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Ylang Ylang - can anyone explain the smell?

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RogueRose

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II'm interested in this scent but I don't have any idea what it smells like and it is kind of expensive to buy. Can anyone compare it to something or maybe a mix of some things?

Is it a sweet flower like rose or honeysuckle or is it a little sharper like orange/lemon (not the flowers, the fruit), or what?
 

IrishLass

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I'm probably not the best to answer your question as I hate the smell of ylang ylang....at least ylang ylang III anyway. (there are different kinds that you can buy). I keep some on hand for a special blend I make for a family member. As noses go, to my nose, it smells slightly sweet with an unpleasant bitter undertone. This is going to sound really weird, but as I am sniffing it just now, I am reminded of hot dogs grilling on a BBQ grill with something sweet wafting in the background. lol See- I told you I wasn't the right one to answer your question. lol


IrishLass :)
 

jblaney

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To me Ylang Ylang III smells like a floral mixed with the smell you would get walking through an industrial rubber plant or Pep Boys around their tire section. I've never smelled the other varieties,but I do not like this one.:sad:
 

not_ally

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I'm another who does not like it (assuming you are speaking of the e.o). I am staying w/my mom, so can't smell mine right now, but to me it smells like an unpleasantly sweet floral, too sweet but also with some other strange/not-nice bottom notes. I expected it to be like jasmine (I bought it thinking it would be a good/inexpensive substitute) and it was not.
 
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hmlove1218

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I agree with all of the above. Ylang Ylang III smells sickeningly floral and sweet with a fake herbal undertone. In all honesty, it smells like some kind of weed that grows around here but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called.
 

cmzaha

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I'm probably not the best to answer your question as I hate the smell of ylang ylang....at least ylang ylang III anyway. (there are different kinds that you can buy). I keep some on hand for a special blend I make for a family member. As noses go, to my nose, it smells slightly sweet with an unpleasant bitter undertone. This is going to sound really weird, but as I am sniffing it just now, I am reminded of hot dogs grilling on a BBQ grill with something sweet wafting in the background. lol See- I told you I wasn't the right one to answer your question. lol


IrishLass :)
LOL, I also Hate the smell of Ylang Ylang. It is such a strange scent. Have to laugh about the hot dogs on the grill...
 

mintle

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there is a great note identification project thread on the basenotes forum and concerning ylang ylang the impressions are as in the link:
http://www.basenotes.net/threads/231424-Ylang-Ylang-Cananga
I personally dislike the smell, made a batch with eo once as a single scent and threw it away, the rubbery and medicinal smell was too overpowering and persistent after curing. If I were ordered to use it and my family was under threat if I refused hehehe I'd probably just add tiniest bit to a blend (for example lavender, ylang ylang and orange) to get a floral twist.

p.s. There is also great article describing nuances of the scent depending on the distillation time, grade III being the most affordable and probably least beautiful one.
http://hermitageoils.com/ylang-ylang-article/
I definitely used the cheapest grade in my soap mentioned above.
 
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Aline

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Here's an interesting description from Fragrantica: "Rich, floral, banana-toned, jasmine nuances, sweet and narcotic". Never heard it described as banana-toned before! I like Ylang Ylang but really only use it in blends...
 

galaxyMLP

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Here's an interesting description from Fragrantica: "Rich, floral, banana-toned, jasmine nuances, sweet and narcotic". Never heard it described as banana-toned before! I like Ylang Ylang but really only use it in blends...
Ummm, so with everyone's descriptions I think my mind was expecting a weird description from the post above. I read that last word as "necrotic" (as in, you know, dead, dying tissue) instead of "narcotic". I thought to myself "wow, thats a nice way of describing the scent of dying tissue..."
 

TVivian

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I know what Ylang Ylang smells like (although I could never describe it) but if I didn't, and and then read everyone's descriptions... I'd have lost interest in buying it 100% by now LOL.
 

kumudini

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I have never smelled the EO but I did have a lot of exposure to the actual flowers back in India. I agree with the post that said banana like. It does smell somewhat like a banana, a really sweet, ripe flower if it makes sense. And I don't like the smell, that's why I didn't bother buying the EO.
 

boyago

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Well I like it!
I read somewhere that it's one of those smells that some like and most everyone else HATES. They went on to mention that people who like ylang ylang tend not to like Lavender and vice versa. I really dislike lavender.

eta: I think it smells like a sweet floral similar to jasmine oil with a kicker of cough medicine.
 
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Susie

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I don't like it, either. I used to work at an office that was in the same shopping center as a flower shop. Ylang ylang reminds me of the smell of their dumpster. Sort of all floral scents mixed together with rot.
 

TheDragonGirl

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Well I like it!
I read somewhere that it's one of those smells that some like and most everyone else HATES. They went on to mention that people who like ylang ylang tend not to like Lavender and vice versa. I really dislike lavender.

eta: I think it smells like a sweet floral similar to jasmine oil with a kicker of cough medicine.
Thats true for me too! I love ylang ylang III in the same way as I've hated every artificial floral scent and lavender in every form (I'm actually allergic!)

It reminds me a lot of jasmine tea in a good way though :) I dont detect the chemical smell being spoken of at all, its relievingly free of the scents I identify as artificial and headache/histamine reaction inducing
 

TeresaT

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I smelled ylang ylang (and bay rum) for the first time last week. Gaged on both. I like the flower/tire description. That's about right for me. (In case you wondered, the bay rum smelled like a drunk stew. Without the onions.)
 

soapgirltami

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I've bought all of them, hoping I would find one I like, but I have to say yuck to them all. I can't tell a significant difference in the first second and third press, it all smells weird and bitey to me
 

Saponista

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I can't understand how people are saying they dislike it. I love the smell and I'm not a fan of florals normally. I wonder if we all just have different noses or whether there is a big difference in the actual smell of the oils? It's so odd.
 

Susie

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Saponista- I don't like jasmine or spruce, either. Both of them smell like cat pee. Also can't stand patchouli. Makes me gag every time. Can't abide the taste of cilantro, either.

I think everyone's sense of smell is different. And ylang ylang is one of the ones you either love or hate. No in-between.
 

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