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

1.5097908322207
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5027443999407
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5026702269693
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5021510161697
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.502002670227
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5016318053701
Fresia Zara
1.501409286456
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009642486278
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5007417297137
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.500593383771
Be...Serene Avon
1.500593383771
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5003708648568
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003708648568
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5003708648568
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002966918855
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002966918855
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001483459427
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000741729714
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4745740756564
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4717910918261
Zara Rose Zara
1.4603324377689
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.459145670227
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4577344377689
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.451404561341
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Dior
1.4296094215992
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.428571
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4266981241656
Goddess Avon
1.417260383771
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4018543242842
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4012833333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4008900756564
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4007417297137
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4002225189141
Reve Boheme Marina Marinof
1.3999258270286
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3819446423379
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3812486918855
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3803794322801
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3770768431983
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3748719500074
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3731349783415
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3684951729714
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3652633281412
J`adore Dior
1.3621125890817
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.360554956683
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3590714972556
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579589026851
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573655189141
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3504450378282
Petal Zents
1.3481482593087
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3374125134253
Dream More Gap
1.3362257458834
London Glam Rimmel
1.3341489026851
Azul Animale
1.3335555189141
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334071729714
Solo Dzintars
1.3270632916481
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3226253398606
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3219719449637
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3209642486278
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3201225150571
Miracle Lancome
1.3191443187954
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3164565567423
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Dior
1.3163082107996
Barth Alexandre Barthet
1.3148735350838
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.3138351134846
Fahrenheit Summer Dior
1.3078403459427
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3078377672452
Dream Gap
1.3055518810266
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3055347675419
Animale Animale Animale
1.3035502376502
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3032901071058
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3007417297137
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3000741729714
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.2977524755971
Zara White Zara
1.2974391611037
Vanitas Versace
1.2918791619938
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2867524215992
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2865299026851
Valeria Valeria Mazza
1.2863078917075
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2862332107996
Daydream American Eagle
1.2862332107996
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2859365189141
Within Max Azria
1.2839311674826
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2838397998813
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2835759890224
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2827514698116
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2819675083815
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2819418483904
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2815576323988
Freesia Fragonard
1.2791256107402
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2762662188103
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2754621079958
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2735429026851
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2734687297137
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2728753459427
Lorinda Yves de Sistelle
1.2725786540573
Freesia Bronnley
1.2719018053701
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2703756485685
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2698195396825
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2685213242842
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2679279405133
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2676344755971
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2671120378282
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2649346861
Forever and Ever Dior Dior
1.2648639783415
Talisman eau Transparent Cristobal Balenciaga
1.2641301891411
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2630951891411
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2629241674826
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2625759783415
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.2625759783415
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.262077572912
Avon Smile Avon
1.261964199822
Pergolese Parfums Pergolese Paris
1.260987956683
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2608043109331
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2589367025664
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2583815457647
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2558596647382
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2558596647382
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2543260100875
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2529669188548
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.2524477080552
Core Gap
1.2523735350838
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2519284972556
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2517801513129
Together Her Oriflame
1.2514039606883
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2509642486278
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2506675567423
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2504450378282
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2503708648568
Aerie American Eagle
1.2502966918855
Fighting Temptation Rasasi
1.2502699503041
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2501483459427
Night Obsession Novaya Zarya
1.2501483459427
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.25
Fasio Essence Emper
1.25
Shozan Black Princesse Marina De Bourbon
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.2499558971963
Journey Mary Kay
1.2493761348465
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2493251836523
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.2487260161697
Flower Market Maison Martin Margiela
1.2477436863967
With Love Guerlain
1.2458293782822
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.243100318202
Pur Blanca Avon
1.2429366323988
Love Eau Blush Coach
1.2428420701676
OP Juice for Women Ocean Pacific
1.2423136967809
Perceive Avon

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