Cananga odorata, commonly called ylang-ylang ee-lang-ee-lang), cananga tree, ilang-ilang, kenanga in Indonesian, fragrant cananga, Macassar-oil plant or perfume tree, is a tropical tree which originates from the Philippines and is valued for its perfume. The essential oil derived from the flowers is used in aromatherapy.Artabotrys odoratissimus, ylang-ylang vine, and Artabotrys hexapetalus, climbing ylang-ylang, are woody, evergreen climbing plants in the same family. A. odoratissimus is also a source of perfume.C. odorata is a fast-growing tree of the custard-apple family Annonaceae. Its growth exceeds 5 m (15 ft) per year and attains an average height of 12 m (40 ft) in an ideal climate. It grows in full or partial sun, and prefers the acidic soils of its native rainforest habitat. The evergreen leaves are smooth and glossy, oval, pointed and with wavy margins, and 13–20 cm (5–8 in) long. The flower is drooping, long-stalked, with six narrow, greenish-yellow (rarely pink) petals, rather like a sea star in appearance, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil.
The fragrance of ylang-ylang is rich and deep with notes of rubber and custard, and bright with hints of jasmine and neroli. The essential oil of the flower is obtained through steam distillation of the flowers and separated into different grades (extra, 1, 2, or 3) according to when the distillates are obtained. The main aromatic components of ylang-ylang oil are benzyl acetate, linalool, p-cresyl methyl ether, and methyl benzoate, responsible for its characteristic odor.The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. It is believed to relieve high blood pressure, normalize sebum secretion for skin problems, and is considered to be an aphrodisiac. According to Margaret Mead, it was used as such by South Pacific natives such as the Samoan Islanders where she did much of her research. The oil from ylang-ylang is widely used in perfumery for oriental or floral themed perfumes (such as Chanel No. 5). Ylang-ylang blends well with most floral, fruit and wood scents.In Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples.In the Philippines, its flowers, together with the flowers of the sampaguita, are strung into a necklace (lei) and worn by women and used to adorn religious images.
Ylang-ylang's essential oil makes up 29% of the Comoros' annual export (1998).Ylang-ylang is a common flavoring in Madagascar for ice cream.Ylang-Ylang Oil is usually a yellowish,somewhat oily liquid, with a powerful and intensely sweet, but also soft-balsamic floral odor and an unusual tenacity in its floral-woody undertones.The oil is useful in general perfumery as a floral additive of extremely versatile application. It blends with almost any other floral natural or synthetic material, and gives good effects in a concentration of 0.5~. up to about 5% of the perfume base.There is hardly any floral type, where ylang-ylang “extra” would not fit in. The oil blends excellent 1y with bois de rose,vetiver, amyl salicylate, opopanax, bergamot,hydroxycitronellal, mimosa, cassie, methylionones,cinnamic alcohol and esters, benzoates, paracresyl esters (ethers), nerolidol, Peru balsam oil,vertenex HC, etc. and with gardenia bases,stephanot is baws, tuberose bases, etc.