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

1.5098615038793
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5026829091436
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5026829091436
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5021028206802
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5018852875063
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5015227322167
Fresia Zara
1.5013777101008
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010151548111
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5007976216373
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.5007251105794
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5007251105794
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5005800884635
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003625552897
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5003625552897
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5003625552897
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5002900442317
Puma Yellow Brasil Edition Puma
1.5002900442317
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002900442317
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001450221159
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000725110579
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4745541326952
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4719404865492
Zara Rose Zara
1.4601884644333
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4591007985643
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4576629754913
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.449931728011
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4295861548111
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.428571
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4171745774056
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4100185726198
Goddess Avon
1.4018127764484
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4018033333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4008701326952
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4008701326952
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4002175331738
Reve Boheme Marina Marinof
1.4001450221159
Enrico Coveri MI06 Woman Enrico Coveri
1.4001450221159
Jua Trilogy
1.3999274889421
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3839043841636
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3812420442317
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3770303096222
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3751279545356
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3749274889421
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.3736329976071
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.3730967543325
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3709825086651
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3708871057936
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3692113381191
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3684935110579
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3620737519397
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3604785086651
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3589557764484
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579406216373
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573605331738
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3504350663476
Petal Zents
1.347992039446
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3374801697484
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3373936192444
Dream More Gap
1.3362334423175
London Glam Rimmel
1.3351457764484
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.3341306216373
Azul Animale
1.3339130884635
Verbena, Freesia & Musk Dame Perfumery Scottsdale
1.3336230442317
Florasense Jequiti
1.3335505331738
Genny Shine Diana De Silva
1.3334780221159
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334055110579
`60 Mila Schön
1.3334055110579
Solo Dzintars
1.333333
SPF Spring Emotion Forever Free Springfield
1.3224662269596
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3224282659706
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3209426437532
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.319088862519
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.318383603002
Miracle Lancome
1.3164415995214
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.3151103980857
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.3137326879849
Fahrenheit Summer Christian Dior
1.3078370221159
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3076487447611
Dream Gap
1.3074798158944
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3056531990429
Animale Animale Animale
1.3054953759698
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3050116323689
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3007251105794
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3000725110579
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.2992547985643
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2985098977594
Vanitas Versace
1.2976710418389
Zara White Zara
1.2917771721413
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2867291548111
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2865337716627
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2862940884635
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2862215774056
Daydream American Eagle
1.2860765552897
Incanto Bloom (2014) Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2859315331738
Within Max Azria
1.2839155971286
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2838618404032
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2821753317381
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2815227322167
Freesia Fragonard
1.2806084051193
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2790524865492
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2787196957436
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2771347053151
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2762611720687
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2754907961714
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2735246216373
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2734521105794
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2727995110579
Vovo Natura
1.2726167913857
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2725819778841
Freesia Bronnley
1.272248039446
Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme Hugo Boss
1.2718652432746
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2704375750127
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.267827176927
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2676255528968
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2671020663476
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2662127256182
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2648257543325
Talisman eau Transparent Balenciaga
1.2640803317381
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2630453317381
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2629085971286
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2625377543325
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2621687423682
Forever and Ever Dior Christian Dior
1.2619419091436
Avon Smile Avon
1.2592101529983
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2587954399246
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2583387716627
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2581530465521
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2569585528968
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2558008846349
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2555833514611
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.254935416576
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2544956855921
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2529004423175
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.2524653759698
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2523928649119
Core Gap
1.2518852875063
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2517402653905
Together Her Oriflame
1.2514502211587
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.2509426437532
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2505800884635
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2505800884635
Flower By Kenzo Summer Fragrance 2014 Kenzo
1.2505075774056
Humor 7 Bem Me Quer Natura
1.2504350663476
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2503625552897
Aerie American Eagle
1.2503127650642
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe

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