What does Ylang Ylang smell like

Like many time-honored traditions, some fragrances are still used today with the same long-standing respect of many, many years ago. 

Newer to the perfume industry — Ylang Ylang has actually been around for many centuries. Holding an awe-inspiring place in history, its reputation is incredibly unique. Often considered to be otherworldly and most definitely time-honored, this plant is respected for its many interesting properties. 

As a matter of fact, one of its most distinctive properties is that it has the ability to morph its scent — “Ylang Ylang is one beautiful flower which has a million types of fragrances. Different people experience different smells from it.” 

Tending to linger with an air of ethereal mystery on the minds of those who encounter it, we wouldn’t be wrong to call Ylang Ylang the Cinderella of perfume fragrances. Fascinatingly enough — now coveted, at one point in time this princess plant was “known as ‘poor man’s jasmine’” 

With such a reputation, it is only natural to want to get to the bottom of what Ylang Ylang smells like — just like prince charming desperately wanted to find out more about the mysterious princess from the ball… we along with you, want to find out more about this beautiful flower. After all, we at Dossier have included its essence as a top note in our Floral Aldehydes perfume — inspired by Chanel No 5. In doing so we have carefully respected the traditional formula of Chanel’s best-seller.

Exotic and Intense — oh, Ylang Ylang please reveal your secrets to us! 

To unravel the scent mystery of this Cinderella fragrance we must first know that — “Ylang-ylang is the name of a tree that is native to Indonesia but has been naturalized in many tropical locations.” Originally grown in the wild, this tree’s flowers have gained so much popularity that the trees are now grown on plantations. 


Truly, the answer might shock you… 

“Historically, Ylang Ylang has been used in both the East and the West. In the Philippines, where the flowers grow naturally, healers have used this oil in ointments to treat cuts, burns, and insect and snake bites. In the Molucca Islands, people used the oil as the main ingredient in Macassar oil, a hair pomade that later became popular in Victorian England. In Indonesia, the flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples as they are considered to be an aphrodisiac.” 

Wait a minute, Ylang Ylang is known for its healing properties AND is an aphrodisiac as well as its scent?    

Yes, that is correct. This plant originally made a name for itself as a powerful medicinal and aromatic healer. In today’s time it is widely used, “in aromatherapy for its action on the nervous system in all symptoms derived from stress, such as hypertension, tachycardia, and sleeplessness.” — this plant is believed to bring calming effects to those who smell it and therefore, helps people to relax and find peace.

With that, we point out that it’s no wonder Ylang Ylang is used in perfume… who doesn’t want their fragrance to turn them on and calm them at the same time? 

Now, let’s get to the point — what does Ylang Ylang smell like? 

In flower form, it is “reminiscent of carnations, narcissus or jasmine, its petals release a strong and spicy fragrance. The “perfume of all perfumes” fills the air with a soft and heady fragrance perceived by anyone crossing the plantations at sunset.” 

Delightful and dreamy, Ylang Ylang sounds enchancinting if you ask us. 

As a matter of fact, the “essential oil is among the most suave and sensual in perfumery. It is powerful, floral, spicy, camphorated and slightly fruity. Its profile is different according to its origin; the Comoro ylang ylang is very floral, heady and slightly smoky, whereas the ylang ylang from Madagascar is more airy and sunny.” Ah ha! So, that is where the mystery of different smell notes comes from. 

“Coveted by many perfumers; Its sweet odour is fragrant yet delicate and therefore is a popular choice in floral and oriental scents.” Mixing well with a variety of other aromas, Ylang Ylang has found its way into top notes of “women’s beauty products, but it also works as a middle note in men’s personal care products.”

Who would have thought that this humble flower can have such complexity and diversity? 

Delicate and sweet yet heavy and spicy — Ylang Ylang has an intricate smell, which has helped it to become increasingly more valuable over the years.  
“This seriously exotic, intense, rich fragrance note is at the top of the price scale for ingredients – though even so, it’s still present in as much as 40% of quality perfume creations.  Ylang ylang famously clambers round the heart of some of the most beloved fragrances in the world, including the best-known of all: Chanel No. 5. (The perfume’s creator is on record as saying that without ylang-ylang in the formula, he couldn’t have used such a high dose of the champagne-like aldehydes that give No. 5 its airy overture:  it ‘tethers’ the creation).” And, that we at Dossier agree wholeheartedly with. In the creation of our No. 5 inspired Floral Aldehydes , we noticed that without Ylang Ylang the scent was just not the same.

We at Dossier are hooked on Ylang Ylang — we love it’s floral aroma with hints of cinnamon, spices, warmth, and air. 

It’s been an exciting time getting to know this aroma and  mixing it into one of the premier perfumes. As we get to know and experience Ylang Ylang and its intoxicating perfumes more, we look forward  to sharing them with you.

On a mission to bring everyone the the delight of top quality perfumes at a fair price — we offer all our designer-inspired bottles starting at $29. To experience Ylang Ylang in all its glory, shop Dossier.


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