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

1.5025651144436
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5018416206262
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5017100762957
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5013812154696
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5013154433044
Fresia Zara
1.5012496711392
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5009865824783
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.5007892659826
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5007234938174
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5004604051565
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003288608261
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003288608261
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002760526177
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5002630886609
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002630886609
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002630886609
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5002630886609
Puma Yellow Brasil Edition Puma
1.5001315443304
Classic Freesia Dana
1.5001315443304
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000657721652
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5000657721652
313 Bi-es
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Corail Elegance Jacques Battini
1.4789524309392
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.4744732659826
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4600369752697
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4588530762957
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4573732031044
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4559984690871
Zara Rose Zara
1.4506536661405
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.433372368061
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.4296233546435
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4121596329913
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.4024993422783
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.4018416206262
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4010523546435
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4007892659826
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4007892659826
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4004623333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4001973164957
Jua Trilogy
1.4001315443304
Enrico Coveri MI06 Woman Enrico Coveri
1.3902462765062
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3814124051565
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3769073927914
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.375
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.374502216522
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3729417598001
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3714258003157
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3686840886609
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3675026216785
Goddess Avon
1.36724743015
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3621416845567
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3588530762957
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3578664938174
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573403164957
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.350591949487
Petal Zents
1.3451305196001
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3447011907393
Zara White Zara
1.3420806979742
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3374108742436
Dream More Gap
1.336396824783
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3360954309392
London Glam Rimmel
1.3340564938174
Azul Animale
1.3336618608261
Florasense Jequiti
1.3336618608261
Genny Shine Diana De Silva
1.3335303164957
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3333987721652
Aire TerraNova
1.3333987721652
`60 Mila Schön
1.333333
SPF Spring Emotion Forever Free Springfield
1.333333
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.3332672278348
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3328380186793
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3281964919758
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3190894062089
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3183793164957
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3166440381479
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.3165933556959
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3160628495133
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3157399213365
Miracle Lancome
1.3129526206262
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.3069384711918
Dream Gap
1.3018038332018
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3005946300973
Vanitas Versace
1.3001973164957
Electrum Lalique
1.3
For Woman Bi-es
1.2938374814522
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2917760257827
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2911943938437
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2866348103131
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2862401773218
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2861086329913
Daydream American Eagle
1.2859113164957
Within Max Azria
1.2858455443304
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.285714
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2836832412523
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.281658557748
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2813154433044
Freesia Fragonard
1.281183898974
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2804907732176
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2804778371481
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.279013510392
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2788217474349
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2781087598001
Animale Animale Animale
1.2778939752697
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2767170381479
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.2747673556959
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2741739876348
Talisman eau Transparent Balenciaga
1.2733847216522
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.273318949487
Happy in Bloom 2015 Clinique
1.2732531773218
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2730982031044
Core Gap
1.2729243164957
Scent Essence - Blooming Lotus Avon
1.2727927721652
Bonheur Louis Feraud
1.2727927721652
Vovo Natura
1.272727
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.2726612278348
Love First West Third Brand
1.2726612278348
Freesia Bronnley
1.2719945453828
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2717497174428
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2709909871087
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2698520660353
Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme Hugo Boss
1.2671931773218
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2670818484609
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2662845319653
Together Her Oriflame
1.2645491907393
With Love Guerlain
1.2641412536175
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.262974709287
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2623818681926
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2617583422783
Avon Smile Avon
1.2601295206525
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2599100144699
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2597618618785
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2591116340437
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.2586356237832
Forever and Ever Dior Christian Dior
1.2565558360958
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.256085898974
Freesia + Violet Petals Love2Love
1.2554201118127
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2544785198632
Femme Hugo Boss
1.254025584583
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2532296537753
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2519556424625
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2518416206262
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2517100762957
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2513812154696
Fahrenheit Summer Christian Dior
1.2509865824783
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2507234938174
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2505261773218
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2505261773218
Zara Black Peony Zara

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