Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

What You Need to Know: Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

For starters, what is Ylang Ylang oil, and how on earth do you pronounce it? Ylang ylang (ee-lang ee-lang) oil is derived from flowers that come from the ylang ylang tree. This delicate blossom is both beautiful and fragrant, giving off an irresistibly unique scent.

The Ylang Ylang tree is native to the wild jungles of Indonesia and the Philippines.  Known for its enticing floral fragrance, the tree is also called the fragrant cananga or perfume tree.  I don’t know about you, but I’d love to have a “perfume tree” growing in my backyard.

How Is the Oil Made?

This fragrant essential oil comes from the ylang ylang blossom. Immediately after harvesting, the flower will undergo a three-stage distillation process required to extract the essential oil from the plant.

Due to how ylang ylang is distilled, the oil from each distillation has varying properties.  That being said, there are no set standards for how long each distillation is, nor are there any universal standards for how to label each “grade” of oil. Therefore, if you were to purchase ylang ylang essential oil, it could be a blend of all three distillations or one specific distillation.

In the first stage of distillation, the oil is at its finest.

  • This high-quality “first stage” oil is known as “Ylang Ylang Extra” by some essential oil companies (source).
  • The poorer quality oil is taken last and is referred to as Ylang Ylang III.
  • It’s helpful to know which distillation you’re getting before purchasing. So, be on the lookout for the common (but unregulated) “grades” of this oil: Ylang Ylang 1, Ylang Ylang 2, Ylang Ylang 3, and Ylang Ylang Complete (a blend of all three).

To learn more about the lack of standardization in the essential oil industry, read this: 

Where to Buy Essential Oils: Important Facts You Need to Know

What Can Ylang Ylang Oil Be Used For?

There are multiple amazing things you can do with this oil. First, not only does it smell fantastic and make for a good air freshener, but it is also said to be great for your mental health due to its ability to melt away tension and stress, even anxiety.

While not conclusive, there is a long list of other possible physical benefits as well. Since evidence on these other benefits is inconclusive, I’ll leave you to research them for yourself and come to your own conclusions.

Other Potential Benefits of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil and available studies:

Other studies have been performed with ylang ylang oil beyond the ones we mentioned above.  If you’re really into researching these kinds of things and would enjoy educating yourself (like we do) on the subject, it’s important to find the actual published studies.

Ylang Ylang For Your Skin

Ylang-ylang oil is also known to have skin-improving abilities, thus giving your skin a healthy glow and a nice complexion. You can also try applying it to smooth away wrinkles and prevent aging. Given its natural antibacterial properties (source), it may also prevent unwanted breakouts.  

This oil is great for all skin types because it will not only improve skin elasticity but also help balance the naturally occurring oil that your skin already produces.

However, as with most, if not all, essential oils, we do not recommend that you apply pure ylang ylang oil directly onto the skin. Instead, mix it with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil to prevent skin irritation.

Ylang Ylang For Your Hair

Summer Field

Everyone wants healthier-looking hair, right?  Absolutely! This oil is great if you want to give your hair that healthy glow you’ve been wanting to get for so long.  As I mentioned, ylang ylang can help balance the oil your skin naturally produces. That means it’s perfectly suited for use in a scalp massage blend.

Try mixing 1-2 drops of ylang ylang oil with some virgin coconut oil for a relaxing, hair-rejuvenating scalp massage.

Furthermore, there have even been a few small clinical studies in regard to ylang ylang oil’s toxic effect on lice eggs! There hasn’t been a lot of extensive research on it, so it may not be a “miracle oil” in regard to uses pertaining to lice treatment. But, things do appear to be headed in the right direction (source).

The oil works great as a natural hair conditioner, too.  If you mix it with coconut oil, it will surround each strand of hair with moisturization that will give your hair a fabulous shine.

Ylang Ylang Natural Homemade Conditioner Recipe

  • Mix 1-2 drops of ylang ylang oil in a ¼ cup of fractionated coconut oil (similar to the recipe above) or your favorite conditioner.
  • Massage the mixture from your roots all the way to the tips and ends of your hair.
  • Use a comb for maximum moisturization.  When rinsing, you may want to add a tiny bit of natural shampoo just so your hair won’t feel too greasy.

Using Ylang ylang oil as a conditioner will give your hair a healthy, irresistible shine.

PMS Relief

Given its hormone-balancing and calming properties, ylang ylang is extremely helpful if you are dealing with PMS.  The calming aroma can really help with PMS symptoms, especially if you are experiencing hormonal mood swings.  If you have an oil diffuser, try this simple PMS hormone balance blend.

  • 1 drop of Ylang Ylang oil
  • 1 drop of Lavender oil
  • 2 drops of Clary Sage oil
  • 1 drop of Geranium oil

Some recipes exclude lavender oil, but it adds a unique freshness to the mix.  Try this diffuser recipe with and without lavender to see which you prefer the best.

Muscle relief

Another popular use of ylang ylang oil is for massage.  Not only will the oil help you relax emotionally, but it will calm and soothe your muscles as well.

Ylang Ylang Oil Massage Blend Recipe

  • Mix 2 drops of Ylang Ylang oil to one ¼ cup of melted virgin coconut oil. Allow to cool and harden.
  • For additional fragrance variation, add a few drops of lavender, jasmine, sandalwood, or other essential oils.
  • If you want more of a liquid massage solution, just use jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil.

Remember, it’s not advised to apply pure essential oil directly onto the skin because all essential oils are different. That means that some are more potent than others. If you put pure, concentrated essential oil on your skin, it could potentially lead to skin irritation, rashes, and even burns.

Ylang Ylang: Peace and Tranquility

Given its calming, relaxing effects, many people claim that Ylang Ylang oil will help you find peace and tranquility within. So again, whether you want to smell an exotic floral scent or just want to relax, ylang ylang oil is a great choice. Life can be tense, so sometimes it’s also nice to just slow down and treat yourself to a nice, long, fragrant bath.

Ylang Ylang Bath Oil Recipe

  • Mix 8-10 drops of ylang ylang oil, 8-10 drops of grapefruit oil, and 2 cups of Epsom salts into a full bath.
  • Light some candles, turn on some relaxing music, and let all your worries drift away.

Feel free to add Ylang Ylang essential oil to other homemade bath powder recipes you may already be using.


Always be sure to blend the oil with a carrier oil before putting it directly onto your skin. Like most essential oils, pure ylang ylang oil is very concentrated. So, mixing it with another carrier oil will reduce any chance of skin irritation, even if you have sensitive skin.  As long as you’re diluting your oils, there’s no need for concern here.

It is of great importance to us here at Enticingly Simple that you understand the wonderful benefits of ylang ylang essential oil. Everything from wellness to beauty, this essential oil is an awesome choice to add to your collection. Ask any aromatherapist, and they’ll probably tell you that they could never go without it.  

Thanks for reading. I hope you learned a lot, and we’d love to hear from you about your experiences with this enticing aroma. If you have any comments or questions, please do send them our way. Indeed, you will not want to be without this amazingly floral-scented oil!

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil FAQs

What is Ylang Ylang essential oil used for? 

Ylang Ylang oil is commonly used for its pleasant floral fragrance in perfumes and aromatherapy, as well as in hair and skin care products.

Can Ylang Ylang essential oil help with relaxation? 

Yes, it’s often used in aromatherapy for relaxation and to reduce feelings of stress.

Is Ylang Ylang essential oil good for skin care? 

It’s popular in skin care for its moisturizing properties and is sometimes included in products aimed at improving skin health.

Can Ylang Ylang essential oil be used for hair? 

Ylang Ylang oil can be found in hair care formulas to help strengthen and improve the appearance of hair.

How do you apply Ylang Ylang essential oil? 

It can be applied topically when diluted with a carrier oil, used in a diffuser for aromatherapy, or added to baths and skin care products.

Are there any precautions when using Ylang Ylang essential oil? 

It should be used in moderation and always diluted before applying to the skin to avoid irritation. It’s also important to do a patch test first to check for any allergic reactions.

Which carrier oils can be used with Ylang Ylang essential oil? 

Jojoba, coconut, and almond oils are great carrier oils that blend well with Ylang Ylang for topical application.

What essential oils pair well with Ylang Ylang? 

Lavender, bergamot, and rose oils complement Ylang Ylang’s floral scent and can be blended for aromatherapy uses.

How much Ylang Ylang essential oil should be used in a diffuser? 

Typically, 3-5 drops per 100ml of water is sufficient, but always follow your specific diffuser’s guidelines.

Can Ylang Ylang essential oil be added to bath water? 

Yes, a few drops can be mixed with a dispersing agent like Epsom salt or a carrier oil before adding to bath water to enhance a relaxing bath experience.

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