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

1.5098303911388
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5025614399446
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5025614399446
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5020076150917
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5020076150917
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5013845621322
Fresia Zara
1.5013153340256
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009691934926
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5007615091727
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5006922810661
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5005538248529
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003461405331
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003461405331
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5003461405331
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002769124264
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002769124264
Puma Yellow Brasil Edition Puma
1.5002769124264
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001384562132
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000692281066
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4770899653859
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4745147372793
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4604659491173
Zara Rose Zara
1.4590121588785
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4575218085843
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4513289148494
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4474900366909
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4296786497058
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4287094562132
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4174285091727
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4018691588785
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4008999653859
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4008307372793
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4004113333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4002076843198
Jua Trilogy
1.4002076843198
Reve Boheme Marina Marinof
1.4001384562132
Enrico Coveri MI06 Woman Enrico Coveri
1.3890455988231
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.385552664936
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3812981405331
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3769383869851
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3752365458636
Zara White Zara
1.375
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.374108317757
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.3730537230876
Goddess Avon
1.3730212464521
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3689703291796
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3685594562132
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3677327867774
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3618505112496
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3588737026653
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579045091727
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573506843198
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3506230529595
Petal Zents
1.3451510366909
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3442010387677
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3373482301835
Dream More Gap
1.3369844440983
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3361021242645
London Glam Rimmel
1.3348310571132
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3340945091727
Azul Animale
1.3336791405331
Genny Shine Diana De Silva
1.3336791405331
Florasense Jequiti
1.3334714562132
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334022281066
`60 Mila Schön
1.3334022281066
Prime League Women s.Oliver
1.333333
SPF Spring Emotion Forever Free Springfield
1.3332637718934
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3317392139148
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3312453139495
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3217234368294
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3208999653859
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3190404766355
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3185544437522
Miracle Lancome
1.3164120529595
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.3140922464521
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3138153340256
Fahrenheit Summer Christian Dior
1.3130493869851
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.3106219124264
Union Square Bond No 9
1.3078304562132
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3073976742818
Dream Gap
1.3056633340256
Animale Animale Animale
1.3049586746279
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.301246105919
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.3006922810661
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3006230529595
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.2972827968155
Vanitas Versace
1.2940899837314
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2924080020768
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2918969837314
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2914291793008
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.289415706819
Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme Hugo Boss
1.2866831934926
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2862678248529
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2861293686397
Daydream American Eagle
1.2859216843198
Within Max Azria
1.2858524562132
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.285714
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2838892485289
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2838767739702
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2820768431983
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2813845621322
Freesia Fragonard
1.2803663727934
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2789080366909
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2769319328487
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2766307538941
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2763742914503
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2754621079958
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2742500183454
Talisman eau Transparent Balenciaga
1.2734192810661
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2732808248529
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2729006680512
Core Gap
1.2727962281066
Bonheur Louis Feraud
1.2727962281066
Vovo Natura
1.272727
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.2727235988231
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2726577718934
Love First West Third Brand
1.2726577718934
Freesia Bronnley
1.2721677161648
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2720433727934
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2719314745587
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2672208248529
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2670877781239
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2664367026653
Together Her Oriflame
1.2652792672205
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2643584582901
With Love Guerlain
1.2640510713049
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2630852994116
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2626007026653
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2625481844929
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2618896680512
Avon Smile Avon
1.2610549657321
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2601255621322
Fancy Girl Jessica Simpson
1.2587240733818
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2581407026653
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2577223952925
Forever and Ever Dior Christian Dior
1.256725177224
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2557459328487
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2547075112496
Journey Mary Kay
1.2539887725857
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2522845275182
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2521527739702
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2517999307719
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2509691934926
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2506230529595
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2505538248529
Humor 7 Bem Me Quer Natura
1.2504845967463
Bahia Paradise Oriflame
1.2504845967463
Wistful No1 Amway

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