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

1.5095216331505
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5027422303473
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5027422303473
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5021328458257
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5020566727605
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5016758074345
Fresia Zara
1.5014472882389
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009902498477
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5008379037172
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5005332114564
Be...Serene Avon
1.500380865326
Freesia Splash Coach
1.500380865326
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003046922608
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5003046922608
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002285191956
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5001523461304
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000761730652
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4745980767824
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4603422687386
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4591996727605
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4578204418038
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.4514383595369
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Dior
1.4296374229129
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.428571
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4268961334552
Goddess Avon
1.4171240383912
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4164590572821
Zara Rose Zara
1.4099929219988
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.4023493333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4016758074345
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4009140767824
In Case of Love Pupa
1.400761730652
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4005332114564
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4000761730652
Union Square Bond No 9
1.3999238269348
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3825642242535
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3812566922608
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3770566727605
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3766072595978
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3731809804997
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3684971730652
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3670315076173
J`adore Dior
1.3623227684339
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3605707879342
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3591234996953
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579809037172
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3574476922608
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3504570383912
Petal Zents
1.3483362681292
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3373701724558
Dream More Gap
1.336303749543
London Glam Rimmel
1.334094730652
Azul Animale
1.3335615191956
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.333333
Solo Dzintars
1.3309921297989
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3272911328458
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3226315313833
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3209902498477
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3201951645338
Miracle Lancome
1.3194007690433
Animale Animale Animale
1.3190698068251
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3164745575868
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Dior
1.3163222114564
Barth Alexandre Barthet
1.3155792486289
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3148613650213
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.3137949421085
Fahrenheit Summer Dior
1.3080112669104
Dream Gap
1.3078443461304
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3056198842169
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3022564929921
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3017353065204
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.3006855575868
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3000761730652
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.2995886654479
Vanitas Versace
1.2973172687386
Zara White Zara
1.2920891718464
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2867804229129
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2864617294333
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2863995575868
Valeria Valeria Mazza
1.2862472114564
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2862472114564
Daydream American Eagle
1.2859425191956
Pure Police London Femme Police
1.2859425191956
Within Max Azria
1.2840371724558
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2839878068251
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2831701553931
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2825898842169
Avon Smile Avon
1.2821876904327
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2817519804997
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.2815234613041
Freesia Fragonard
1.279213614869
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2787305758684
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2786396313224
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2771328458257
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2755259414991
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2735649037172
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.273488730652
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2728793461304
Lorinda Yves de Sistelle
1.2725746538696
Freesia Bronnley
1.2719458074345
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2704756532602
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.269778535649
Forever and Ever Dior Dior
1.2685713266301
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2678857690433
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2676563071298
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2669716922608
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2654989993906
With Love Guerlain
1.2649099804997
Talisman eau Transparent Cristobal Balenciaga
1.2646513784278
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2631551919561
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2631137123705
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.263106345521
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2624696343693
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2622623833029
Pergolese Parfums Pergolese Paris
1.2610799609994
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2591996727605
Flower Market Maison Martin Margiela
1.2591828836076
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2583028641073
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2575525959781
754 Maison Francis Kurkdjian
1.2570317233394
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2559414990859
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2558653260207
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2530782394881
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2530469226082
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.2525137111517
Core Gap
1.2522090188909
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2519804996953
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2516758074345
Together Her Oriflame
1.2509902498477
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2506093845216
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2504570383912
Wistful No1 Amway
1.250380865326
Aerie American Eagle
1.2501523461304
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.2501523461304
Night Obsession Novaya Zarya
1.2500819031079
Journey Mary Kay
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.25
Shozan Black Princesse Marina De Bourbon
1.2494891913467
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.2457970377818
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2429700761731
OP Juice for Women Ocean Pacific
1.2425977690433
Love Eau Blush Coach
1.2421198232785
Perceive Avon
1.2419937062767
Pur Blanca Avon
1.2411593260207
Eau Fantasque Fragonard
1.2410324338818
Today Avon

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