Freesia

lat. Freesia refracta (Iridaceae)

Group: Flowers

Freesia Freesia refracta (Iridaceae)
Freesia Freesia refracta (Iridaceae)
Freesia Freesia refracta (Iridaceae)
Odor profile: intensely refreshing and peppery flower with green nuance, synthetically recreated to give sheen and freshness to perfumes


"The happiness of that afternoon was already fixed in her mind,
and always would the scent of freesia recall it to her mental sight,
for among the smells of the roses and violets and lilies and wall-flowers,
the smell of the freesia penetrated, as a melody stands out from its
accompaniement, and gave her the most pleasure."
 
~ from The Way Things Happen by Hugh De Sélincourt

 

The peppery, fresh jolt of freesia flowers just cut from the garden tingles the nostrils with the anticipation of warm weather. It's written in the cards, you see: This African breed came out of its natural habitat to decorate gardens the length and breadth of the globe, but it retains the memory of its sun-warmed seeds close to heart. Just seeing the yellow, pink or mauveish cones unfurl their petals, like a ballet dancer's Romantic Tutu undulating with her every plié, is almost heart-wrenching.
 

BOTANY

Freesia was named in honor of Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese (1795-1876), a German physician from Kiel; it was his friend, plant collector Christian Friedrich Ecklon, who proposed the name.


The genus belongs in the family of irises, Iridaceae. Even though freesias look different than irises, they do share a common sparsely branched stem with few leaves and a loose spike-like racime of fragrant flowers. The most common cultivar is freesia refracta, thanks to its vivid yellow blossoms that adorn gardens and its inviting, strong scent which attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and moths alike.

Even though we're mostly familiar with freesias from the florist's shop to put in vases in our houses, growing them in the garden isn't hard to do: It's preferable to purchase fat, thick bulbs in the autumn or early winter and plant them at a depth twice their size. Water them regularly and come spring a tapestry of colorful blossoms will greet you, with flowers that will not shy away from the sun but will continue to blossom time after time well into the warm days.
 

SCENT PROFILE

The fragrance of freesia is incomparable in that it contains a cheerful bouquet of peppery zing and floral freshness projected at the right intensity, a delicious aroma that radiates for a long distance. High in linalool, a major component in all freesia varieties, it emits a refreshing, floral woody aroma with a subtle citrusy-terpenic note.

 

But even within the species there are differences: the white flowers tend to smell more spicy, the colorful ones greener with the sweetness of crushed leaves and grass. The yellow flowered breeds "Gold Flame", "Aladdin" and "Rijnveld Golden Yellow" emit volatile compounds to abundance, while some others such as "Rose Marie", "Volcano" and "Bleu Heaven" are only noted for their flamboyant appearence rather than their scent.
 

The mollified sweet aspects, with the nectarous quality of jasmine smelt through ozone, are given a cheerful piquancy by the spicy top note which pinches you by the nose upon stooping to smell the beautiful flowers. The overall character is clean and with a soapy facet, a fact that makes freesia a favorite candidate for inspiring the added scent of soaps, shampoos, body lotions and so forth. It's no wonder freesias stand for innnocence!


Freesia often blends in with other clean, crystalline floral "notes" such as magnolia, cyclamen and lily of the valley, or the equally synthesized but shriller, rosier peony.
 


FREESIA IN PERFUMERY:
How to Make, How it all Began

Even though a type of freesia oil can be extracted, all freesia notes in perfumery are uniformely synthesized, usually with copious amounts of linalool* (the dominant constituent in over half of freesia cultivars), hints of jasmine synths and green notes. Natural freesias in some breeds also display other related monoterpenoids; 2-penylethyl acetate (sweet, honey-like) and benzul alcohol (fruity smelling) as well as limonene (fresh lemony, sweetly citrusy), ocimene (green and terpenic with vegetable nuances), and alpha-terpinolene (fresh and delicately lilac-like) in supplementation of the linalool. Perhaps one of the most intriguing facets of freesias is that they display ionone (violet) characteristics while living, but they lose those notes when cut!!

[*one suggestion for the amateur or the natural perfumer to recreate a freesia note as need be is via using white verbena essential oil, which has plenty of the floral woody ingredient linalool]


The freesia note acts as a "modifier", meaning it is used to sway the composition one way or the other and is only rarely given a dominant role.
 



The craziness for using freesia notes in fragrances began when Antonia Bellanca-Mahoney first brought out her Antonia's Flowers perfume in 1984, which is freesia dominant because this is the flower she stocked in her florist's shop and was most enamoured with. The great perfumer Bernand Chant composed it for IFF using headspace technology to replicate that electric freshness that natural freesia exude. Antonia was adamant that her fragrance should be free of the tricks of scented seduction, she didn't want a fragrance that would "remind her of old ladies", but one that would be light and reminiscent of her flower shop. She focused on freesias because they "knocked your socks off, like trumpets in an orchestra; everyone else sings backup, even the lillies".


Since then, not only has Antonia's Flowers become a cult favorite, it also has catapulted an entire avalanche of freesia notes containing fragrances which take this jolting, fresh, spring-like note as a departure point of clean, feminine, pretty compositions for every woman.
 

Some fragrances with prominent freesia recreation notes include:

 


Author: Elena Vosnaki is a historian & perfume writer from Greece and a Writer to Fragrantica. She is the founder and editor of Perfume Shrine, one of the most respected independent online publications on perfume containing fragrance reviews, industry interviews, essays on raw materials and perfume history, a winner in Fragrantica Blog Awards and a finalist in numerous blog awards contests. Her writing was recognised at the Fifi Awards for Editorial Excellence in 2009 and she has been contributing to publications around the world.
 

Perfumes and Colognes With Freesia

1.5094658553076
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5027796559237
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5027045300879
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5021786492375
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5020283975659
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.501652768387
Fresia Zara
1.5014273908797
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009766358651
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5007512583577
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5006010066862
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003756291789
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5003756291789
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5003756291789
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003005033431
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5003005033431
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5001502516715
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000751258358
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4745855100293
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4602982851025
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4591713975659
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4577754109383
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.4516670504094
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Dior
1.4296227617008
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.428571
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4267924577417
Goddess Avon
1.4172680066862
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4166477817594
Zara Rose Zara
1.4018781458944
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4015283333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4009015100293
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4007512583577
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4005258808504
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4003005033431
Union Square Bond No 9
1.3999248741642
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.382189885358
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3812525033431
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3804699543986
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3771035234017
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3764976953647
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3731568942228
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3684961258358
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3658388622192
J`adore Dior
1.3621764309969
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3605987884456
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3590962717301
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579693841935
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573683775073
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3504507550146
Petal Zents
1.3482378285628
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3374649209676
Dream More Gap
1.3364732218466
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3362629075952
London Glam Rimmel
1.3341593841935
Azul Animale
1.3335583775073
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334081258358
Solo Dzintars
1.3272081270378
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3223150379385
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3209766358651
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3203447475021
Miracle Lancome
1.3192176893547
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.316465132522
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Dior
1.3163148808504
Barth Alexandre Barthet
1.3154567227857
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3149040267448
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.3138522650439
Fahrenheit Summer Dior
1.3078422516715
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3078039154834
Dream Gap
1.3055842784163
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3055500133724
Animale Animale Animale
1.3011807665089
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.300676132522
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3000751258358
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.2990517999399
Vanitas Versace
1.2975737884456
Zara White Zara
1.2919792127564
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2867657617008
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2865403841935
Valeria Valeria Mazza
1.2863423452783
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2862398808504
Daydream American Eagle
1.2862398808504
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2859393775073
Pure Police London Femme Police
1.2859393775073
Within Max Azria
1.2839816692961
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2839103118473
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2838382902862
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2836750869206
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2825542784163
Avon Smile Avon
1.2819450078882
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2817278942228
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.2815776425513
Freesia Fragonard
1.2791675367741
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2781514856885
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2774858350988
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2755288085042
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2735533841935
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2734782583577
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2728772516715
Lorinda Yves de Sistelle
1.2725767483285
Freesia Bronnley
1.271922768387
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2704232917887
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2699536929607
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2685451458944
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2678690133724
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.267681165953
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2671177550146
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2655196692961
With Love Guerlain
1.2650140747502
Forever and Ever Dior Dior
1.2648858942228
Talisman eau Transparent Cristobal Balenciaga
1.2640085234017
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2631237750732
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2629746692961
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.262522768387
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.262069967771
Pergolese Parfums Pergolese Paris
1.2610328338968
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2610317884456
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2590176960409
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.258338967771
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2559349410262
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2558598151904
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2548033847194
Femme Hugo Boss
1.253005033431
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.2524791525806
Core Gap
1.2522606540455
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2522537750732
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2519532717301
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2517986194125
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2517278942228
Together Her Oriflame
1.2509766358651
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2506010066862
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2504507550146
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2503756291789
Aerie American Eagle
1.2501502516715
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.2501502516715
Night Obsession Novaya Zarya
1.2500159276538
Journey Mary Kay
1.25
Shozan Black Princesse Marina De Bourbon
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.2495476504395
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2494033185335
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.2487536492375
Flower Market Maison Martin Margiela
1.2458865501465
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2444525002629
Pur Blanca Avon
1.2429030534896
OP Juice for Women Ocean Pacific
1.2425810133724
Love Eau Blush Coach
1.2420195124333
Perceive Avon
1.241304066862
Eau Fantasque Fragonard

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