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

1.5097995545657
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5027468448404
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5026726057906
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5021529324425
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.502004454343
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5016332590943
Fresia Zara
1.5014105419451
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009651076466
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5007423904974
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5005939123979
Be...Serene Avon
1.5005939123979
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5003711952487
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003711952487
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5003711952487
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.500296956199
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.500296956199
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5001484780995
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000742390497
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4745748685969
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4717938010393
Zara Rose Zara
1.4602610400891
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.459147454343
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4577372791388
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.451438393467
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Dior
1.4296103466964
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.428571
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4267046659243
Goddess Avon
1.4172609123979
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4018559762435
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4012833333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4008908685969
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4007423904974
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4002227171492
Union Square Bond No 9
1.4002227171492
Reve Boheme Marina Marinof
1.3999257609503
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3821014216778
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.381248956199
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3803857097253
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3770786933927
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3738563236823
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.373136498144
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3684952390497
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3655140178174
J`adore Dior
1.3621170163326
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.360557996288
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3590732152932
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579596295471
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573657171492
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3504454342984
Petal Zents
1.3481544706756
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3374161477357
Dream More Gap
1.3362283229399
London Glam Rimmel
1.3341496295471
Azul Animale
1.3335557171492
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334072390497
Solo Dzintars
1.3275503570898
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3270733355605
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3219029398664
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3209651076466
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3204501536748
Miracle Lancome
1.31914940683
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3164571514477
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Dior
1.3163086733482
Barth Alexandre Barthet
1.3148756495917
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.3138363028953
Fahrenheit Summer Dior
1.3078510489978
Dream Gap
1.3078404780995
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3055541276912
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3055358247958
Animale Animale Animale
1.3035579688196
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3032571670379
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3007423904974
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3000742390497
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.2977557134373
Zara White Zara
1.2974827728285
Vanitas Versace
1.2918861002227
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2867533466964
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2865306295471
Valeria Valeria Mazza
1.2863154907201
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2862336733482
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2862336733482
Daydream American Eagle
1.2859367171492
Within Max Azria
1.2839346696362
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2838446896808
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.283582861173
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2827703682257
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2827468448404
Avon Smile Avon
1.2824389591685
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2818782479584
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2815590200445
Freesia Fragonard
1.2791285181886
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2763820541945
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2754667334818
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2735436295471
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2734693904974
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2728754780995
Lorinda Yves de Sistelle
1.2725785219005
Freesia Bronnley
1.2719032590943
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.270378952487
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2699291306607
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2685229762435
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2679290638456
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2676377134373
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2671124342984
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2649506109874
Forever and Ever Dior Dior
1.264865498144
Talisman eau Transparent Cristobal Balenciaga
1.2641321714922
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2630971714922
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2629276696362
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.262577498144
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.262577498144
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.2619715345212
Pergolese Parfums Pergolese Paris
1.260990996288
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2608363919822
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2589423192279
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2583147735709
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2558648849295
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2558648849295
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2542073333333
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2529695619896
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.2524498886414
Core Gap
1.2523756495917
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2519302152932
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2517817371938
Together Her Oriflame
1.2516006213808
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.251538925761
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2509651076466
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2505939123979
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2504454342984
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2503711952487
Aerie American Eagle
1.250296956199
Fighting Temptation Rasasi
1.2501484780995
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.2501484780995
Night Obsession Novaya Zarya
1.25
Shozan Black Princesse Marina De Bourbon
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.2499600601336
Journey Mary Kay
1.2493880289532
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2493306020787
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.2487279324425
Flower Market Maison Martin Margiela
1.2477473867854
With Love Guerlain
1.2458333429844
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2435168552339
Pur Blanca Avon
1.2429380200445
Love Eau Blush Coach
1.2428462991834
OP Juice for Women Ocean Pacific
1.2421864959169
Perceive Avon

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