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

1.5098727512067
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5027058651455
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.5027058651455
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5021208132222
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.5019014187509
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.5015357612988
Fresia Zara
1.501389498318
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5010238408659
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5008044463946
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.5007313149042
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.5005850519234
Be...Serene Avon
1.5005850519234
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.5003656574521
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5003656574521
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5003656574521
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5002925259617
Puma Yellow Brasil Edition Puma
1.5002925259617
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002925259617
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001462629808
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000731314904
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.474561577885
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4720409170689
Zara Rose Zara
1.4602876540881
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4591175502413
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4576896540881
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.454545
Vanilla Elixir Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.4501068490566
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4298142353371
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.4295948408659
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.428571
Classic Freesia Dana
1.4171789204329
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.4100787545707
Goddess Avon
1.4019523333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4018282872605
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2006 Issey Miyake
1.400877577885
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.400877577885
In Case of Love Pupa
1.4002193944713
Reve Boheme Marina Marinof
1.4001462629808
Jua Trilogy
1.4001462629808
Enrico Coveri MI06 Woman Enrico Coveri
1.3999268685096
Collection Privee Brise d'Amour Faberlic
1.3830594080737
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.3812445259617
GMV Donna GianMarco Venturi
1.380952
Ose Il Profvmo
1.3770476817318
L'Eau d'Issey Summer 2007 Femme Issey Miyake
1.3749268685096
Color Me Skyblue Milton Lloyd
1.3732938464239
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3731110242797
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3708760175516
U by Ungaro for Her Avon
1.3684941314904
Be...Romantic Avon
1.3683833911072
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3676028693872
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3620428098581
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3605070485593
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3589712872605
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3579474463946
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.3573623944713
Wistful Aroma Body Mist Amway
1.3504387889425
Petal Zents
1.3480503600995
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3478360242797
Pastel de Gres Gres
1.3374283634635
Dream More Gap
1.3362582596168
London Glam Rimmel
1.3341374463946
Azul Animale
1.3339180519234
Verbena, Freesia & Musk Dame Perfumery Scottsdale
1.3336255259617
Florasense Jequiti
1.3335523944713
Genny Shine Diana De Silva
1.3334792629808
Parfum de Sévigné No. 1 Sevigne
1.3334061314904
Solo Dzintars
1.3334061314904
`60 Mila Schön
1.333333
SPF Spring Emotion Forever Free Springfield
1.3269049865438
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3224762778997
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.3219457472576
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3209507093755
Signature Summer for Her David & Victoria Beckham
1.3194711791722
Miracle Lancome
1.3192103877432
Blue Rush for Her Avon
1.3164471834138
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.3151327336551
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.3138163668276
Fahrenheit Summer Christian Dior
1.3078382629808
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3076284295744
Dream Gap
1.30755364736
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.3056643668276
Animale Animale Animale
1.3055164706743
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.3046804964166
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3007313149042
Rose Leger Herve Leger
1.3000731314904
Freesia d’Or Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier
1.3
MAC Creation Hue M∙A∙C
1.2992268356004
Vanitas Versace
1.2991984187509
Eleganza Luminosa Linari
1.2977014430306
Zara White Zara
1.2946653911072
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.2917698064941
Burberry Summer Burberry
1.2867378408659
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2862990519234
Tabac Sport Maurer & Wirtz
1.2862259204329
Daydream American Eagle
1.2861881213983
Paco Rabanne Pour Elle Paco Rabanne
1.2860065259617
Incanto Bloom (2014) Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2859333944713
Within Max Azria
1.2839089932719
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.2838759689922
Clinique Happy In Bloom Clinique
1.281847301448
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2815357612988
Freesia Fragonard
1.2804131361708
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2791422562527
Boss Ma Vie Pour Femme Hugo Boss
1.2790797855785
Clinique Happy In Bloom 2013 Clinique
1.2787527377505
Incanto Bloom Salvatore Ferragamo
1.2771790010238
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2754623358198
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2735314463946
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.2734583149042
Esprit for my Peace Esprit
1.2728001314904
Vovo Natura
1.2725807370192
Freesia Bronnley
1.2718788927892
Claire de Nilang Lalique
1.270724977183
Amazing Grace Philosophy
1.270323574521
Eau du Val (Magnolia) L`Occitane en Provence
1.2678371038467
Aura by Swarovski Love Collection Swarovski
1.267656574521
I Love New York for Mothers Bond No 9
1.2671057889425
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2649030836624
Forever and Ever Dior Christian Dior
1.2648400242797
Talisman eau Transparent Balenciaga
1.2640989447126
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2630639447126
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2628689689922
Burberry Summer for Women 2013 Burberry
1.2625808064941
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2625520242797
Cabotine Green Summer Gres
1.2619648651455
Avon Smile Avon
1.2609400485593
Musc Et Freesia E. Coudray
1.2597076966506
English Pear and Freesia Jo Malone
1.2588481766857
Mandarina Duck Mandarina Duck
1.2582638584174
Emporio Armani Diamonds Black Carat for Her Giorgio Armani
1.2576988034226
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2558505192336
Petal by Cynthia Rowley Avon
1.2557773877432
Andy Warhol Union Square Bond No 9
1.254534152406
Panthere de Cartier Eau Legere Cartier
1.2529252596168
Cerruti 1881 Blanc Cerruti
1.2524133391839
Core Gap
1.2523402076934
Gucci Rush Summer Gucci
1.2519014187509
X Pose Passion Christina Aguilera
1.2517551557701
Together Her Oriflame
1.2509507093755
Soleil d`Issey Issey Miyake
1.2507393656575
Femme Hugo Boss
1.2505850519234
Whisper Blush Ghost
1.2505850519234
Flower By Kenzo Summer Fragrance 2014 Kenzo
1.2505119204329
Humor 7 Bem Me Quer Natura
1.2504387889425
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2503656574521
Aerie American Eagle
1.2502925259617
Bahia Paradise Oriflame
1.2502925259617
Fighting Temptation Rasasi

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