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

1.509087958455
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5028399870172
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.502758844531
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5025154170724
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5017851346965
Fresia Zara
1.5015417072379
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010548523207
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5008925673483
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.500405712431
Freesia Splash Coach
1.500405712431
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.500405712431
Be...Serene Avon
1.500405712431
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.5003245699448
Freesia – White Tea Durance de Provence
1.5001622849724
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5001622849724
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5000811424862
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.4739148419344
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4589281346965
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4580341269068
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4567616861409
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Dior
1.4566547046414
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.4296258523207
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4285181087309
Goddess Avon
1.4176407098345
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4159838471276
Zara Rose Zara
1.4135528237585
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.4017851346965
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4009737098345
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4005679974034
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4005679974034
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4003245699448
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.4002993333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3999188575138
Union Square Bond No 9
1.3999188575138
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3862463674132
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3771097046414
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3732952771827
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3709506390782
J`adore Dior
1.3701561269068
Zara White Zara
1.3638794274586
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.3624984040896
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3607944118793
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3591715621551
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579544248621
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3535834268095
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3486411087309
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3486374248621
Azul Animale
1.3398244245375
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3383395154171
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.336497556962
London Glam Rimmel
1.3360107020448
Avon Smile Avon
1.3353615621551
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.3343067098345
Love Eau Blush Coach
1.3338198549172
Petal Zents
1.3334952849724
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334141424862
La Collina Toscana Iris of the Signory La Collina Toscana
1.333333
Solo Dzintars
1.3259383012009
Miracle Lancome
1.3207302823759
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3203565150925
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3194375439792
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3189934248621
Animale Animale Animale
1.3178246423239
Dream Gap
1.3165192823759
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Dior
1.3163569974034
Barth Alexandre Barthet
1.3160795283999
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3137982797793
Fahrenheit Summer Dior
1.3084051243103
Dream More Gap
1.3080548026615
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3070257020448
Core Gap
1.3065454092827
Journey Mary Kay
1.305788844531
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles Avon
1.3023937766959
Vanitas Versace
1.3016228497241
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.3004868549172
Daydream American Eagle
1.3000811424862
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.2926705465758
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2868499948069
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2866065673483
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.286460246024
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2863631398896
Valeria Valeria Mazza
1.2862819974034
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2862008549172
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.286119712431
Within Max Azria
1.2858762849724
Pure Police London Femme Police
1.2855376088932
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2852654764687
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2848956643947
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2841382667965
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2818662771827
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.2808925673483
Coral Lili Bermuda
1.2803199688413
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2792699844206
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2779402849724
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.2772719896138
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2758688315482
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2736195673483
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2735384248621
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2728892849724
Lorinda Paris Bleu
1.2725647150276
Freesia Bronnley
1.2708864092827
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2704843417722
Forever and Ever Dior Dior
1.2703438185654
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2698347072379
Freesia Fragonard
1.2689389896138
Haiku Sunset Avon
1.2687055816293
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2664639428757
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2652705543655
With Love Guerlain
1.2650242771827
Talisman eau Transparent Cristobal Balenciaga
1.2633042745862
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2624928497241
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2608216994482
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.260468401493
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2594128182408
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2587294891269
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2584388185654
Pergolese Ulric de Varens
1.2583576760792
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2567345699448
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2560045439792
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2557524118793
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2554775355404
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2535034608893
Perceive Avon
1.2528399870172
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.2525154170724
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2521908471276
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2521585439792
Eau Fantasque Fragonard
1.2510831113275
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2510548523207
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2510282664719
Pur Blanca Avon
1.2508114248621
R de Rose Acorelle
1.2504868549172
Aerie American Eagle
1.2503245699448
Tempete de Zeste Esteban
1.2503245699448
Flower Rose Tommy Hilfiger
1.2500811424862
Night Obsession Novaya Zarya
1.2500811424862
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.25
Shozan Black Princesse Marina De Bourbon
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.25
Be...Romantic Avon
1.2498966838689
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.2490618883479
Forever and Ever Dior
1.2460041217137
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2436203495618
Chic Carolina Herrera
1.2433692616034
OP Juice for Women Ocean Pacific
1.2430022719896
True Rose Woods of Windsor
1.2423144092827
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry

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