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

1.5102642622207
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5023250538732
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5015878416695
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5012475898832
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009640467279
Fresia Zara
1.5005670863105
Revitalizing Mary Kay
1.5004536690484
Be...Serene Avon
1.5004536690484
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5003969604174
Simply Breathless Victoria`s Secret
1.5003402517863
Jua Trilogy
1.5003402517863
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5002835431553
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002268345242
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002268345242
Soliflore Freesia Dame Perfumery
1.5002268345242
Classic Freesia Dana
1.5001701258932
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001701258932
Boss Jour Pour Femme Runway Edition Hugo Boss
1.5001134172621
Island Blossom Korres
1.5001134172621
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000567086311
Torrid Bloom Torrid
1.5000567086311
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5000567086311
Bouquet d'Amour Malicieuse Mariella Burani
1.5
Águas e Brisas Lima Deliciosa Avon
1.5
Ccori Crystal Yanbal
1.5
Habanera Diadema Exclusif
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.4873431797664
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4811341726211
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4658478559601
Dream More Gap
1.4613598955427
Zara Rose Zara
1.4460318416695
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.4376893380969
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4375046640581
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4358848883974
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4355769208348
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.4286277086311
Soft Tension Andrea Maack
1.428571
Musk Inspirador PanVel
1.428571
Summer Flowers Alan Bray
1.4285142913689
8 Sweet Reveal Abercrombie & Fitch
1.4173475035726
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4170639604174
Vetyver Blanc Lanvin
1.4155413380969
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4116506761937
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4072763848248
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.4034013333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4005103776795
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.4003402517863
Dolce Aura Avon
1.3923613201769
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3914174172621
Black Vanilla N°7 The Master Perfumer
1.391304
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.3847284172621
Sexxy Shoo Limited Edition Gold Laurelle London
1.382353
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.3784347086311
Fleur de Lune Jacques Zolty
1.3770336310536
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3681356467052
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3648468235227
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.3637494172621
Lyrical Avon
1.359994755359
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.3574265431553
Giglio delle Hawaii Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.3509640467279
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.3509073380969
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.3506237949416
Petal Zents
1.3473297119202
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.338663611319
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3356580538732
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.3348641330384
Flowerific Flirt!
1.3338433776795
Creations Pinkaura MAC
1.3336165431553
Oasis Sunset Kiko Milano
1.3335742047182
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3334464172621
Pour Femme Les Contes
1.3333897086311
Woman Basic Ariane Inden
1.333333
Lucky Charm Dzintars
1.333333
Haecceitas Mirko Buffini Firenze
1.333333
Actress Femme Apple Parfums
1.333333
Fantasy Flower In Pink Battistoni
1.3301588416695
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3278568955427
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3267151726211
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3259119098333
Goddess Avon
1.3227511258932
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3224801401837
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3200567086311
Eau de Bouquet Avon
1.3192227800839
Dream Gap
1.3167530467279
Premium I L'Eau de Parfum Korres
1.3162426690484
Daydream American Eagle
1.3160158345242
InFlora Bottega Profumiera
1.3159024172621
Inner Code Elode
1.3157837767948
Zara White Zara
1.3128524854259
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.3126136744925
Vanitas Versace
1.3095238812521
Freesia Fragonard
1.3083854980152
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3082023776795
Aerie American Eagle
1.307692
Sashka Sun M. Micallef
1.3076801077464
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.3019094205512
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3001618163775
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3000567086311
Aire TerraNova
1.3000567086311
Notas para dos Energy Bottega Verde
1.3
Return Panouge
1.2987444758988
Miracle Lancome
1.2984728345242
Forever La Rive
1.2906632517863
Florasense Jequiti
1.2883524782806
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2877770610185
Citrine Nest
1.2859975431553
Jaguar Woman Purple Edition Jaguar
1.2858274172621
Yukata Sport Kenji Tanaka
1.2858274172621
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.285714
АRТ Grācija (ART Grace) Dzintars
1.285714
Yu Perfect Sense Mane
1.285714
1st Femme Par Siren
1.285714
Esencia de los sueños Bottega Verde
1.2848122083475
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.284070147329
With Love Guerlain
1.2836733155268
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.2820415107179
Splash - The Pear 2008 Marc Jacobs
1.2800492336396
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.275862
Dilis Classic Collection No. 19 Dilis Parfum
1.2749386366111
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2734642122037
Romance Tender Notes Ralph Lauren
1.2730105431553
Ose Il Profvmo
1.2729538345242
Incidence Pour Homme Yves de Sistelle
1.2727837086311
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.272727
Mysterious Freesia Les Aphrodisiaques
1.2706114661449
English Pear & Freesia Jo Malone
1.2705046366111
Avon Smile Avon
1.2677806690484
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2670072517863
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2667804172621
Sula Lily Lotus Susanne Lang
1.266667
Dilis Classic Collection No. 20 Dilis Parfum
1.2660873199501
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Parfum Chanel
1.2658789241239
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2647901797664
Happy Spirit Elixir d'Amour Chopard
1.2638385035726
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2631719563344
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2628523698537
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.261905
Malaga Morph
1.2615931830555
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.26087
Gala Novaya Zarya
1.259241219349
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.25914246399
Azul Animale
1.2589747046614
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2589051797664
Haiku Sunset Avon
1.25796892798
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2572837625043
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2569203776795
Oscar Island Flowers Oscar de la Renta
1.2557470071453
Talisman eau Transparente Balenciaga
1.2556692589316
Animale Animale Animale
1.2548753380969
Flower Fusion The Merchant of Venice
1.2541059779971
Vie Privée Yves Rocher

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