Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) is an EO that I do not use very frequently but it intrigues me so I added it to my list of ones to research.
The essential oil is steam distilled from the flowers of this tree, native to the Philippines and Indonesia. There are several different types of ylang ylang essential oil, each coming from different stages of the distillation process – Ylang Ylang Extra, Ylang Ylang I, II and III, Ylang Ylang Complete. Normally an essential oil is collected at the very end of distillation. With Ylang Ylang, the distillation process is stopped at various points and the oil to that point is collected. Ylang Ylang Extra is collected after a very short period of distillation. The process is paused, the oil collected, and then the distillation process resumes. Ylang Ylang I, II and III are collected at various other points along the process – all coming from the distillation of the same flower parts. Ylang Ylang Complete is actually the essential oil that occurs when the distillation is not interrupted at all and it is collected the very end. For aromatherapy, we use either the Ylang Ylang Extra or the Ylang Ylang Complete, as they contain the highest amount of components from the plant in the essential oil. Ylang Ylang I, II and III are often used for perfumes.