Our tour guide informs us about the Ylang-Ylang tree (Photos by Gerry)
Pam and I love to travel -- pretty obvious by taking one look at this website -- and besides the allure of new places and experiences, it truly is educational. Every time we venture forth, we always learn something we didn't know.
Take the Ylang-Ylang tree, for example.
Deep in the rainforests of northeastern Puerto Rico, our tour guide stopped to grab a few buds from one of the tropical trees around us.
"This is a Ylang-Ylang tree," he said, holding the buds in the palm of his hand. "Have you heard of Chanel perfume?" he asked. Of course. "This is used in making it."
To demonstrate, he rubbed the buds between his fingertips and invited us to smell. We could tell right away it had that floral scent you find in many perfumes. And just like that, we learned something we didn't know.
Ever-curious, I had to find out more at the source of all knowledge these days: Wikipedia. The latter informed, "the fragrance of ylang-ylang is rich and deep with notes of rubber and custard, and bright with hints of jasmine and neroli, thus it is sometimes described as heavy, sweet, and carries a slightly fruity floral scent."
Further, it has other uses as well as perfume:
-- "The essential oil is used in aromatherapy" for high blood pressure, skin problems and is even considered an aphrodisiac (buying your significant other Chanel No. 5 might bolster that claim).
-- In Indonesia, "ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples."
--In the Philippines, its flowers are made into necklaces that also "adorn religious images."
Wanting to smell better as we trekked into the rainforest, I grabbed a few buds myself and rubbed them on my neck. "No," Pam said, laughing, "it doesn't work that way."
I think I better stick to buying the finished product.
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Yes, I know it's spelled like "Jerry." No, I don't know why it's pronounced "Gary."