Aromatherapy 101: Ylang Ylang

Aromatherapy is nothing new. For thousands of years, aromatic plants have been used in resins, balms and oils, for their physical and psychological benefits. Since scents are what we do best, we’re collecting everything you need to know about aromatherapy in one place - to help you make the right choice when it comes to the aroma you use in your fragrance and skincare.

For centuries, Ylang Ylang (pronounced ee-lang ee-lang, the name translates to ‘flower of flowers’) has been used as a fragrance for perfumes, in religious ceremonies such as weddings, and in aromatherapy - earning its nickname; the perfume tree. The plant, known for its drooping branches and vibrant green leaves, blooms with yellow-green flowers that have a powerfully sweet fragrance. From these flowers, Ylang Ylang essential oil can be distilled.

Ylang Ylang remains popular because it’s so versatile, and this rich oil can be used aromatically, topically and internally, to help skin and hair, to provide antioxidant support, and to lift the mood.

Benefits of Ylang Ylang

1. Ylang Ylang is uplifting

In aromatherapy, Ylang Ylang is believed to have natural soothing abilities - thanks to one of the oil’s main chemical components, germacrene. If you’re feeling stressed or upset, bringing Ylang Ylang into your beauty regime might give you the lift you need. Keep an eye out for moisturising lotions or perfumes that feature the rich and sweet scent of the Ylang Ylang flower, and you won’t just smell good, you’ll also feel good. Seascape’s Soothe Body Butter contains 100% essential oils of ylang ylang to balance the mind.

2. Ylang Ylang gives hair shine

Ylang Ylang works wonders on bad hair days. Because the oil is best known for balancing and regulating oil production in your hair, it can help prevent excessive dryness and oiliness to ensure your locks stay luscious, especially in the summer months. Find a shampoo or conditioner that features Ylang Ylang in the ingredients, and massage it into your scalp to get that healthy, shiny hair you know you deserve. We recommend L’Occitane’s Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner for breathing life back into hair.

3. Ylang Ylang makes you smell good

Because the fragrance of Ylang Ylang is pleasantly delicate yet still powerful, it’s an ideal ingredient for use in perfumes for both men and women. The bright and spicy scent has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac, believed to boost libido and enhance sensuality, so it’s a great scent to bring out on date night. Try spritzing perfume that contains notes of Ylang Ylang onto your hair - the intoxicating scent will linger longer. Want that extra boost? Have a gorgeous shower with Arran’s Glen Rosa Bath & Shower Gel, made with fig and ylang ylang essential oils.

4. Ylang Ylang gives your skin what it needs

Many studies have complimented Ylang Ylang’s dermatological capabilities, and the oil-regulating benefits seen on hair are also useful in balancing sebum production in your skin. If you’re struggling with acne, looking for skincare that contains Ylang Ylang oil might help, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce redness and swelling. To reduce signs of ageing and generally protect the skin or soothe irritation, look for skincare products that mix Ylang Ylang with coconut oil, and gently massage into problem areas on a daily basis to maintain healthy skin.  For hands, we love L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream with jasmine and ylang ylang.

5. Ylang Ylang is calming

Around the world, Ylang Ylang is popular for its soothing effects, easing stress and anxiety. The linalool that’s present in this essential oil is known to promote feelings of wellness and serenity, and has been found to reduce the level of cortisol - that’s the hormone that contributes to symptoms of stress in the body, like high blood pressure. This magical flower can help with depression, and even reduce insomnia. Seek out a bath soak or shower gel that contains this sweet fragrance, and let your worries melt away with hot water.Take it to the next level and spritz the joy of ylang ylang around your home with L’Occitane’s Harmony Home Perfume.


Ylang Ylang is so popular in aromatherapy because it’s so versatile - it can nourish your skin and hair, calm your nerves, lift your mood and help you sleep. Look for new ways to bring Ylang Ylang into your skincare and fragrance, and discover the benefits of this versatile flower for yourself.