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

1.5097121792145
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5026229973061
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5026229973061
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5020558627534
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5019849709344
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5014178363817
Fresia Zara
1.5013469445626
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009924854672
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5007798100099
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5007089181908
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5005671345527
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003544590954
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003544590954
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5003544590954
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002835672763
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5002835672763
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002835672763
Puma Yellow Brasil Edition Puma
1.5001417836382
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000708918191
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.4771115936481
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.474534701829
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4604040236779
Zara Rose Zara
1.4601204564015
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4590570791153
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4575933482206
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.4508294477527
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4297052691053
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4287127836382
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4173050263718
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4019849709344
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4015477255069
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.4009215936481
In Case of Love Pupa
1.400850701829
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4005713333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4002126754573
Reve Boheme Marina Marinof
1.4001417836382
Jua Trilogy
1.4001417836382
Enrico Coveri MI06 Woman Enrico Coveri
1.3844048592088
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3813064590954
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3789550737275
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3769849709344
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3755101819084
Goddess Avon
1.3751862664115
Zara White Zara
1.375
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.3740387744222
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3738436991351
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.3730595118389
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3686856923295
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3684918918191
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3620345355168
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3589152954771
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579228100099
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573556754573
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3505671345527
Petal Zents
1.3452242400397
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3373029418687
Dream More Gap
1.3372356646817
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3361686727634
London Glam Rimmel
1.3341128100099
Azul Animale
1.3336874590954
Genny Shine Diana De Silva
1.3336165672763
Florasense Jequiti
1.3334747836382
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334747836382
Bebe Love (2014) Bebe
1.3334038918191
Prime League Women s.Oliver
1.3334038918191
`60 Mila Schön
1.333333
SPF Spring Emotion Forever Free Springfield
1.3332621081809
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3318939391748
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3262772658443
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3233576401531
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3209215936481
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3191043455267
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3181183313484
Miracle Lancome
1.3164270263718
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.3140596200198
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3137051609244
Fahrenheit Summer Christian Dior
1.3129541872962
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.3078337836382
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3076036065504
Dream Gap
1.3074998019283
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3059942760527
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3057658363817
Animale Animale Animale
1.3054403218489
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3007089181908
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3001417836382
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.2990772206153
Vanitas Versace
1.2922192664115
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.292026105487
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2916055328229
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2876243428328
Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme Hugo Boss
1.2867064854672
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2867020182901
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2862811345527
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2861393509145
Daydream American Eagle
1.2859266754573
Within Max Azria
1.285714
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2837572664115
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2837387782504
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2820558627534
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2814887282008
Freesia Fragonard
1.2789812400397
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2771787075004
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2764447620871
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2755868864313
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2742111661704
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2735068100099
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2734359181908
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2727978918191
Vovo Natura
1.2725852163618
Freesia Bronnley
1.2718296200198
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2709080263718
Verbena, Freesia & Musk Dame Perfumery Scottsdale
1.2697292346519
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2691973665107
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2678012691053
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2674736991351
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2670923509145
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2665062550688
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2648110764214
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2647885118389
Talisman eau Transparent Balenciaga
1.2640317545725
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2631385382107
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2626422954771
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2619528891252
Avon Smile Avon
1.2604737705941
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2587286964412
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2582234510138
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2581822954771
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2578647384092
Forever and Ever Dior Christian Dior
1.2575300731604
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2568775909542
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2558131291649
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2556004537076
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2546079682405
Journey Mary Kay
1.253905821778
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2528356727634
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.2526229973061
Core Gap
1.2523394300298
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2522459418687
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2518431872962
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.251701403658
Together Her Oriflame
1.2509215936481
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2505671345527
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2504962427336
Humor 7 Bem Me Quer Natura
1.2504253509145
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2504253509145
Bahia Paradise Oriflame

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