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

1.5026688564976
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5019845343188
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5019161021009
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5016590782865
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5013686443578
Fresia Zara
1.5013002121399
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009580510504
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5007527543968
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5006843221789
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5005474577431
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003421610894
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003421610894
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002737288716
Puma Yellow Brasil Edition Puma
1.5002737288716
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5002737288716
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002737288716
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5001368644358
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000684322179
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4770796188325
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4745051866147
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4640699920619
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.4601540175871
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.458990669883
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4574875853692
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4513622031068
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4357851786765
Zara Rose Zara
1.4296659154862
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4287078644358
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4174197543968
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.401847669883
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4008896188325
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4008211866147
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4004903333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4002052966537
Jua Trilogy
1.4002052966537
Reve Boheme Marina Marinof
1.4001368644358
Enrico Coveri MI06 Woman Enrico Coveri
1.3872210632998
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3862332552522
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3812941610894
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3789006364196
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.3769161021009
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3750559075481
Zara White Zara
1.375
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.3730393828783
Goddess Avon
1.3730029410114
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3686947288716
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3686876282762
J`adore Christian Dior
1.367367402792
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3618648230343
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3588538054472
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3578957543968
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573482966537
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.350615889961
Petal Zents
1.3453213142407
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3441206540067
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.341887027236
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3373705008554
Dream More Gap
1.3368642649011
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3361387209334
London Glam Rimmel
1.3340857543968
Azul Animale
1.3336751610894
Florasense Jequiti
1.3336751610894
Genny Shine Diana De Silva
1.3334698644358
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334014322179
Prime League Women s.Oliver
1.3334014322179
Aire TerraNova
1.3334014322179
`60 Mila Schön
1.333333
SPF Spring Emotion Forever Free Springfield
1.3332645677821
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3316651962636
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3312444469992
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.323405198864
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3189760096489
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3178168254978
Miracle Lancome
1.316404889961
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.3144161021009
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3138002121399
Fahrenheit Summer Christian Dior
1.3130271021009
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.3078288644358
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3072313335386
Dream Gap
1.3056482121399
Animale Animale Animale
1.3043872224047
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3006843221789
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.3006843221789
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.299131688086
Vanitas Versace
1.2940621276261
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2923626364196
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2918691276261
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2913448150961
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2903999937727
Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme Hugo Boss
1.2866720510504
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2862614577431
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2861245933073
Daydream American Eagle
1.2859192966537
Within Max Azria
1.2858508644358
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.285714
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2838322042017
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2813686443578
Freesia Fragonard
1.281231779922
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2806351452132
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2804077305824
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2788730175871
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2781201610894
Union Square Bond No 9
1.2770711707384
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2766831866147
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.276090467392
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2754024163416
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2747962331486
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2745983542052
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2742325087935
Talisman eau Transparent Balenciaga
1.2734113221789
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2732744577431
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2729388564976
Core Gap
1.2728507386574
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2727954322179
Bonheur Louis Feraud
1.2727954322179
Vovo Natura
1.272727
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.2726726619448
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2726585677821
Freesia Bronnley
1.2726585677821
Love First West Third Brand
1.2717755087935
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2701717736947
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2672144577431
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2670852376651
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2663483732293
Together Her Oriflame
1.2656602552522
Journey Mary Kay
1.2650126018614
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2648400799973
Forever and Ever Dior Christian Dior
1.2645167975091
With Love Guerlain
1.2640948309724
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2630598309724
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2618594242798
Avon Smile Avon
1.2604601276261
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2598715666872
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2593442983645
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2587300670636
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2567546108944
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2556798740847
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2535501668377
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2523135008554
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2522582631903
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2517792376651
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2510264832683
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.250615889961
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2504790255252
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2504105933073
Clinique Happy Smile Click Clinique
1.2504105933073
Aerie American Eagle
1.2503421610894
Night Obsession Novaya Zarya

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