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

1.5106115107914
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5023980815348
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5016786570743
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5013189448441
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010191846523
Fresia Zara
1.5005995203837
Revitalizing Mary Kay
1.500479616307
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003597122302
Jua Trilogy
1.5003597122302
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5002997601918
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002997601918
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002398081535
Classic Freesia Dana
1.5002398081535
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002398081535
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001199040767
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5001199040767
Torrid Bloom Torrid
1.5001199040767
Rams Blend Oud
1.5001199040767
Island Blossom Korres
1.5000599520384
Boss Jour Pour Femme Runway Edition Hugo Boss
1.5000599520384
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5000599520384
Bouquet d'Amour Malicieuse Mariella Burani
1.5
Ccori Crystal Yanbal
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Habanera Diadema Exclusif
1.5
Águas e Brisas Lima Deliciosa Avon
1.4874858896882
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4811990407674
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4658545467626
Dream More Gap
1.4541461223022
Zara Rose Zara
1.4461226570743
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.4399832326139
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4389531127098
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4359708896882
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4354424724221
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.4289307122302
Vetyver Blanc Lanvin
1.428571
White Musk Giardino Benessere
1.428571
Musk Inspirador PanVel
1.428571
Soft Tension Andrea Maack
1.4285110479616
8 Sweet Reveal Abercrombie & Fitch
1.4173864244604
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4155332805755
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4113947529976
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4072635131894
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.4045463333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4005395683453
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.4002997601918
Florasense Jequiti
1.4000599520384
Dolce Aura Avon
1.4
10th Avenue Light Pink 10th Avenue Karl Antony
1.3921511918465
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.391304
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.3890688561151
Black Vanilla N°7 The Master Perfumer
1.3846457314149
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.382353
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.3803776690647
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3694401846523
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.3676827817746
J`adore Christian Dior
1.363980177458
Citrine Nest
1.3599332326139
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.3573828081535
Giglio delle Hawaii Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.3543468561151
Forever La Rive
1.3519380047962
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3508393285372
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.3506594724221
Petal Zents
1.3481853141487
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3401667458034
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3389684916067
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3373367769784
Dream Gap
1.3359708896882
London Glam Rimmel
1.3355512254197
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.3337526642686
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.3335728081535
Simply Breathless Victoria`s Secret
1.3334529040767
Fleur de Lune Jacques Zolty
1.333333
Summer Flowers Alan Bray
1.333333
Lucky Charm Dzintars
1.333333
Fantasy Flower In Pink Battistoni
1.3306720119904
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3303993549161
Zara White Zara
1.3302496570743
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3290826282974
Goddess Avon
1.3267800407674
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3227608561151
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3200599520384
Eau de Bouquet Avon
1.3165683764988
Premium I L'Eau de Parfum Korres
1.3159089040767
Inner Code Elode
1.3129748633094
Vanitas Versace
1.3129677793765
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.3104099448441
Freesia Fragonard
1.3083687793765
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3081116642686
Aerie American Eagle
1.3076463069544
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.3067028057554
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3047362110312
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3005827745803
Miracle Lancome
1.3000599520384
Aire TerraNova
1.3000599520384
Notas para dos Energy Bottega Verde
1.3
Return Panouge
1.292146616307
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.287843381295
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.2864334244604
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2860737122302
Daydream American Eagle
1.2858938561151
Ose Il Profvmo
1.2858339040767
Yukata Sport Kenji Tanaka
1.2858339040767
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.2857739520384
Angelic Snowdrop Perlier
1.285714
1st Femme Par Siren
1.285714
Actress Femme Apple Parfums
1.285714
Yu Perfect Sense Mane
1.285714
АRТ Grācija (ART Grace) Dzintars
1.285714
Esencia de los sueños Bottega Verde
1.2856540479616
Sashka Sun M. Micallef
1.2847672733813
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2847258752998
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2839299784173
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.2834898489209
Freesia + Violet Petals Love2Love
1.2821582733813
Splash - The Pear 2008 Marc Jacobs
1.2813099520384
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2793098081535
Tubéreuse Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.275862
Dilis Classic Collection No. 19 Dilis Parfum
1.275005177458
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2733864724221
Romance Tender Notes Ralph Lauren
1.2731466642686
Flower Fusion The Merchant of Venice
1.2728469040767
Incidence Pour Homme Yves de Sistelle
1.2727869520384
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.272727
Mysterious Freesia Les Aphrodisiaques
1.272727
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.2714492254197
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2706311294964
Avon Smile Avon
1.269710616307
Boss The Scent For Her Hugo Boss
1.2696225467626
With Love Guerlain
1.2675063285372
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.2670267122302
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2667869040767
Sula Lily Lotus Susanne Lang
1.266667
Dilis Classic Collection No. 20 Dilis Parfum
1.2642646930456
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2642471870504
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2642022565947
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2619649520384
Malaga Morph
1.2615890095923
English Pear & Freesia Jo Malone
1.2615069376499
Happy Spirit Elixir d'Amour Chopard
1.2604212781775
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2593012733813
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.259204088729
Azul Animale
1.2589924724221
Union Square Bond No 9
1.2589886570743
Animale Animale Animale
1.2572781270983
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2565347721823
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.2558585515588
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2555994844125
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2553956834532
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.2541478561151
313 Bi-es

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