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

1.5097734340293
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5027395231749
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.502665482008
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5021471938398
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.501999111506
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5016289056716
Fresia Zara
1.5014067821709
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009625351696
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5007404116689
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5005923293351
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5005923293351
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003702058344
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003702058344
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5003702058344
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002961646676
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002961646676
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001480823338
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000740411669
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4745724940027
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4718597290093
Zara Rose Zara
1.4603267701762
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.459142111506
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4577287701762
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.4513370774471
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Dior
1.4296075763364
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.428571
Classic Freesia Dana
1.426685075522
Goddess Avon
1.4172593293351
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4018510291722
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4012063333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4008884940027
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4008144528358
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4002221235007
Reve Boheme Marina Marinof
1.3999259588331
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3822476092107
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3812481646676
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3770731526729
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3738385801866
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3731319468384
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3706699108544
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3684950411669
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3654749816378
J`adore Dior
1.3621037581815
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3605488936769
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3590680703391
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579574528358
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573651235007
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3504442470013
Petal Zents
1.3481358696875
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3478569468384
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.3374793053458
Dream More Gap
1.3362206055087
London Glam Rimmel
1.3341474528358
Azul Animale
1.3335551235007
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334070411669
Solo Dzintars
1.3270432573671
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3227386675552
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3225694547608
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3209625351696
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3194991710351
Miracle Lancome
1.3192822521842
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.316455370502
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Dior
1.3148693173404
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.313832741004
Fahrenheit Summer Dior
1.3078400823338
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3078112745446
Dream Gap
1.307513816526
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3055473996742
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3055326586702
Animale Animale Animale
1.3033558116393
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3007404116689
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3000740411669
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.299296111506
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2981812113135
Vanitas Versace
1.2976719760107
Zara White Zara
1.2918653225233
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2867505763364
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2865284528358
Valeria Valeria Mazza
1.2862927341922
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2862322881682
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2862322881682
Daydream American Eagle
1.2859361235007
Within Max Azria
1.2838300463498
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2837760995113
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2835622813564
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2819206278691
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2818549398786
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2815548645047
Freesia Fragonard
1.2791198113431
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2788657325633
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2764053713905
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2754528816822
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2735414528358
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2734674116689
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2725789176662
Freesia Bronnley
1.2718989056716
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2703690583444
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2699711477862
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2679256998371
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2676280171776
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2671112470013
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.265051003554
Forever and Ever Dior Dior
1.2648609468384
Talisman eau Transparent Cristobal Balenciaga
1.2641262350067
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2630912350067
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2629171818451
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2625729468384
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2620725643418
Avon Smile Avon
1.2617214433585
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2609818936769
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2589254991855
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2583666518584
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2558492521842
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2558492521842
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2549596106915
Pergolese Parfums Pergolese Paris
1.2545905523471
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2541925251
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2529616466756
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.2524433585073
Core Gap
1.2523693173404
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2519250703391
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2517769880053
Together Her Oriflame
1.2513568735377
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2509625351696
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2505923293351
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2504442470013
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2503702058344
Aerie American Eagle
1.2502961646676
Fighting Temptation Rasasi
1.2501838819784
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2501480823338
Night Obsession Novaya Zarya
1.2501480823338
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.25
Shozan Black Princesse Marina De Bourbon
1.25
Fasio Essence Emper
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.249947593514
Journey Mary Kay
1.2495004923738
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2493143756849
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.2488702761736
Flower Market Maison Martin Margiela
1.2477363053458
With Love Guerlain
1.2430079056716
Love Eau Blush Coach
1.2428336346809
OP Juice for Women Ocean Pacific
1.2422712557382
Perceive Avon
1.2415034839331
Pur Blanca Avon
1.2396746916926
Ed Hardy Women's EDT Christian Audigier
1.238095
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez

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