December 3, 2023

What Does Ylang Ylang Smell Like?

Ylang ylang is a heady tropical flower that’s been used in perfume for centuries, and for good reason. The essential oil it produces is “richly aromatic, fruity, floral and sensual,” according to Fragrance blog Viroa London. It’s also said to enhance mood and improve memory, alleviate anxiety, and even boost libido.

It’s easy to see why this luscious ingredient is a go-to for fragrance manufacturers: The perfumery community has embraced it like a golden child, and it’s also been praised as an excellent natural aphrodisiac. And, it can smell a lot like chocolate.

If you’re unfamiliar with the scent of ylang ylang, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what it smells like. The oil extracted from the flowers contains a complex mix of over 250 chemical constituents, and its aroma profile changes depending on where it’s harvested and how it’s distilled.

A fragrant ylang-ylang extract is often used as the base of a perfume, and is often paired with more floral or feminine ingredients such as rose, jasmine, and orchid. Its heady, euphoric and exotic notes add a rich complexity to any composition.

If you’re in the market for a new ylang-ylang fragrance, I highly recommend checking out Manoumalia, which is an alluring and sultry chypre that’s centered on a swirl of violets, plummy rose, and cold-cream ylang whipped into a cloud of aldehydes. It’s almost like someone violently-shaken bottles of White Linen (Estee Lauder), No. 22 (Chanel), Lady Stetson (Coty), Vega (Guerlain) and Baghari (Piguet) into one opulent cocktail.

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