Cananga Essential Oil
Cananga Essential Oil is sometimes used as an economical substitute for Ylang Ylang Oil in fragrancing applications.
Both trees share many similarities, and that can pose a lot of confusion. Aromatically, Cananga Oil resembles Ylang Ylang Oil, but it is less floral and is commonly described as being greener than ylang ylang. Though Cananga Essential Oil is sometimes treated as an inferior cousin to Ylang Ylang Oil, there are those that prefer its aroma. Cananga and Ylang Ylang have different chemical compositions, and their therapeutic uses differ.
Cananga odorata / Cananga odorata var macrophylla
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Strength of Initial Aroma
Floral, sweet, slightly woody.
Cananga Essential Oil Uses
Oily skin/hair, insect bites, high blood pressure, anxiety, nervous tension, stress, fragrancing. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-65; 103.]
See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of constituents.
[K.H. Kubeczka, Essential Oils Analysis by Capillary Gas Chromatography and Carbon-13 NMR Spectoroscopy, Second Edition. (Chichester: Wiley, 2002). Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 229.]
Safety Information: As with ylang ylang, be careful when first using Cananga Essential Oil as it may cause headaches for some individuals, especially if diffused in high concentration.
Tisserand and Young indicate that there is generally a moderate risk of sensitization. They recommend a dermal maximum of 0.8%. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 229.]
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General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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