Nosy Be also known as the Perfume Island because of the sweetest aroma coming from the many Ylang Ylang plantations, is located off the North West coast of Mainland Madagascar.
Ylang Ylang originated from the Philippines and was later introduced by the French to Madagascar; by 1892 it was widely planted on a large scale.
The flowers are handpicked early in the morning then taken to the stills for the distilation process of the Ylang Ylang essential oil.
Seeds are selected from the most productive trees and planted during rainy season. Then it is a 4 to 5 year wait until the tree is mature before they start producing flowers. Pruning then takes place every 2 months for 70 years!
Did you know each tree can reach up to 20 metres high? To make the flower picking more accessiable the trees are pruned and kept at a height of 3 to 4 metres.
It takes 100kg of Ylang Ylang flowers to produce 2 litres of essential oil. The oil is used primarily in perfume and aromatherapy.
It has been said that it has medicinal properties and good for balancing the mind and body. Ylang Ylang massage anyone?
Don’t miss next week’s blog when I catch up with Fiona from Nourish and Flourish.