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

1.5106164796719
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5024128362891
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5016889854023
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5012667390518
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010254554228
Fresia Zara
1.5006032090723
Revitalizing Mary Kay
1.5004825672578
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003619254434
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003619254434
Jua Trilogy
1.5003016045361
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5003016045361
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5003016045361
Vetyver Blanc Lanvin
1.5002412836289
Classic Freesia Dana
1.5002412836289
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002412836289
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001206418145
Torrid Bloom Torrid
1.5001206418145
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5001206418145
Island Blossom Korres
1.5001206418145
Rams Blend Oud
1.5000603209072
Boss Jour Pour Femme Runway Edition Hugo Boss
1.5000603209072
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5000603209072
Bouquet d'Amour Malicieuse Mariella Burani
1.5
Ccori Crystal Yanbal
1.5
Habanera Diadema Exclusif
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Águas e Brisas Lima Deliciosa Avon
1.4998793581855
Quasar Forever Energy O Boticario
1.494962119918
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4810254554228
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4657604635059
Dream More Gap
1.4541682544336
Zara Rose Zara
1.4461329854023
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.4399891345156
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4389533806249
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.435987119918
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4304885299795
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.428571
White Musk Giardino Benessere
1.428571
Musk Inspirador PanVel
1.4173908508867
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4155388136084
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4114043435879
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.407274948124
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.4045943333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.400542888165
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.4003016045361
Florasense Jequiti
1.4001206418145
Dolce Aura Avon
1.4001206418145
Caractere de Femme Daniel Hechter
1.4
10th Avenue Light Pink 10th Avenue Karl Antony
1.3924728343588
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.391304
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.3890699627217
Black Vanilla N°7 The Master Perfumer
1.3848595234648
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.382353
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.3806133545663
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3694464554228
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.3680540400531
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3671346126191
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3599391345156
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.3573842836289
Giglio delle Hawaii Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.357143
АRТ Grācija (ART Grace) Dzintars
1.3566551506816
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3557369627217
Forever La Rive
1.3530616418145
Inner Code Elode
1.3507841717939
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.3506635299795
Petal Zents
1.3485140826396
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3390031652793
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3372421295693
Dream Gap
1.335987119918
London Glam Rimmel
1.3355648735674
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.3337552463506
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.3335139627217
Simply Breathless Victoria`s Secret
1.3334536418145
Fleur de Lune Jacques Zolty
1.333333
Summer Flowers Alan Bray
1.333333
Lucky Charm Dzintars
1.333333
Talisman Lyubvi Novaya Zarya
1.333333
Fantasy Flower In Pink Battistoni
1.3302599854023
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3301257844131
Zara White Zara
1.3295215442152
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3291239416094
Goddess Avon
1.3267874181445
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3227619627217
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3200603209072
Eau de Bouquet Avon
1.319084059959
Freesia Fragonard
1.3165731717939
Premium I L'Eau de Parfum Korres
1.3136848975751
Vanitas Versace
1.3130002398359
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.3081142463506
Aerie American Eagle
1.3076143889492
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.3067337419472
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3066978151767
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3047653516709
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3005603992038
Miracle Lancome
1.3003619254434
Flower Fusion The Merchant of Venice
1.3000603209072
Notas para dos Energy Bottega Verde
1.3000603209072
Aire TerraNova
1.2921495672578
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2906246045361
Boss The Scent For Her Hugo Boss
1.2878942851972
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.2864378508867
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2860759254434
Daydream American Eagle
1.2860336772831
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.2858949627217
Ose Il Profvmo
1.2858346418145
Yukata Sport Kenji Tanaka
1.2858346418145
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.2857743209072
Angelic Snowdrop Perlier
1.285714
Actress Femme Apple Parfums
1.285714
Yu Perfect Sense Mane
1.285714
Esencia de los sueños Bottega Verde
1.285714
1st Femme Par Siren
1.2847805526602
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2846972771142
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2844424635059
With Love Guerlain
1.2821715526602
Splash - The Pear 2008 Marc Jacobs
1.2813103209072
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.28
Lou Lou Arabian Oud
1.2793112836289
Tubéreuse Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2767493808662
Freesia + Violet Petals Love2Love
1.275862
Dilis Classic Collection No. 19 Dilis Parfum
1.2750191944746
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2744159854023
Citrine Nest
1.2733905299795
Romance Tender Notes Ralph Lauren
1.2727873209072
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.2727873209072
Incidence Pour Homme Yves de Sistelle
1.272727
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.272727
Mysterious Freesia Les Aphrodisiaques
1.2713422317529
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2705851944746
Avon Smile Avon
1.2675114927012
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.2670289254434
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2667876418145
Sula Lily Lotus Susanne Lang
1.2651900980818
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2643911541802
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2634340219568
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2622355524189
English Pear & Freesia Jo Malone
1.2619653209072
Malaga Morph
1.2614021571963
Happy Spirit Elixir d'Amour Chopard
1.2610023808662
Talisman eau Transparente Balenciaga
1.2597719869707
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2595606045361
Royalissime Prince Henri d'Orleans
1.2593145526602
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2592110972373
Azul Animale
1.2565749788877
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.2554288816504
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.2539853678369
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2538605380625
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2534749189287
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2529678605381
Vie Privée Yves Rocher
1.2529539189287
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Parfum Chanel

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