Ylang ylang essential oil blends and recipes

Updated February 2023

by Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC

Ylang Ylang essential oil has a heady, exotic scent, but blends well with many other oils to benefit a variety of conditions of both the body and the mind.

Recipes, such as body oils, linen sprays, bath salts, and diffuser blends, can be created to gain the many benefits of this essential oil. In this article, we are going to look at different ylang ylang essential oil blends and recipes you can make at home.

What essential oils does ylang ylang mix well with?

Due to its highly floral scent, Ylang Ylang oil blends well with a variety of essential oils but particularly these oils;

  • Geranium
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Bergamot
  • Grapefruit
  • Benzoin
  • Rose
  • Vetiver
  • Sandalwood

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What are the benefits of Ylang ylang Essential oil?

As well as being a wonderful-smelling essential oil, Ylang Ylang has many therapeutic benefits.

Each essential oil is made up of a unique chemical composition. This composition gives the oil some specific actions, that benefit the body and mind.

Therapeutic actions of ylang ylang are;

  • Antidepressant – has an uplifting, positive effect on the symptoms of depression
  • Aphrodisiac – invigorates sexual desire
  • Hypotensive – reduces high blood pressure
  • Relaxing – has a general relaxing effect on the body and mind
  • Sedative – has a calming effect on the nervous system
  • Tonic – invigorates and gives strength to the body

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Recipes

Ylang Ylang essential oil for the skin

Facial massage oil for dry skin

  • 10 ml Rosehip oil
  • 5 drops of Ylang Ylang
  • 5 drops Neroli

Blend together in a small amber-tinted bottle with a dropper, and use daily, ideally in the evening. Massage into the skin, underneath your normal moisturiser.

Ylang ylang facial oil recipe and a headshot of a lady applying cream to her face.

Facial massage oil for oily skin

  • 10ml Jojoba oil
  • 5 drops of Ylang Ylang
  • 5 drops of Orange

Blend together in a small amber-tinted bottle with a dropper, and use daily, or when the skin is particularly oily, ideally in the evening. Massage into the skin, underneath your normal moisturiser.

Hair oil/mask

  • Coconut oil – melted
  • 2-3 drops Ylang ylang essential oil

Mix together the melted coconut oil with the ylang ylang, and massage it into the scalp. Wash off straight away or leave in as a hair mask.

Ylang ylang hair mask recipe and a head shot of a lady with long hair blowing across her face.

Body massage oil for anxiety – relaxing/calming blend

Blend together in an amber-tinted bottle, ideally with a pump, and massage into your body, as and when you need relief from anxiety. Using this blend in the evening can help promote a good night’s sleep.

Body massage oil for depression – uplifting/joyful blend

Blend together in an amber-tinted bottle, ideally with a pump, and massage into your body, whenever you are feeling low. Regular use could help to keep the symptoms of depression at bay.

Body massage oil to lower blood pressure

Blend together in a tinted amber bottle, and use as needed to reduce blood pressure. (1)

(Please consult your GP before using, if high blood pressure is a medical issue for you)

  • 50ml Sweet Almond oil
  • 6 drops Ylang Ylang
  • 5 drops Orange
  • 5 drops Valerian

Body massage oil for an aphrodisiac

Blend together in a tinted amber bottle. Massage into your body – or better yet, get your partner to massage you! More essential oils for love and intimacy here.

  • 50ml Sweet Almond oil
  • 6 drops Ylang Ylang
  • 5 drops Vetiver
  • 5 drops Lavender

Aphrodisiac linen spray

An alternative to the aphrodisiac massage oil, simply mix these together and lightly spray your bed linen before you get into bed.

Shake well before each use, and spray up into the air, so the mixture falls lightly onto the bed. Spraying directly onto the linen may mean you end up with soaking sheets!

  • Spray bottle
  • Add a small amount of plain facial toner or a floral hydrolat
  • Top up with water
  • 10 drops of Ylang Ylang
  • 10 drops Lavender
  • 10 drops Vetiver

Bath salts recipe

  • Dead sea bath salts
  • 1-2 drops Ylang ylang essential oil
  • 1 drop Sandalwood
  • 1 drop Lavender

An essential oil bath salts mix makes a great relaxing alternative to a bath oil or a bubble bath. Dead sea salts are relaxing and soothing. The addition of essential oils makes this a relaxing, calming treat for the body and mind.

Mix together in a mason-style jar, allowing the essential oils to penetrate the salts, ready for use.

Ylang Ylang diffuser blends

Using essential oils in a diffuser or a burner is a great way of reaping the benefits of them. Use any of these oils – a few drops of each mixed with water – as and when you need them and allow the fragrance to fill the room. You will benefit from the oils, by inhalation.

What is Ylang Ylang essential oil good for in a diffuser?

Using ylang ylang in a diffuser is a wonderful way to scent your home, and brings with it some wonderful benefits.

  • Uplifting
  • Relaxing
  • Aphrodisiac

Uplifting diffuser blend

  • Ylang ylang
  • Bergamot
  • Orange
  • Lavender

Relaxing diffuser blend

  • Ylang Ylang
  • Benzoin
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Cypress
  • Lavender

Aphrodisiac diffuser blend

Diffuser blends simply for the aromas;

Ylang ylang, Lavender & Cypress

Ylang ylang, Bergamot & Lemon

Ylang ylang, Orange & Spearmint

Ylang ylang, Patchouli & Mandarin

Ylang ylang, Lime & Lavender

Ylang ylang, Lavender & Geranium


What is ylang ylang essential oil good for?

Ylang ylang essential oil is good for many different conditions and ailments.

Ylang ylang for the skin

The benefits of ylang ylang essential oil on the skin are;

  • Balances sebum – good for both dry & oily skin
  • Useful for drawing out spots
  • Skin infection or irritation
  • Bites & stings

Both dry and oily skin can benefit from ylang ylang, as it has the ability to balance sebum in the skin.

Sebum is the skin’s natural oil, that is needed to add protection and hydration to the skin, however, dry skin, will lack sebum and oily skin will have too much sebum being produced.

Ylang ylang will help normalise the secretions of this oil, thus bringing balance to the skin.

It is also a useful oil to draw out a spot – and associated infection – on the skin. Often a spot – or pimple – will lay under the skin’s surface, meaning it’s lurking there to be seen, causing congestion, but never really coming out onto the skin fully.

Applying ylang ylang oil (diluted with a carrier oil or cream) to the spot will draw the spot out. This means it will become worse before it gets better, but by drawing out the spot, you are bringing out the infection that caused the spot, thus helping to get rid of it once and for all!

Due to its effective properties on spots, ylang ylang is also useful for treating other skin infections & irritations as well as bites and stings.

While ylang ylang, can be applied topically, it must not be used directly (neat) on the skin and must always be diluted in a carrier substance – be it an oil or cream.

Ylang Ylang for hair

The benefits of ylang ylang on the hair are;

  • Soothes dry & itchy scalp
  • Relieves dandruff
  • Stimulates hair growth

Ylang ylang is a useful oil for the hair and scalp, as it encourages the production of sebum on the scalp, so great for treating and ridding of a dry scalp. This increase in sebaceous secretions will add moisture to the hair, giving lovely, lubricated locks!

Ylang Ylang essential oil for anxiety

  • Slows breathing
  • Slows heartrate
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Relieves shock or fright
  • Reduces anger & frustration

Ylang ylang is a relaxing and sedating essential oil. This means that it will have a relaxing and calming effect on symptoms of anxiety.

Ylang ylang works on the circulatory system by reducing a rapid heart rate, in the case of panic, while at the same time, slowing breathing, which can also be a sign of panic and anxiety.

It also is known to reduce high blood pressure.

Ylang ylang also works on the endocrine system in the same way. It regulates the flow of adrenaline, which means that our times of stress and anxiety are lessened, thus reducing feelings of fear, nervousness, anxiety, or panic.

Ylang Ylang for depression

  • Antidepressant
  • Calms nervous system
  • Eases the after effects of trauma
  • Insomnia

Ylang Ylang has a soothing effect on the nervous system, allowing the whole body and mind to relax and calm down. Either by applying the oil as a massage or inhaling the scent in a diffuser, ylang ylang can trigger the nerve receptors in the body to relax, which calms the whole system.

Ylang Ylang calms the mind and releases negative emotions and thoughts while promoting joy and positivity.

Due to these effects, this essential oil helps promote a good night’s sleep, relieves anxiety, uplifts the mind, and enhances self-esteem in the case of depression.

For more uplifting essential oil blends read here.

For more essential oil blends & recipes for anxiety & depression read here.

Ylang Ylang as an aphrodisiac

Perhaps partly due to its heady, sensuous fragrance ylang ylang is known as a good oil for the reproductive system. It can help with male impotence and is useful for women lacking sexual desires.

On a side note, ylang ylang is also thought to balance hormones and reduce hot flushes – and once hormones are more balanced a woman may feel more sexual.

What is ylang ylang essential oil

Ylang ylang essential oil sounds so exotic doesn’t it! And so it should! A tree with yellow flowers, it is found in Indonesia, The Philippines, and Madagscar. The scent is a heady and strong floral aroma, but certainly not unpleasant.

Ylang Ylang is considered a middle-base note, meaning that the scent will last and it carries other lighter scents well.

The ylang ylang flower has long been used by the natives of its original countries as an aphrodisiac, although it has many other useful benefits, for the skin, our mood, and our circulation.

Ylang ylang essential oil can be found in many skincare preparations and is often an oil found in perfumes, although it may be listed under its botanical name of Cananga Odorata.

The scent is a heavier floral fragrance, that the heat of its origins, brings out during the evenings.

Every essential oil has a variety of properties, or therapeutic actions, meaning the effects that the oil can have on the body and the mind.

Precautions of ylang ylang essential oil

Ylang Ylang is non-toxic and non-irritating, so should be suitable for most skins. If ever in any doubt of the use of essential oils, always proceed with caution or contact your local practitioner or contact me for advice. Always blend essential oils with a carrier oil or substance, never use neat on the skin.

The perfume of ylang ylang essential oil is rather strong and heady, so may cause headaches or nausea in some people if overused.

Precautions of essential oils

Please be aware of the following precaution of the other oils suggested in this article;

  • Orange – avoid direct sunlight on the area of application
  • Chamomile – avoid during pregnancy
  • Clary sage – avoid during pregnancy, and do not use before or after alcohol consumption
  • Bergamot – avoid direct sunlight on the area of application
  • Grapefruit – avoid direct sunlight on the area of application
  • Jasmine – do not use during pregnancy

Disclaimer; Even though I am a qualified and experienced aromatherapist, the information given in this article are purely recommendations, and if ever in any doubt about the use or application of essential oils, then medical advice should be sought. If you have any particular medical issue or illness, the advice of a medical professional should be sought before the use of essential oils.

About the Author
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist, and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years of experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, which has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.