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

1.5105489004112
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5023839322963
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5016687526074
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.501311162763
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010131712259
Fresia Zara
1.5006555813815
Revitalizing Mary Kay
1.5004767864593
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003575898444
Jua Trilogy
1.5003575898444
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.500297991537
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002383932296
Classic Freesia Dana
1.5002383932296
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002383932296
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5001787949222
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001191966148
Sexxy Shoo Limited Edition Gold Laurelle London
1.5001191966148
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5001191966148
Torrid Bloom Torrid
1.5001191966148
Island Blossom Korres
1.5000595983074
Boss Jour Pour Femme Runway Edition Hugo Boss
1.5000595983074
Bouquet d'Amour Malicieuse Mariella Burani
1.5000595983074
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Águas e Brisas Lima Deliciosa Avon
1.5
Ccori Crystal Yanbal
1.5
Habanera Diadema Exclusif
1.487470325526
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4811919661482
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4658290781334
Dream More Gap
1.4543036933667
Zara Rose Zara
1.4461127526074
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.4380030964301
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4377355729185
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.435955325526
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4354385813815
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.4289285898444
Vetyver Blanc Lanvin
1.428571
Soft Tension Andrea Maack
1.428571
Musk Inspirador PanVel
1.428571
White Musk Giardino Benessere
1.4285114016926
8 Sweet Reveal Abercrombie & Fitch
1.4173821796889
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4155279746111
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4117431458371
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4072525475297
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.4041023333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4005363847667
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.4000595983074
Dolce Aura Avon
1.4
10th Avenue Light Pink 10th Avenue Karl Antony
1.3914778879552
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.391304
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.3890677949222
Black Vanilla N°7 The Master Perfumer
1.382353
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.3811435548006
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3754098392038
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.3702728092258
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3640859322963
Citrine Nest
1.3599275729185
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.3573813932296
Giglio delle Hawaii Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.3549581966148
Fleur de Lune Jacques Zolty
1.3525461647297
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3509535729185
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.3508343763037
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.3506555813815
Petal Zents
1.350297991537
Florasense Jequiti
1.3482847018297
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3401501204482
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3389352408964
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3372540039335
Dream Gap
1.335955325526
London Glam Rimmel
1.3357765306037
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.3337501881519
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.3335713932296
Simply Breathless Victoria`s Secret
1.333333
Summer Flowers Alan Bray
1.333333
Lucky Charm Dzintars
1.333333
Fantasy Flower In Pink Battistoni
1.3310754882293
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3302397526074
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3295792070445
Goddess Avon
1.3267729661482
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3235084629001
Zara White Zara
1.3227597949222
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3200595983074
Eau de Bouquet Avon
1.3166233763037
Premium I L'Eau de Parfum Korres
1.3159081966148
Inner Code Elode
1.3129366510519
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.3127816036117
Vanitas Versace
1.310402162763
Freesia Fragonard
1.3093756225043
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3081091881519
Aerie American Eagle
1.3074998730556
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.306768942726
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3000620999464
Miracle Lancome
1.3000595983074
Notas para dos Energy Bottega Verde
1.3000595983074
Aire TerraNova
1.3
Return Panouge
1.2975104629001
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.2910877949222
Forever La Rive
1.2892367779963
Flower Fusion The Merchant of Venice
1.2878541647297
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.2864291796889
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2860715898444
Daydream American Eagle
1.2858927949222
Ose Il Profvmo
1.2858331966148
Yukata Sport Kenji Tanaka
1.2858331966148
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.2857735983074
Angelic Snowdrop Perlier
1.285714
Actress Femme Apple Parfums
1.285714
АRТ Grācija (ART Grace) Dzintars
1.285714
Esencia de los sueños Bottega Verde
1.285714
Yu Perfect Sense Mane
1.285714
1st Femme Par Siren
1.2856544016926
Sashka Sun M. Micallef
1.2851205723225
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.2848737356815
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2846954544371
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2835409576852
Freesia + Violet Petals Love2Love
1.2821455390667
Splash - The Pear 2008 Marc Jacobs
1.2813095983074
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.275862
Dilis Classic Collection No. 19 Dilis Parfum
1.2749321373741
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2739586764408
With Love Guerlain
1.2733825813815
Romance Tender Notes Ralph Lauren
1.2728461966148
Incidence Pour Homme Yves de Sistelle
1.2727865983074
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.272727
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.272727
Mysterious Freesia Les Aphrodisiaques
1.2714361373741
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2706173339889
Avon Smile Avon
1.2694693932296
Tubéreuse Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2670245898444
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2667861966148
Sula Lily Lotus Susanne Lang
1.266667
Dilis Classic Collection No. 20 Dilis Parfum
1.2645994372728
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2639803928124
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2621907925383
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.261905
Malaga Morph
1.2615153274927
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2615116608856
English Pear & Freesia Jo Malone
1.2614917272185
Happy Spirit Elixir d'Amour Chopard
1.2592885390667
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2591973678408
Azul Animale
1.2589885813815
Union Square Bond No 9
1.2572722851779
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2560037526074
Animale Animale Animale
1.2558484648668
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2555588053519
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2541467949222
313 Bi-es
1.2537546933667
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2534716510519
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2530102493593
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Parfum Chanel
1.2524894583706
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2524422155075
U by Ungaro for Her Avon

Advertisement

Advertisement

Popular brands and perfumes: