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

1.50955000382
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5027504011002
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5027504011002
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5021392008557
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5020628008251
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5016808006723
Fresia Zara
1.5014516005806
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009932003973
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5008404003362
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5003820001528
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003820001528
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5003820001528
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003056001222
Freesia – White Tea Durance de Provence
1.5002292000917
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002292000917
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5001528000611
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000764000306
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4746008003667
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4603518012835
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4592058008251
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4578302013141
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.4517044153106
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Dior
1.4296406004278
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.428571
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4269186030254
Goddess Avon
1.4171254001834
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.416390601039
Zara Rose Zara
1.4100138028115
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.4023603333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4016808006723
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.4009168003667
In Case of Love Pupa
1.400687600275
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.4005348002139
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4000764000306
Union Square Bond No 9
1.3999235999694
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.382608116892
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3812576001222
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3769864007946
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3764118249675
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3731862007029
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3684974000306
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3668541301857
J`adore Dior
1.3623382020781
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3605810013752
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3591294007946
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579834003362
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3574486001222
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3504584001834
Petal Zents
1.3483576028726
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3373822016197
Dream More Gap
1.3363126011918
London Glam Rimmel
1.3340970003056
Azul Animale
1.3335622000917
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.333333
Solo Dzintars
1.330932612499
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3273254046146
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3209932003973
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3208402723661
Miracle Lancome
1.3205809180228
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3192516004278
Animale Animale Animale
1.3190866022614
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.316476600275
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Dior
1.3163238002139
Barth Alexandre Barthet
1.3156058035755
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3148684009474
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.3137988005195
Fahrenheit Summer Dior
1.3081326060814
Dream Gap
1.3078448000611
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.305627601039
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3031792181221
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3016052029949
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.300687600275
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3000764000306
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3000420200168
Vanitas Versace
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.297250401253
Zara White Zara
1.2927348022003
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2921130032088
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2867836004278
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2863348034227
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2863252002445
Valeria Valeria Mazza
1.2862488002139
Daydream American Eagle
1.2861724001834
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2859432000917
Within Max Azria
1.2859432000917
Pure Police London Femme Police
1.2840492016197
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2826452957445
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.282597601039
Avon Smile Avon
1.2822240048896
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2817572007029
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.2814516005806
Freesia Fragonard
1.2793576526855
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2792236013446
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2783978084651
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2771392008557
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2756180021392
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2735674003362
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2734910003056
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2728798000611
Lorinda Yves de Sistelle
1.2725741999389
Freesia Bronnley
1.2717980006112
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.2705634015586
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2698330073344
Forever and Ever Dior Dior
1.268577000764
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2678130004584
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2676672014669
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2669726001222
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.265358001528
With Love Guerlain
1.2649152007029
Talisman eau Transparent Cristobal Balenciaga
1.2647712161357
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2636742479181
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2631620009168
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2631186016502
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2624744006418
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2622878034227
Pergolese Parfums Pergolese Paris
1.2610140013752
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2593586008862
Flower Market Maison Martin Margiela
1.2592024026282
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2581748032699
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2575560004584
754 Maison Francis Kurkdjian
1.2569464192834
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2558828023531
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.255730002292
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2531290273512
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2530560012224
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.252597601039
Core Gap
1.2522920009168
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2519864007946
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2516808006723
Together Her Oriflame
1.2509932003973
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2506112002445
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2504584001834
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2503820001528
Aerie American Eagle
1.2501726019558
Journey Mary Kay
1.2501528000611
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.2501528000611
Night Obsession Novaya Zarya
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.25
Shozan Black Princesse Marina De Bourbon
1.2495078025059
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.2473322094125
Perceive Avon
1.2464848023531
Eau Fantasque Fragonard
1.2458102017725
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2429846019558
OP Juice for Women Ocean Pacific
1.2427270135992
Pur Blanca Avon
1.242601400489
Love Eau Blush Coach
1.2411956219726
Today Avon

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