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.
 

Freesia Perfumes

1.5103317983233
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5023615539025
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5016530877317
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5012988546464
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010036604085
Fresia Zara
1.5006494273232
Revitalizing Mary Kay
1.5004723107805
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003542330854
Jua Trilogy
1.5003542330854
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5002951942378
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002361553902
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002361553902
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002361553902
Classic Freesia Dana
1.5001771165427
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001180776951
Island Blossom Korres
1.5001180776951
Torrid Bloom Torrid
1.5001180776951
Sexxy Shoo Limited Edition Gold Laurelle London
1.5001180776951
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000590388476
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5000590388476
Boss Jour Pour Femme Runway Edition Hugo Boss
1.5000590388476
Bouquet d'Amour Malicieuse Mariella Burani
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Ccori Crystal Yanbal
1.5
Habanera Diadema Exclusif
1.5
Águas e Brisas Lima Deliciosa Avon
1.4874457092927
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4811807769512
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.465847835872
Dream More Gap
1.4542684473964
Zara Rose Zara
1.4460970877317
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.437726621561
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4367606393907
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4359307092927
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4354914661707
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.4289252330854
Vetyver Blanc Lanvin
1.428571
Soft Tension Andrea Maack
1.428571
Musk Inspirador PanVel
1.4285119611524
8 Sweet Reveal Abercrombie & Fitch
1.4173754661707
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4155195827134
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.411725243122
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4072352042744
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.4043443333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4005313496281
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.4000590388476
Dolce Aura Avon
1.4
10th Avenue Light Pink 10th Avenue Karl Antony
1.3924644621561
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.391304
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.3890661165427
Black Vanilla N°7 The Master Perfumer
1.3834449152202
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.382353
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.3706810400283
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3665008459086
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.359918621561
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.3574381942378
Giglio delle Hawaii Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.350944621561
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.350944621561
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.3506494273232
Petal Zents
1.3496495552013
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3483703308537
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.341816864683
Citrine Nest
1.3402419035305
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3388826516708
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.337182129177
Dream Gap
1.3358716704452
London Glam Rimmel
1.33575359275
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.3337462719329
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.3336872330854
Simply Breathless Victoria`s Secret
1.333333
Summer Flowers Alan Bray
1.333333
Lucky Charm Dzintars
1.333333
Fantasy Flower In Pink Battistoni
1.3316181238635
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3302240877317
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3294563897745
Goddess Avon
1.3267617769512
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3236470776951
Fleur de Lune Jacques Zolty
1.3227581165427
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3214960689574
Zara White Zara
1.3200590388476
Eau de Bouquet Avon
1.3166745827134
Premium I L'Eau de Parfum Korres
1.3159070776951
Inner Code Elode
1.3128874185854
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.3124485542567
Vanitas Versace
1.3103898546464
Freesia Fragonard
1.3091156332507
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3081052719329
Aerie American Eagle
1.3078121466525
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.3022659436769
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3002961855001
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3002951942378
Florasense Jequiti
1.3000590388476
Notas para dos Energy Bottega Verde
1.3000590388476
Aire TerraNova
1.3
Return Panouge
1.2999411240997
Miracle Lancome
1.2911451553902
Forever La Rive
1.2893913408903
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2892295050183
Flower Fusion The Merchant of Venice
1.2864224661707
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2860682330854
Daydream American Eagle
1.2860091942378
Jaguar Woman Purple Edition Jaguar
1.2858911165427
Ose Il Profvmo
1.2858320776951
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.2858320776951
Yukata Sport Kenji Tanaka
1.2857730388476
Angelic Snowdrop Perlier
1.285714
Esencia de los sueños Bottega Verde
1.285714
АRТ Grācija (ART Grace) Dzintars
1.285714
Yu Perfect Sense Mane
1.285714
1st Femme Par Siren
1.285714
Actress Femme Apple Parfums
1.285714
Sashka Sun M. Micallef
1.2849115150549
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2843943072382
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.2835860100366
Freesia + Violet Petals Love2Love
1.2821253985122
Splash - The Pear 2008 Marc Jacobs
1.2813090388476
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2806904386586
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.275862
Dilis Classic Collection No. 19 Dilis Parfum
1.2749114373598
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.273917835872
With Love Guerlain
1.2734945050183
Romance Tender Notes Ralph Lauren
1.2728450776951
Incidence Pour Homme Yves de Sistelle
1.2727860388476
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.272727
Mysterious Freesia Les Aphrodisiaques
1.272727
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.2723405351281
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Parfum Chanel
1.2714154373598
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2705955150549
Avon Smile Avon
1.2694671553902
Tubéreuse Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2670212330854
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2667850776951
Sula Lily Lotus Susanne Lang
1.266667
Dilis Classic Collection No. 20 Dilis Parfum
1.2651782544574
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2651377259417
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2644856105798
English Pear & Freesia Jo Malone
1.2632173943795
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2623263542331
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.261905
Malaga Morph
1.2615267092927
Happy Spirit Elixir d'Amour Chopard
1.26087
Gala Novaya Zarya
1.2592683985122
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2591867381037
Azul Animale
1.2589824273232
Union Square Bond No 9
1.2585624085488
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2585373107805
Wistful No1 Amway
1.257227264494
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2557376918172
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2544816254576
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2541451165427
313 Bi-es
1.2537194473964
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2533633797379
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon

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