Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina) is a tall tropical tree that grows up to 65 feet high with large delicate flowers that come in shades of yellow, mauve, or pink. The yellow flowers are preferred for the extraction of the essential oil, which is steam distilled from the freshly picked flowers in fractionated rounds to separate the topmost, delicate, floral notes (about 40% of the yield) from the more earthy-bourbon type notes of the successive fractionations. It is indigenous to tropical Asia, but the most prized oil comes from Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. The oil is characterized as intensely sweet, soft, and floral-balsamic, with a slightly spicy scent and a creamy-rich top note.
Ylang-Ylang means Flower of Flowers and is an exotic, aphrodisiac floral. It is available in 3 distillations, from the Extra, which is the most floral to the Ylang-Ylang III, which is more bourbon-like in scent. Considered the crown jewel of the Ylang Ylang Oil levels, the Extra is prized for its amazing floral top notes. Use to calm breathing, for high blood pressure, and as an aphrodisiac.
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