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

1.5026406662604
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5019635723475
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5018958629562
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5013541878259
Fresia Zara
1.5012864784346
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010156408694
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5007448033042
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5007448033042
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5005416751303
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003385469565
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003385469565
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002708375652
Puma Yellow Brasil Edition Puma
1.5002708375652
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002708375652
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5002708375652
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5001354187826
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000677093913
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.4967216053897
Ofresia Diptyque
1.4771379314781
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4744965126955
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4601222132169
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4589711535649
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4574565038256
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4510215154716
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4358174695646
Zara Rose Zara
1.4296543502607
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4287064187826
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4025729568691
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.4018281535649
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4010156408694
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4009343333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4008125126955
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4008125126955
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4002031281739
Reve Boheme Marina Marinof
1.4002031281739
Jua Trilogy
1.4001354187826
Enrico Coveri MI06 Woman Enrico Coveri
1.3907848629562
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3875246034261
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3812905469565
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3769635723475
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.375
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.3749498883472
Zara White Zara
1.3730989048683
Goddess Avon
1.3729863159997
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3701382660302
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3686918375652
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3623558709459
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3620180761731
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3588357347823
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3584254606947
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3578878033042
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573461281739
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3571389822601
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.3506093845216
Petal Zents
1.3452873413908
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3419998020854
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3401716485205
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3373278540863
Dream More Gap
1.3367551180852
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3361767944343
London Glam Rimmel
1.3340778033042
Azul Animale
1.3336715469565
Genny Shine Diana De Silva
1.3336715469565
Florasense Jequiti
1.3334684187826
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334007093913
Aire TerraNova
1.3334007093913
Prime League Women s.Oliver
1.3334007093913
`60 Mila Schön
1.333333
SPF Spring Emotion Forever Free Springfield
1.3332652906087
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3311324227774
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3232891249915
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3189174606947
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3167942891868
Miracle Lancome
1.3167096827815
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3163983845216
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.3138541878259
Fahrenheit Summer Christian Dior
1.3130068629562
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.3078274187826
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3071479721714
Dream Gap
1.3020962401652
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3006770939129
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.300473965739
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.2998254711219
Vanitas Versace
1.2940368286952
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2923214353037
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2918438286952
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2912004860857
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2868725965197
Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme Hugo Boss
1.2866619314781
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2862556751303
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2861202563478
Daydream American Eagle
1.2859171281739
Within Max Azria
1.2858494187826
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.285714
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2837917259124
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2813541878259
Freesia Fragonard
1.2812187690433
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2805780419121
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2803195457377
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2789089226082
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2780488375652
Union Square Bond No 9
1.2779501878259
Animale Animale Animale
1.2769412982599
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2766745126955
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.276026135825
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2745801079965
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2742166066084
Talisman eau Transparent Balenciaga
1.2739078618728
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2734040939129
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2732686751303
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2731212114564
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2729783756517
Core Gap
1.2727947093913
Vovo Natura
1.2727947093913
Bonheur Louis Feraud
1.2727618198253
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.272727
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.2726592906087
Love First West Third Brand
1.2726592906087
Freesia Bronnley
1.2717596066084
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2717452043469
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2711277246936
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2673230535581
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2672086751303
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2670664441736
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.266331025391
Together Her Oriflame
1.2652167855644
Journey Mary Kay
1.2647220229535
Forever and Ever Dior Christian Dior
1.2644719822601
With Love Guerlain
1.2640717005214
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2630367005214
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2618319568691
Avon Smile Avon
1.2596630926942
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2583802811971
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2572954646896
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2568968443361
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2567184695646
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2564638302526
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2556875888686
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2522344099127
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2517604441736
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2510156408694
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2506093845216
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.250473965739
Wistful No1 Amway
1.250473965739
Zara Black Peony Zara
1.2504062563478
Aerie American Eagle
1.2504062563478
Clinique Happy Smile Click Clinique
1.2503385469565
Fighting Temptation Rasasi

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