Ylang-ylang’s Fragrant Rhapsody

Ylang-ylang’s Fragrant Rhapsody

Definitely sweet. Floral. Fruity. Strong and heavy. This luxurious fragrance is what you call Ylang-ylang. 

According to general lexicon, the name Ylang-ylang comes from the reduplicative form of the Tagalog word ‘ilang’, meaning wilderness, the natural habitat of the plant. Interestingly, another meaning given for the name is “flower of flowers.” And what that implies may be unclear, but given this plant’s special uses, that name may just fit the owner.  

Ylang-ylang is the name of the tree, also known as Cananga tree, and that also of a woody, climbing vine from this plant’s family. Ylang-ylang is native to tropical Asian countries, such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and even to Australia.  But Ylang-ylang is more popularly known as the flower of this plant used chiefly for aromatherapy. It is even considered by many as a natural aphrodisiac. In some places, its greenish-yellow, star-shaped flowers are spread on the bed of the newlyweds. 

But that’s just half-way to the story. Before we get to where this scent of Ylang-ylang has led us, why don’t we take a quick detour? Yes, let’s detour to a time when people concocted their legends and folklores just to tell about this poignantly attractive fragrant. 

Ilang-ilang, as it is known in the Philippines, has several versions of its Filipino legends, inspired to explain the source of its compelling scent. One of these tells of a beautiful maiden. The young woman was named Ilang. Men from different places, rich and famous, wanted to marry her, but the woman only has her heart to a simple, young man named Edo. Since no one can sway this young woman to change her mind, not even her parents, Ilang was confined to her room and forbidden to meet Edo. Out of despair, Ilang grew weak, eventually died, and was buried in the place where she used to meet her lover. 

In another version, Cirila, or Ilang for short, was killed by a merchant whose love she had refused to accept. When Lanubo, her boyfriend, arrived from hunting games in preparation for their wedding, he had already lost his beloved. The men in this stories cried their hearts out day by day by Ilang’s grave. Later on, a tree started to grow on the grave and eventually bore the fragrant flowers as a reminder of the love of those ill-fated lovers. So, these legends allude to the scent comforting the bereaved, longing and brokenhearted. 

But the story, really, is inside Ylang-ylang’s blooms. The drooping flowers, humble as they may seem, and clad in wavy, star-like petals, yield one of the most popular fragrances known in perfumery. This scent claims to improve one’s mood and even reduce anxiety and depression. It’s one fragrant rhapsody!

Ylang-ylang essential oil in your J&L Naturals products helps regulate oil production and strengthens your skin. Hydrate, Calm, Balance and Timeless Face Salves are loaded with this essence. The drowning sweetness of your Aluminum-Free Deodorant in Vanilla and Ylang-ylang is simply irresistible. Our special edition Clove and Ylang-ylang has a tinge of spice, warmth, and sweetness. It’s definitely an uplifting scent!  





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