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

1.5102434928631
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5022949902043
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5015673103834
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5012314581584
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009515813042
Fresia Zara
1.5005597537084
Revitalizing Mary Kay
1.5004478029667
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003918275959
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5003918275959
Simply Breathless Victoria`s Secret
1.5003918275959
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003918275959
Freesia Splash Coach
1.500335852225
Jua Trilogy
1.5002239014833
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002239014833
Classic Freesia Dana
1.5001679261125
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001679261125
Soliflore Freesia Dame Perfumery
1.5001679261125
Boss Jour Pour Femme Runway Edition Hugo Boss
1.5001119507417
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5001119507417
Island Blossom Korres
1.5000559753708
Torrid Bloom Torrid
1.5000559753708
Bouquet d'Amour Malicieuse Mariella Burani
1.5000559753708
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Qbhanera Diadema Exclusif
1.5
Ccori Crystal Yanbal
1.5
Águas e Brisas Lima Deliciosa Avon
1.4873109163168
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4811195074167
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4658481035544
Dream More Gap
1.4613093005877
Zara Rose Zara
1.4460113103834
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.4377335813042
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4372848581024
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4358518916877
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4355666551917
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.4286269753708
Soft Tension Andrea Maack
1.428571
Summer Flowers Alan Bray
1.428571
Musk Inspirador PanVel
1.4285150246292
8 Sweet Reveal Abercrombie & Fitch
1.4251679261125
Fleur de Lune Jacques Zolty
1.41733870445
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4170588275959
Vetyver Blanc Lanvin
1.4169468768542
Oasis Sunset Kiko Milano
1.4155855813042
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4116272118668
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4072521872376
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.4040703333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4005037783375
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.400335852225
Dolce Aura Avon
1.3914159507417
Black Vanilla N°7 The Master Perfumer
1.391304
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.3905011206269
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3847269507417
Sexxy Shoo Limited Edition Gold Laurelle London
1.382353
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.3783590260285
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3668990719284
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3649362907921
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.3638039261125
Lyrical Avon
1.3599815566751
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.3574228768542
Giglio delle Hawaii Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.3509515813042
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.3508396305626
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.3506157290792
Petal Zents
1.3453620593339
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3385946848587
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3356279902043
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.3348443350126
Flowerific Flirt!
1.3338367783375
Creations Pinkaura MAC
1.3334813179401
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3334449507417
Pour Femme Les Contes
1.3333889753708
Woman Basic Ariane Inden
1.333333
Fantasy Flower In Pink Battistoni
1.333333
Lucky Charm Dzintars
1.333333
Actress Femme Apple Parfums
1.333333
Haecceitas Mirko Buffini Firenze
1.3279182513294
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3266445320459
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3258820937587
Goddess Avon
1.3227489261125
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3223867685418
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3200559753708
Eau de Bouquet Avon
1.3191020397425
Dream Gap
1.3180233103834
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3176839014833
Forever La Rive
1.3167405813042
Premium I L'Eau de Parfum Korres
1.3162368029667
Daydream American Eagle
1.3160129014833
Inner Code Elode
1.3157737587462
Zara White Zara
1.3127857587462
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.312003572628
Vanitas Versace
1.3083228387909
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3081957783375
Aerie American Eagle
1.307692
Sashka Sun M. Micallef
1.3076199804086
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.3055612513294
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.3019091824797
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3001119507417
Return Panouge
1.3001009557795
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3000559753708
Notas para dos Energy Bottega Verde
1.3000559753708
Aire TerraNova
1.2972965214106
Miracle Lancome
1.2948264827876
Freesia Fragonard
1.2939742513294
Citrine Nest
1.290658852225
Florasense Jequiti
1.2859938768542
Jaguar Woman Purple Edition Jaguar
1.2858259507417
Yukata Sport Kenji Tanaka
1.2858259507417
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.285714
1st Femme Par Siren
1.285714
Yu Perfect Sense Mane
1.285714
Esencia de los sueños Bottega Verde
1.285714
АRТ Grācija (ART Grace) Dzintars
1.2846535765463
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.2840151528128
With Love Guerlain
1.2837297100476
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.2820151133501
Splash - The Pear 2008 Marc Jacobs
1.2799869065211
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2768467990484
English Pear & Freesia Jo Malone
1.275862
Dilis Classic Collection No. 19 Dilis Parfum
1.2734546798209
Romance Tender Notes Ralph Lauren
1.2730068768542
Ose Il Profvmo
1.2729509014833
Incidence Pour Homme Yves de Sistelle
1.2729509014833
InFlora Bottega Profumiera
1.2727829753708
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.272727
Mysterious Freesia Les Aphrodisiaques
1.2704760394626
Avon Smile Avon
1.2677748029667
Wistful No1 Amway
1.267002852225
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2667789507417
Sula Lily Lotus Susanne Lang
1.266667
Dilis Classic Collection No. 20 Dilis Parfum
1.2662415617128
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Parfum Chanel
1.2638856798209
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2626228623006
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2620811802407
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2619953599216
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.261905
Malaga Morph
1.261506172684
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.26087
Gala Novaya Zarya
1.2606398670585
Happy Spirit Elixir d'Amour Chopard
1.2602480394626
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2599121872376
Freesia + Violet Petals Love2Love
1.2594668007277
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2593606652673
Boss The Scent For Her Hugo Boss
1.259214088721
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2591285320459
Azul Animale
1.2590968178002
Haiku Sunset Avon
1.2579410640918
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2572529655751
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2569137783375
Oscar Island Flowers Oscar de la Renta
1.2557592118668
Animale Animale Animale
1.2557294089001
Talisman eau Transparente Balenciaga

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