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

1.5098125366139
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5027094317516
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5027094317516
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5021236086702
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5019771528998
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5015377855888
Fresia Zara
1.5013913298184
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010251903925
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5007322788518
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5005858230814
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5005858230814
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003661394259
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5003661394259
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003661394259
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002929115407
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002929115407
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001464557704
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000732278852
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4745627346221
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4719720269479
Zara Rose Zara
1.4602917990627
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4591201528998
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4576937990627
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.4501565887522
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4295961903925
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.428571
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4171795951963
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4100881048623
Goddess Avon
1.4019523333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4018306971295
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4008787346221
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4008787346221
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4002196836555
Reve Boheme Marina Marinof
1.3999267721148
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3827482243702
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3812449115407
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.377050380785
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3733751072056
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3731132413591
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3708855606327
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3684942278852
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3670894428822
J`adore Christian Dior
1.362049268307
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3605114827182
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3590469250146
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.357948506737
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573626836555
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3504393673111
Petal Zents
1.3480594212068
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3478382413591
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.33743376157
Dream More Gap
1.3362621154071
London Glam Rimmel
1.334138506737
Azul Animale
1.3334794557704
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334062278852
Solo Dzintars
1.3334062278852
`60 Mila Schön
1.3269196385472
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3225907627417
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3221447445811
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3209519625073
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3194862167545
Miracle Lancome
1.3192180029291
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3164480509666
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.3151362038664
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.3138181019332
Fahrenheit Summer Christian Dior
1.3078384557704
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3076478049209
Dream Gap
1.3075651183363
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3055197480961
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3055196461629
Animale Animale Animale
1.3045952513181
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3007322788518
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3000732278852
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.2993644551845
Vanitas Versace
1.2992009250146
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2977061663738
Zara White Zara
1.2917799279438
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2867391903925
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2862998230814
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2862265951963
Daydream American Eagle
1.2861992067955
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2859336836555
Within Max Azria
1.2838810779145
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2837698635032
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2818629173989
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2815377855888
Freesia Fragonard
1.2803571950791
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2790840269479
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2789268588166
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2771301288811
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2754691798477
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.273532506737
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2734592788518
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2725805442296
Freesia Bronnley
1.2718810134739
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2707784762742
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2703283942589
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2678386461629
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2676613942589
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2671063673111
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2649266039836
Forever and Ever Dior Christian Dior
1.2648422413591
Talisman eau Transparent Balenciaga
1.2641018365554
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2630668365554
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2628740779145
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2625542413591
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2624444721734
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2620416596368
Avon Smile Avon
1.2609444827182
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2596782319859
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2588563702402
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2582747510252
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2579287691857
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2558582308143
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2557850029291
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2545401288811
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2529291154071
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.2524165202109
Core Gap
1.2523432923257
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2519039250146
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2517574692443
Together Her Oriflame
1.2509519625073
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2506818822496
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2505858230814
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2504393673111
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2503661394259
Aerie American Eagle
1.2502929115407
Fighting Temptation Rasasi
1.2501464557704
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.2501464557704
Night Obsession Novaya Zarya
1.25
Shozan Black Princesse Marina De Bourbon
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.2498963567663
Journey Mary Kay
1.2494257029877
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2492476865847
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.2488450644405
Flower Market Maison Martin Margiela
1.2480541253661
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2478372173404
With Love Guerlain
1.2453415483304
Pur Blanca Avon
1.2439437510252
Pergolese Parfums Pergolese Paris
1.2431364692443
Love Eau Blush Coach
1.2428629232572
Perceive Avon
1.2426351288811
OP Juice for Women Ocean Pacific
1.2389695764499
Ed Hardy Women's EDT Christian Audigier
1.238095
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.2371787234915
Today Avon

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