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

1.5096214710723
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5025319660717
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5018356754019
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5013925813394
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5013292821876
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.501202683884
Fresia Zara
1.5006329915179
Revitalizing Mary Kay
1.5005063932143
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003797949107
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003797949107
Jua Trilogy
1.500316495759
Freesia Splash Coach
1.500316495759
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002531966072
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5002531966072
Classic Freesia Dana
1.5002531966072
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5001265983036
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000632991518
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Ccori Crystal Yanbal
1.495029863527
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4808861881251
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4769495898215
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4399734872769
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4384264825927
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4383861881251
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4361814618306
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4321157525003
Zara Rose Zara
1.4114817779466
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4095827440182
Dream More Gap
1.4079902567414
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.4073672737055
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.4057747864287
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4053913333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4024189915179
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.4006329915179
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.400316495759
Florasense Jequiti
1.3967812447145
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.391304
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.3894083253576
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.382353
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.3810234933536
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3803227864287
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.3754430940625
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.3726894096721
J`adore Christian Dior
1.360742898215
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.357143
АRТ Grācija (ART Grace) Dzintars
1.3506329915179
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.3505063932143
Petal Zents
1.3447632821876
Freesia Fragonard
1.34145004317
Zara White Zara
1.3407497609824
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3393464194202
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.336054863527
London Glam Rimmel
1.3356750686163
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.3334595983036
SPF Spring Emotion Forever Free Springfield
1.3333962991518
Aire TerraNova
1.333333
Fantasy Flower In Pink Battistoni
1.3332697008482
`60 Mila Schön
1.3332320346879
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3312388946702
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3302800770984
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3268469830358
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3240773083935
Goddess Avon
1.3227708974554
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3218710100013
Dream Gap
1.3139929753133
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3129222358526
Vanitas Versace
1.3081983932143
Et Plus Si Affinites Chantal Thomass
1.3081350940625
Aerie American Eagle
1.3064457917458
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3043636329915
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.3005763597924
Miracle Lancome
1.3000632991518
Notas para dos Energy Bottega Verde
1.3
Mysterious Freesia Les Aphrodisiaques
1.2975420262058
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.296296
Dilis Classic Collection No. 19 Dilis Parfum
1.2941812991518
Ose Il Profvmo
1.2938824703127
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2931893854918
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.28826504317
With Love Guerlain
1.2864735898215
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2860937949107
Daydream American Eagle
1.2858405983036
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.285714
Actress Femme Apple Parfums
1.285714
Esencia de los sueños Bottega Verde
1.2848877694645
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2828890971009
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.2813765983036
313 Bi-es
1.28
Lou Lou Arabian Oud
1.2790439830358
Freesia + Violet Petals Love2Love
1.2750057694645
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2744793932143
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2734232906697
Romance Tender Notes Ralph Lauren
1.2727902991518
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.272727
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.2725692312951
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.270405595645
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2675531881251
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.2673645643752
Happy Spirit Elixir d'Amour Chopard
1.2670467949107
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2667935983036
Sula Lily Lotus Susanne Lang
1.2655383537157
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2642470686163
Avon Smile Avon
1.2640781578681
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2632845983036
Pour Femme Les Contes
1.2610075813394
Talisman eau Transparent Balenciaga
1.2592318720091
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2591410855805
Azul Animale
1.2591300262058
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2590360639321
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.2577303885302
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.257300683884
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.2572812737055
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.257143
Saison d'Amour Novaya Zarya
1.2568326584378
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2567097100899
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.2556969236612
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.2547981966072
Be...Romantic Avon
1.2546802782631
Chloe Eau de Toilette Chloe
1.2545250362071
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2537979491075
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2533073345993
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2531418041524
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.251666863527
Flower Market Maison Martin Margiela
1.2514289668312
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2509494872769
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2509494872769
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.2506329915179
Fabulous (2015) Victoria`s Secret
1.2504430940625
Tommy Summer Girl 2009 Tommy Hilfiger
1.250316495759
Union Square Bond No 9
1.2502531966072
Flower Fusion The Merchant of Venice
1.2500632991518
Velvet Noir francesca`s
1.2500632991518
Notes from Michael Houndstooth Michael Kors
1.25
Rachel Guy Bouchara
1.25
Dilis Classic Collection No. 20 Dilis Parfum
1.25
Petal Pecksniff`s
1.25
Yu Perfect Sense Mane
1.25
Rabea Elomer Al-Rehab
1.2499032490189
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2489391626788
Core Gap
1.2484603338397
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Parfum Chanel
1.2480205743765
Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme Hugo Boss
1.2476999491075
Comme des Garcons Series 1 Leaves: Lily Comme des Garcons
1.2447971541967
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.2436204787948
Animale Animale Animale
1.243243
Malaga Morph
1.2432146754019
Love Eau Blush Coach
1.2391134533485
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2387232158501
Alien Aqua Chic Thierry Mugler
1.2372850940625
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi

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