Ylang-ylang is a note that I have learned to love. It’s tenacity always turned me off. I never felt like I could pull-off such a heady, floral note. As I’ve “matured” to put it nicely, I’ve realized that I can pull-off ylang-ylang. If you can pull-off jasmine than you can do ylang-ylang. It’s a special fragrance, very exotic for me since I’ve shunned it for so many years. Here is a very brief ylang-ylang fragrance guide with varying price points.

Budget Ylang-Ylang Scents: Lush Flower Market Perfume is an old-fashioned blend of ylang-ylang, carnation, and violets. I like the scent but I get so overwhelmed in Lush markets that I can’t pull this apart. So, I assume that I really like this natural blend. The 1.3 oz goes for about $40. Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs EDT is a floral blend with ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, and lilies. It’s a nice scent that unfortunately now is seen as old-fashioned. The 1.7 oz. spray goes for under $50. Demeter PMU in Ylang Ylang is a pure, tropical, short-wearing soliflore. The 1 oz spray goes for $20. Demter PMUs also make nice linen/room sprays. Nuts Cream Perfume in Ylang Ylang d’Amore (not pictured)  is a nourishing cream perfume that is heavy on this tropical, romantic floral in a moisturizing solid form. It goes for $12. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Ars Amatoria Suspiro is a intoxicating white floral blend with exotic white blossoms and dainty lilies. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Excolo Skuld is a sweet and sticky ylang-ylang with honey and resins. (Both are not pictured and retail for $15 for .5 oz oil).

Moe Expensive Ylang-Ylang Scents: Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang-Ylang EDP is a warm, rich, sexy ylang-ylang based scent. It’s a nice modern oriental. The 2.5 oz spray goes for $135. There is a pure parfum with a breathtaking bottle that costs much more and I haven’t had the opportunity to sample it. Tom Ford Private Blends Musk Pure EDP goes for $180 for 1.7 oz. Imagine a ylang-ylang, tonka, and musk and you have this. I like it for a floral musk scent. The ylang-ylang feels almost powdery against the musk. A more floral ylang-ylang based scent is Henry Dunay Sabi EDP. It has floral notes of ylang-ylang, rose, and jasmine. It retails for $110 for 1.7 oz. Annick Goutal Songes EDT is a tropical floral blend of ylang-ylang, frangipani, jasmine with a dry-down of vanilla. The 1.7 oz retails for $80.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is a fairly simple product that does what it is intended to do: moisturize hands. The formula is very smooth and rubs in easily. It is a white balm that is smooth as butter.  It is smooth and spreads very easily, meaning that you don’t need too much to have soft hands. It is moisturizing and you can tell that it is on your hands. I wouldn’t call it greasy but you can tell that it is there. It isn’t sticky or slippery. The formula doesn’t get all over my steering wheel or on my paperback books. However, I do have super dry hands that go through hell in a work day. As a speech therapist, I wear latex gloves frequently and I use alcohol based hand sanitizers and I use harsh “institution” grade hand soaps so many times throughout the day. My hands are often tight feeling and ashy. I have been having a real problem with “ashiness” during the cold weather.

There is a scent but it is faint. I only smell it while I am rubbing in the cream. I would say that this scent lingers around for about 2-5 minutes on me. I get a super soft aroma of a tropical bouquet of ylang-ylang and jasmine. But, like I said, it doesn’t stay around. I do like this. I am a fragrance nut and I don’t really want my hand cream interfering with my choice of fragrance for the day. And I do love anything jasmine even it is there but only for a short amount of time. This provides a quick fragrance pick-me-up.

The packaging is cute but not very practical. I do wish that it had a flip cap so I could open and close it with one hand. It is no fun dropping that cap and having it roll under the bed.

The formula contains 20% shea butter, vitamin E, sweet almond oil extract and other nourishing ingredients.

It is a nice product but it is expensive at $26 for just over 5 ounces. I know I will buy it again but I won’t be purchasing a tube for my purse, my desk, my car, one for each bathroom, etc. I can’t afford that. Smaller sizes are available and throughout the year gift sets are offered. It is available at DERMAdoctor.

This is a fragrance that I would have never of chosen for myself by reading the description. I am so happy that I’ve tried it (thank you Beautyhabit for the thoughtful sample). I find it very interesting. It is unlike anything that I own. The blend is fantastic and the fragrance oil is very long wearing.

Saffron James is a pretty cool company, with Hawaiian inspired fragrances. They are tropical but not in that beachy coconut or sickly sweet cocktail way that so many other companies flirt with. They are truly inspired by nature. Plus, I dig vintage tiki culture. These fragrances have that tiki vibe.

The Saffron James website states: PŪNONO (pooh-no-no): Filled with sunshine, ever beautiful; flushed red, as the skin (to blush). 2. To make attractive with bright or red colors, to dress or appear gorgeous. 3. An olfactory homage to the Puakenikeni flower. 4. An intoxicating scent with notes of Ylang Ylang, Pikake, Carnation, Vanilla and Tunisian Opium.

This fragrance is a little strange and that is why I love it. It isn’t strange like bizarre but it is different than mainstream fragrances. It has made me realize that I do not hate ylang-ylang at all. It is just that I have never smelled it used in such a wonderful way. I’ve under appreciated this note for too long. Bring on the ylang-ylang. The fragrance is an “homage” to the puakenikeni flower. I really need to take a fragrance adventure to Hawaii; I can’t comment on the actual aroma of this flower since I’ve never been and these things just don’t grow well in our cooler climate. I can only imagine, for now.  However, I do smell the whimsy floral top notes of gentle ylang-ylang and feminine pikake. But, this fragrance is “spicy” all the way through. Yep, it is floral but these otherwise heavy florals are not stealing the show (uh-um carnation). They are only enhancing the depth and mystery of “Tunisian Opium” which is otherwise an incensey head-shop fragrance by itself (which I like sometimes but it isn’t very every gal).  This is a very resinous incense scent that is made feminine by exotic flowers. I usually don’t love vanilla. It makes scents too foody or “sticky”; however, the perfect amount of vanilla is used in this mix. It makes the opium so well rounded, blended, perfect. This is not a “winter” fragrance. It is warm and spicy but totally appropriate for warmer weather and climates. It is really nice all year long or to be used for those “special” occasions. I would say that you would like this if you like Carol’s Daughter fragrances, tropical scents, or modern “oriental” ‘fragrances.

It retails for $85 for 30 mL (1 ounce). A little goes a long way and it last for like 12 hours on my skin. It does last a long time but very, very closely to the skin, so intimate and soft but always there. The bottle is simple and a has a cute wooden top. The bottle really completes the entire “vibe” of the fragrance. This is a fragrance that I have been using sparingly since I only have a tiny sample vial. When it is gone, I know that I am going to have to add this to my collection. It is very “me” since I have two real fragrance personalities: expensive heavy, white floral or no label head-shop oils. This is the perfect olfactory compromise. Must have it.

Givenchy Amarige is a nice woodsy-floral (“oriental”) fragrance. It is warm and floral. It is one that I have had in my collection for quite sometime but I often overlook it for reasons unknown. I guess because it is a fragrance that I like, not that I love.

At first spritz, it is a heavy floral mix of gardenia, ylang-ylang,  and neroli. It manages to have a robust but somewhat “powdery” note. This gives the fragrance a subtle yet old-fashioned vibe despite its 1991 release date.  (Depends who you ask, many find this a “dated” fragrance). It “bubbles” with mimosa and faint citrus fruit and blossoms. There is a touch of stone fruit but very faint and I have to wear this many times and “think” about it to find it. This stage is brief, the fruity stage. It dries down to a thick gardenia fragrance but it is much warmer than the initial spritz. It has a bit more of a souring gardenia and tuberose vibe. It eventually turns into a gardenia with “woods” and a little more sweetness from something like vanilla and amber. It smells “exotic” and a little complicated. This isn’t a bad thing. Givenchy describes this fragrance as a fragrance “in love” and a play on “mariage”. At first,  it is flirty, soft, and delicate. It is happy and energetic. Then is becomes warm, sensuous, and seductive during its lifespan. It wears for many hours on me and I find it very hard to believe that it is an EDT and not an EDP!

The bottle is OK. It is sturdy with a disappointing plastic top. It is made to represent a blouse designed by Givenchy for Bettina Graziella which had a dramatic and sculptured neckline.

The 1 ounce retails for $47 and the 1.6 ounce for $62. There is a 3.3 ounce and I think it goes for $82. I would say, if you haven’t already tried this fragrance, that you may like it if you are the type that likes Jean Paul Gaultier EDP, Kenzo Flower, Dior Addict, and strangely Avon SSS Soft & Sensual body products line. This is also a great fragrance for the gardenia and tuberose lover. I really go for this one in the fall and winter because of its warm base notes. It is a great “winter” floral. I also find that it is too strong for me in the summer. Actually I should give a warning, this is a “strong” fragrance according to many noses, I mean I did compare it to Addict!


Amarige Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 1.7 Oz by Givenchy

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

Lancôme Pure Empreinte Masque Purifying Mineral Mask with White Clay is one of my favorite skincare items. It is a basic mineral clay mask. It is white and dries plastery. It has a strange but pretty authentic ylang-ylang fragrance that smells a bit baby-ish. I like it because it sucks crap out of my pores in like 5 minutes. I don’t have 15 or 30 minutes to do a mask. I have a few products that require that much time but I rarely use them. Masks aren’t a skincare necessity but I feel they do make a difference. Lancome’s masque is kind of expensive at $28 a tube but at least I use it before it dries into a clay lump in the bottle. It truly shrinks and clears pores. Don’t use it a few days before an important even or the weekend. You’ll probably get a zit you didn’t think was there. I love to use this stuff for that kind of “nonproductive” blemish. This product “matures” it and spends up that long process. Gross, I know.