The name "ylang-ylang" is derived from a Malaysian word and means "flower of flowers". The plant was introduced into the islands of the Indian Ocean in the 18th century. Réunion, the Comoro islands and Mayotte became the major producers of this essential oil (Cananga odorata, var. genuina), which is obtained by steam distillation. The oil is used in perfumery and beauty products, and is also finding new uses in aromatherapy. Its fragrance has a soothing effect on the nerves (anxiety, stress, depression), while the essential oil is still reputed to be an aphrodisiac.
Ylang-ylang essential oil is effective on both oily and dry skin, since it balances sebum production. It is also excellent for damaged hair. It leaves the skin soft, supple and delicately perfumed. L'OCCITANE chose to use this essential oil primarily for its sensual scent.