Despite being branded “jasmine for the poor”, ylang ylang is one of the most used ingredients in the perfume industry. For good reason too and not only because is relatively cheap compared to jasmine, but because of its gentle, tropically delicious, floral scent that in certain aspects really resembles jasmine. But its value lies not only because of its resemblance to jasmine but in its essential oil that is so apealing and seductive. Many of the famous perfumes wouldn’t be what they are if it weren’t for ylang ylang.

Essential oil ylang ylang is extracted by distilling freshly picked flowers, at dawn, from the Cananga Odorata tree. This tree grows in Indonesia and the Philipines. Ylang ylang is now grown on plantations and the best are on Madagascar, Comoro Islands, and Nossi-be.

Ylang ylang oil is light yellow and its scent is floral and sweet with a touch of benzoate. After a while, the scent becomes more pleasant, mild and sweet with a touch of spicy, balsamic-floral note. Natural oil can be recognized by the creamy aroma that cannot be produced in the lab.

Fragrance note ylang ylang

In perfume industry ylang ylang is mostly used in floral and oriental compositions. Because it is relatively low priced and its scent is rich and complex, ylang-ylang in the majority of floral bases that belong to the middle notes.  fragrant oil goes well with rose, vetiver, amyl salicylate, opoponax, bergamot, gardenia, tuberose, mimosa. It has an important role in Chanel and Guerlain perfumes. Many Guerlain classics like Mitsouko and L’Heure Bleue have a dominant ylang ylang note. Famous Jean-Paul Guerlain had personally overseen ylang ylang plantations from 1995 until 2002 to make sure he is getting the top quality product.

Perfumes that have a dominant ylang ylang note are: Annick Goutal Songes, Boucheron Boucheron Femme, Cacharel Loulou, Calvin Klein Escape, Caron Nocturnes, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Chanel no 5, Chloe Chloe, Dior J’Adore, Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds, Givenchy Amarige, Guerlain Chamade, Guerlain L’Instant, Guerlain Mahora, Guerlain Samsara, Hanae Mori Hanae Mori, Hermes 24 Faubourg, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, Kenzo Jungle Elephant, Lanvin Arpege, Lancome Poeme, Laura Biagotti Venezia, Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps, Rochas Byzance, Tom Ford Black Orchid.

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