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

1.5101562975126
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5024326461108
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5017028522776
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5012771392082
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010338745971
Fresia Zara
1.5006081615277
Revitalizing Mary Kay
1.5006081615277
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003648969166
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003648969166
Jua Trilogy
1.5003040807639
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5003040807639
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002432646111
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002432646111
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5002432646111
Classic Freesia Dana
1.5001216323055
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000608161528
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5000608161528
Bouquet d'Amour Malicieuse Mariella Burani
1.5
Ccori Crystal Yanbal
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4949839107219
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4810338745971
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4540763368607
Zara Rose Zara
1.4461468522776
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.4399362422916
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4392753377729
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4360697268747
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4305547938332
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.4173967938332
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.411417219972
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4096621306939
Dream More Gap
1.4072903007359
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.4056742422916
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4050193333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4005473453749
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.4003040807639
Florasense Jequiti
1.4001216323055
Caractere de Femme Daniel Hechter
1.4
10th Avenue Light Pink 10th Avenue Karl Antony
1.3926671846987
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3913776375965
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.391304
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.382353
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.3800168743538
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3694548745971
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.3679951612236
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3669200722496
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3648526737213
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3599470584443
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.357143
АRТ Grācija (ART Grace) Dzintars
1.3506689776805
Petal Zents
1.3506689776805
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.3485373591802
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3412836822356
Zara White Zara
1.3390497183604
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3373565312899
Dream Gap
1.3360089107219
London Glam Rimmel
1.3355831976525
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.3337587130694
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.3334546323055
SPF Spring Emotion Forever Free Springfield
1.333333
Fantasy Flower In Pink Battistoni
1.333333
Lucky Charm Dzintars
1.3302738522776
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.329240225263
Goddess Avon
1.3285700507815
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3267973230554
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3227634484583
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3190949553609
Freesia Fragonard
1.3136279744572
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3114848191328
Vanitas Versace
1.3081177130694
Aerie American Eagle
1.3075912114578
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.3070758214438
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.3067240305905
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3046828437633
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3003648969166
Flower Fusion The Merchant of Venice
1.3000608161528
Notas para dos Energy Bottega Verde
1.3000608161528
Aire TerraNova
1.3000353223256
Miracle Lancome
1.2899198129295
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.2868337533297
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.2864437938332
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2860788969166
Daydream American Eagle
1.2858964484583
Ose Il Profvmo
1.2858356323055
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.285714
Actress Femme Apple Parfums
1.285714
Esencia de los sueños Bottega Verde
1.285714
Yu Perfect Sense Mane
1.2847983814997
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2846177406799
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2844771306939
With Love Guerlain
1.2820677491942
Splash - The Pear 2008 Marc Jacobs
1.2813108161528
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.28
Lou Lou Arabian Oud
1.275862
Dilis Classic Collection No. 19 Dilis Parfum
1.2749771976525
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2733959776805
Romance Tender Notes Ralph Lauren
1.2727878161528
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.272727
Mysterious Freesia Les Aphrodisiaques
1.272727
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.2724631392082
Freesia + Violet Petals Love2Love
1.271359565347
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2706040138053
Avon Smile Avon
1.2697175292222
Et Plus Si Affinites Chantal Thomass
1.2675792422916
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.2670318969166
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2667886323055
Sula Lily Lotus Susanne Lang
1.2654527763182
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.265120253056
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2632796323055
Fleur de Lune Jacques Zolty
1.2632589633887
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.263158
O'Zone Pink Spirit Sergio Tacchini
1.2619658161528
Malaga Morph
1.2614224622636
Happy Spirit Elixir d'Amour Chopard
1.2610137715137
Talisman eau Transparente Balenciaga
1.2600726831478
English Pear & Freesia Jo Malone
1.2595630807639
Royalissime Prince Henri d'Orleans
1.2593323814997
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2592205069026
Azul Animale
1.2566289606519
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.2564977639117
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2561377682905
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2560918884024
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2554734537493
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.2539545365809
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2538314176245
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.253518005291
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2530055982485
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2529828575686
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2528145568327
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Parfum Chanel
1.251918217661
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2509122422916
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.2506689776805
Fabulous (2015) Victoria`s Secret
1.2504865292222
Tommy Summer Girl 2009 Tommy Hilfiger
1.2502432646111
Be...Romantic Avon
1.2501216323055
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.2500608161528
Velvet Noir francesca`s
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.25
Mittens Fluff `n` Stuff Lalaloopsy
1.25
Rabea Elomer Al-Rehab
1.2499478044153
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2496733007359
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.247611785319
Comme des Garcons Series 1 Leaves: Lily Comme des Garcons
1.2474005292222
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2469851615277
Scent Essence - Blooming Lotus Avon
1.2462221615277
Union Square Bond No 9
1.2447847045551
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2441268522776
Animale Animale Animale
1.2440856619838
Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme Hugo Boss
1.2440236323055
313 Bi-es
1.2426064484583
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.2414819107219
Core Gap

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