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

1.5097915792419
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5025877745139
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5025877745139
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5020282557001
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5019583158484
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5013987970346
Fresia Zara
1.5013288571828
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009791579242
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.500769338369
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5006993985173
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5005595188138
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003496992586
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003496992586
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5003496992586
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002797594069
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5002797594069
Puma Yellow Brasil Edition Puma
1.5002797594069
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5001398797035
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000699398517
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.4770992180725
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4745232782207
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4604301730312
Zara Rose Zara
1.4590313759966
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4575524136243
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4511622793398
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.447521353476
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4296900376276
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4287108797035
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4173663985173
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4018883759966
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4009092180725
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4008392782207
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4002098195552
Reve Boheme Marina Marinof
1.4001398797035
Jua Trilogy
1.4001398797035
Enrico Coveri MI06 Woman Enrico Coveri
1.3995313333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.3862183911037
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3850126329557
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3813016992586
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3769583158484
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.375275691845
Zara White Zara
1.375
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.3741529250245
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3740068722898
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.3730578047279
Goddess Avon
1.3730376165897
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3708979492237
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3684909398517
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3678883706812
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3619688497692
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3588914962932
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.357912338369
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573528195552
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3505595188138
Petal Zents
1.345182353476
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3373895114002
Dream More Gap
1.3370919176109
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3361305940691
London Glam Rimmel
1.3349885416142
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.334102338369
Azul Animale
1.3336826992586
Genny Shine Diana De Silva
1.3336127594069
Florasense Jequiti
1.3334728797035
Bebe Love (2014) Bebe
1.3334728797035
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334029398517
Prime League Women s.Oliver
1.3334029398517
`60 Mila Schön
1.333333
SPF Spring Emotion Forever Free Springfield
1.3332630601483
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3318054062107
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.324569955798
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.322626610435
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3209092180725
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3190281881382
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3172955842775
Miracle Lancome
1.3164184586655
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.314038676738
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3137589173311
Fahrenheit Summer Christian Dior
1.3129294361449
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.3106247594069
Union Square Bond No 9
1.3078318797035
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3074065493076
Dream Gap
1.3057467970346
Animale Animale Animale
1.3054079549587
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3037065202126
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3012589173311
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.3006993985173
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.2977689187299
Vanitas Versace
1.2924485715485
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2919218948105
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2915046242831
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2866931579242
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2862735188138
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2861336391104
Daydream American Eagle
1.2860563611694
Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme Hugo Boss
1.2859238195552
Within Max Azria
1.2858538797035
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.285714
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2838063084347
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2837068121416
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2819583158484
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2814687368863
Freesia Fragonard
1.2804517822073
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.278939353476
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2769210678417
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2768557062526
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2760211961113
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2755154888796
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.274265676738
Talisman eau Transparent Balenciaga
1.2734263985173
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2732865188138
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2729277143656
Core Gap
1.2727969398517
Bonheur Louis Feraud
1.2727969398517
Vovo Natura
1.272727
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.2726570601483
Freesia Bronnley
1.2726570601483
Love First West Third Brand
1.2724800153868
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2720588423556
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.271808676738
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2716008308854
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2672265188138
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2669587531123
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2664544962932
Together Her Oriflame
1.2647501505106
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2640731354036
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2631080752553
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2626184962932
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2619167143656
Avon Smile Avon
1.2612172867534
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2609830711988
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.258786706952
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2581584962932
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2578346621905
Forever and Ever Dior Christian Dior
1.2568299925864
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2557350678417
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.254616030214
Journey Mary Kay
1.2535101148412
Femme Hugo Boss
1.252308015107
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2521926316967
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2518184361449
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2509791579242
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2507395715485
With Love Guerlain
1.2506294586655
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2505979788782
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2504895789621
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.2504895789621
Bahia Paradise Oriflame
1.2504895789621
Humor 7 Bem Me Quer Natura

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