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.
 

Freesia Perfumes

1.5101678304545
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5026338355997
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5017150557393
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5017150557393
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5012862918045
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010412838417
Fresia Zara
1.5006125199069
Revitalizing Mary Kay
1.5004900159255
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003675119441
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003675119441
Jua Trilogy
1.5003062599534
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5003062599534
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002450079628
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5002450079628
Classic Freesia Dana
1.5002450079628
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5001225039814
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000612519907
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Ccori Crystal Yanbal
1.4949418355997
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4809187798603
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4769250238883
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4568568594879
Zara Rose Zara
1.4398815278697
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4384187798603
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4382977620973
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.436089339581
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4304375199069
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.4114285517579
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4095701353669
Dream More Gap
1.4073038117114
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.4056807798603
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4053903333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4020311831435
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.4005512679162
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.4003062599534
Florasense Jequiti
1.4001225039814
Caractere de Femme Daniel Hechter
1.4
10th Avenue Light Pink 10th Avenue Karl Antony
1.3935297543795
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.391304
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.382353
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.3817379110621
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.380290031851
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.3683019829719
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3639459789293
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3572908515252
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.357143
АRТ Grācija (ART Grace) Dzintars
1.3506125199069
Petal Zents
1.3506125199069
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.3484965915717
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3413128833762
Zara White Zara
1.3390906871248
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3374572098493
Dream Gap
1.3359668355997
London Glam Rimmel
1.3355993236555
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.3337617639348
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.3334555039814
SPF Spring Emotion Forever Free Springfield
1.3333942519907
Aire TerraNova
1.333333
Fantasy Flower In Pink Battistoni
1.3330744032831
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3302860557393
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.327355322063
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3268060398138
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3239787189759
Goddess Avon
1.3227647559721
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3190432918045
Freesia Fragonard
1.3143283485238
Vanitas Versace
1.3136920426314
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3081207639348
Aerie American Eagle
1.3050262319
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3039568993017
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.3003675119441
Flower Fusion The Merchant of Venice
1.3000848657356
Miracle Lancome
1.3000612519907
Notas para dos Energy Bottega Verde
1.3
Mysterious Freesia Les Aphrodisiaques
1.3
Lucky Charm Dzintars
1.29736392319
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.2914105227245
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.2864490238883
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2860815119441
Daydream American Eagle
1.2858977559721
Ose Il Profvmo
1.2858365039814
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.2857929555311
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.285714
Esencia de los sueños Bottega Verde
1.285714
Yu Perfect Sense Mane
1.285714
Actress Femme Apple Parfums
1.2848140716648
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2846539152272
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2845076393483
With Love Guerlain
1.2820825676834
Splash - The Pear 2008 Marc Jacobs
1.28
Lou Lou Arabian Oud
1.275862
Dilis Classic Collection No. 19 Dilis Parfum
1.2749933236555
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2734007718976
Romance Tender Notes Ralph Lauren
1.2727882519907
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.272727
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.2724722918045
Freesia + Violet Petals Love2Love
1.2713748196741
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2706205756462
Avon Smile Avon
1.2697210159255
Et Plus Si Affinites Chantal Thomass
1.2675857798603
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.2670345119441
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2667895039814
Sula Lily Lotus Susanne Lang
1.265803370697
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2655711935563
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2638636867573
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2632805039814
Fleur de Lune Jacques Zolty
1.263158
O'Zone Pink Spirit Sergio Tacchini
1.261905
Malaga Morph
1.261501583609
Happy Spirit Elixir d'Amour Chopard
1.2610237957859
Talisman eau Transparente Balenciaga
1.2595652599534
Royalissime Prince Henri d'Orleans
1.2593480716648
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2592287878231
Azul Animale
1.25825677006
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2580884669852
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.2577752979297
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2565338594879
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2560233105476
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2555126791621
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.2537363714321
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.25355592319
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2532886290579
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2530329789293
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2530306421659
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2527181672179
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Parfum Chanel
1.2512862918045
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2509187798603
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.2509187798603
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2506737718976
Fabulous (2015) Victoria`s Secret
1.250582969129
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2504287639348
Tommy Summer Girl 2009 Tommy Hilfiger
1.2503062599534
Be...Romantic Avon
1.2501225039814
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.2500612519907
Velvet Noir francesca`s
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.25
Rabea Elomer Al-Rehab
1.25
Rachel Guy Bouchara
1.2499063662869
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2496048117114
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.2476383714321
Comme des Garcons Series 1 Leaves: Lily Comme des Garcons
1.2474040159255
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2469282679162
Scent Essence - Blooming Lotus Avon
1.2457730159255
Union Square Bond No 9
1.2448091114786
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2441390557393
Animale Animale Animale
1.2440245039814
313 Bi-es
1.2439118332721
Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme Hugo Boss
1.24315530773
Love Eau Blush Coach
1.2426077559721
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne

Popular brands and perfumes: