Indonesian wedding ritual is to strew the petals on the wedding bed, and the oils have been used to smooth the hair and seal split ends. The fragrance evokes a sweet, slightly fruity, floral scent. It is very fragrant, but still maintains a delicacy of scent. Ylang-ylang is typically used as a heart or base note in fragrances, and blends well with bergamot, lavender, grapefruit and sandalwood, making it a common ingredient in chypre, floral and fruity-floral blends. Some well known fragrances with Ylang-ylang are Guerlain's Samsara EDP and Maison Martin Margiela Beach Walk. (wikipedia.com, aromaweb.com, essentialoils.co.za)
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Ylang-ylang, in perfumery, is not traditionally a fragrance compound that I gravitate towards. I own perfume with Ylang-ylang in it, but I cannot personally put a description on the scent other than "sweet" and "floral". However, it isn't a compound I shy away from, either, and after reading about the aromatic benefits of using this in an essential oil format, I am definitely tempted to give it a try. Supposedly it can even lower blood pressure and reduce hypertension, which I've suffered from for years. So even though I don't particularly care for this scent in perfumery, I might find a very valid use for it in aromatherapy. That's another thing I love about scents - there are so many dimensions to every thing you smell, and so many different ways it can work on your body. I'm going to have to wear my perfume with Ylang-ylang more and see if I notice any headaches or stress relief!
So I hope that was informational, and made up for the lack of a Face-Off. Again, I am not going to be continuing this series permanently, but of course I will always revisit them on occasion! Feel free to comment below with any particular scent notes you'd like a short info sesh about and I will add them to the queue! I will have a video post tomorrow, but if I can't get it edited to my satisfaction, it may not show up on the blog until Saturday. You can keep an eye on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook for updates when the video is live - all of those links are on the Random Facts page! I can't wait to see you tomorrow! Pleasant journeys~