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

1.5095415406097
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5027926460321
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5027150725312
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5022496315259
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5020944845241
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5017066170196
Fresia Zara
1.5014738965169
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010084555116
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5008533085098
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5003878675045
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003878675045
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003878675045
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5003102940036
Freesia – White Tea Durance de Provence
1.5002327205027
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002327205027
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5001551470018
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000775735009
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4746148820107
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4604010870375
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4590823375223
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4578806605384
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.4532914564425
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Dior
1.4295794555116
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4288103500892
Goddess Avon
1.428571
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4172100145062
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4161977785277
Zara Rose Zara
1.4133867620821
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.4032823333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4017066170196
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4009308820107
In Case of Love Pupa
1.400698161508
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4006205880071
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4002327205027
Union Square Bond No 9
1.3999224264991
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3850100093864
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3812622940036
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3770169110232
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3732131905205
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3699250870375
Zara White Zara
1.3684985735009
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3680578652548
J`adore Dior
1.3667215357226
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3624179980607
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3606338075401
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3591599110232
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579963085098
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3574532940036
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3504654410054
Petal Zents
1.348390335583
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3372892485455
Dream More Gap
1.3363583665348
London Glam Rimmel
1.3341087350089
Azul Animale
1.3335657205027
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.333333
Solo Dzintars
1.3326939738577
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3275801721356
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3228324330929
Miracle Lancome
1.3208533085098
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3206920238926
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3193285860678
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3191904555116
Animale Animale Animale
1.316487161508
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Dior
1.3163320145062
Barth Alexandre Barthet
1.3156655261035
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3149047785277
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.3138187495152
Fahrenheit Summer Dior
1.3082885531766
Dream Gap
1.3078471470018
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3056674990303
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3029442040183
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3017581875727
Vanitas Versace
1.3011771885812
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.300698161508
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3000775735009
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.2926641450624
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2922362175937
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2868000290125
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2863345880071
Valeria Valeria Mazza
1.2862570145062
Daydream American Eagle
1.2861794410054
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2861559380963
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2859467205027
Pure Police London Femme Police
1.2859467205027
Within Max Azria
1.2841113955473
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2827506912575
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2826374990303
Avon Smile Avon
1.2817841905205
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.2814738965169
Freesia Fragonard
1.2808533085098
Coral Lili Bermuda
1.2806049805291
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2793528075401
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2784901392444
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.277172058025
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2757001450624
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2735803085098
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2735027350089
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2728821470018
Lorinda Yves de Sistelle
1.2725718529982
Freesia Bronnley
1.2718214700178
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2706232485455
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2700370667132
Forever and Ever Dior Dior
1.2685287640214
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2678306025134
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2678011015437
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2669772940036
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2653883673881
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2652615280428
With Love Guerlain
1.2649421905205
Talisman eau Transparent Cristobal Balenciaga
1.2631972050268
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2631819690482
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2624990435187
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2609116605384
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2598347601427
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2594702050268
Flower Market Maison Martin Margiela
1.2593808945776
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2584555115972
Pergolese Parfums Pergolese Paris
1.2583779380963
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2579480734621
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2566784235513
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2560507330696
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2558180125669
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2531029400357
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.2527150725312
Core Gap
1.2523272050268
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2520169110232
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2517066170196
Together Her Oriflame
1.2510084555116
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2508533085098
Flower Rose Tommy Hilfiger
1.2505430145062
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2504654410054
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2503878675045
Aerie American Eagle
1.2502477040571
Journey Mary Kay
1.2501551470018
Night Obsession Novaya Zarya
1.2501551470018
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.25
Shozan Black Princesse Marina De Bourbon
1.2496040270732
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.249140491273
Perceive Avon
1.2488831217904
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2466527330696
Eau Fantasque Fragonard
1.2458006895508
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.244444207897
Pur Blanca Avon
1.2433751856334
Today Avon
1.243137277558
OP Juice for Women Ocean Pacific

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