Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)

Description of the species

Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) means flower of flowers in Malaysian, which is most likely due to its intense scent. Ylang ylang is a fast- growing tree that is endemic to tropical Asia and some other islands of the Indian Ocean, as well as Madagascar. It has been introduced to China, India, Africa, and America due to its economic importance. Ylang ylang is a medium-sized evergreen tree growing up to 15 meters high with long drooping branches and yellow flowers that are highly fragrant.

Usage of the species

The essential oil is said to have a calming and stimulating effect. It is used in various perfumes, for example the well-known Chanel No. 5. Ylang ylang constitutes a very important raw material of the fragrance industry and is also used in the cosmetics and food industry. It can be found in different household products such as massage oils, moisturizing creams, perfumes, and even scented candles. In the food industry, Ylang ylang is used in chewing gums and ice cream. Besides its use in consumer products, Ylang ylang also has various medicinal effects and studies have revealed antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities.