In Part One of this article, we examined the personality types of Rose and Jasmine. These essential oils are often used in perfume and cosmetic fragrances. Now we will look at Neroli (Orange Blossom) and Ylang Ylang. Again, we can discover if the flower-type is a familiar part of our own nature that we wish to enhance, or whether it could be used to balance and bring in a quality we would like to explore.
This essence has an interesting history. It comes from the blossoms of the orange tree (Citrus aurantium var. amara) which originated in China and the East. Oranges became known as ‘golden apples.’ In a famous legend, a ‘golden apple’ was tossed into a gathering of Greek goddesses by Eris, Goddess of Discord, with the comment, “for the fairest.” A fierce contest of vanity began between these powerful women. Finally a young nobleman, Paris, was chosen to make the judgment and award the prize. Venus got Paris to choose her by promising him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. Unfortunately, that woman was Helen of Troy, and it was their love that sparked the devastating Trojan War.
Orange trees made their way to Spain, where their essence was used by ‘ladies of the evening’ in Madrid and Seville to attract clients. The aroma was said to be both euphoric and hypnotic and irresistible to men (garnering the nickname, ‘man trap’). Unlike the fate of Rose, because of its delicate white flowers, Orange Blossom was rescued from this use by the Church Fathers.
Orange blossom essential oil gets its exotic name, Neroli, from an Italian Princess. Anna Maria de La Tremoille, Princess of Nerola, lived near Rome in the 17th century. She used this fragrance as a signature aroma, perfuming her gloves and bathwater with its beautiful scent, was also famous for its healing and protective powers.
One of those healing powers involves the soothing of the stomach in times of anxiety. We could imagine that this quality, along with the powerful allure, caused the orange blossom to become a most popular flower in bridal bouquets.
Neroli is also associated with the transpersonal chakra above the head, and thus we find it informing a face of the Divine Feminine. The Neroli-Type female is gentle, unassuming, and lovely with an air of otherworldly reserve. Two modern actresses with this quality are Meryl Streep and Winona Ryder. Perhaps the most obvious example in every way would be the iconic star, Audrey Hepburn.
A blend to invoke the Neroli-Type:
- 6 drops Petitgrain
- 4 drops Neroli
- 2 drops Coriander
- 2 drops Amber
- 5ml carrier oil (i.e. Jojoba)
Tazeka Aromatherapy has created Wise Woman, a blend of Neroli and Petitgrain, combined with Rose and other essential oils to produce a floral, spicy fruit scent. Roll it on, raise your glass, and toast your wild, wise femininity!
In a directly opposite mode to the Neroli-Type, but more aligned with Neroli’s use by ‘ladies of the evening,’ is the Ylang Ylang-Type. From another tree native to Southeast Asia, most Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) is produced in Indonesia, Madagascar and the Philippines. This evergreen tree produces the unusual downward-pointing yellow flowers all year long, but they are harvested for fragrance in the early dry season. What is also unusual is that these steam distilled blossoms are separated in several batches called ‘extra’, ‘first,’ ‘second,’ and ‘complete’ (a blend of the first three). For fragrance, the ‘extra’ and ‘first’ grades are preferred. The other grades are used to fragrance soaps and detergents.
The aroma of Ylang Ylang is powerful and intensely sweet, but its unusual quality makes it very alluring to both men and women who are not fond of the more familiar flower aromas. Among its uses are relieving depression, anger and frustration. It can also reduce the stress associated with fear of sexual inadequacy. It can soothe palpitations from anxiety as well.
The Ylang Ylang-Type is deeply passionate, fiery, temperamental, charismatic, feminine and seductive. They have a pronounced sense of self-confidence, allowing them to dress in bright clothing and eye-catching jewelry. They are also happiest when with other people who can act as an audience for their exotic display. One performer who springs to mind as an Ylang Ylang-Type is Jennifer Lopez. And many other singers have this persona in their stage presentations: Madonna, Lady Gaga for examples. A general image would be a professional flamenco or salsa dancer. A contemporary actress of this type is Sophia Vergara.
A blend to evoke the Ylang Ylang-Type:
- 6 drops Orange
- 4 drops Ylang Ylang
- 2 drops Ginger
- 2 drops Rosewood
- 5ml carrier oil (i.e. jojoba)
Ares is Tazeka’s own blend, combining Ylang Ylang with Jasmine, Ginger and other evocative oils to create a night to remember.