The Q&A Archives: Cananga Tree

Question: I have recently heard of a tree that is supposed to be very fragrant and is the "secret" ingredient in Chanel #5 perfume. I believe the tree is commonly called Ylang Ylang and I think the latin name is Cananga Odorata. I have been unable to locate any information and the spelling may be incorrect. Can you please give me more information about this tree--growth habits-needs-zones.

Answer: I'm not sure this tree is the source of the secret ingredient you're seeking, but Cananga odorata, the Ilang-Ilang, is an 80' tree, native to the tropics, growing in Asia and the Philippine Islands. As a tropical plant, it requires heat and humidity, and appreciates moist soil during the summer months. I can't find a source of the tree for you, though, but maybe a local nursery can track one down for you.

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