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

1.5102129132768
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5023080030004
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5016156021003
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5012694016502
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009809012752
Fresia Zara
1.5005770007501
Revitalizing Mary Kay
1.5004616006001
Be...Serene Avon
1.5004039005251
Simply Breathless Victoria`s Secret
1.5003462004501
Jua Trilogy
1.5003462004501
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003462004501
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002885003751
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5002308003
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002308003
Classic Freesia Dana
1.500173100225
Soliflore Freesia Dame Perfumery Scottsdale
1.500173100225
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.50011540015
Island Blossom Korres
1.50011540015
Torrid Bloom Torrid
1.50011540015
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.500057700075
Bouquet d'Amour Malicieuse Mariella Burani
1.500057700075
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.500057700075
Boss Jour Pour Femme Runway Edition Hugo Boss
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Habanera Diadema Exclusif
1.5
Ccori Crystal Yanbal
1.5
Águas e Brisas Lima Deliciosa Avon
1.4873868033004
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4811540015002
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4658655056258
Dream More Gap
1.4543572049507
Zara Rose Zara
1.4460596021003
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.4377052012002
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4373952514569
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4359295033755
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4355331009751
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.428628700075
Soft Tension Andrea Maack
1.428571
Musk Inspirador PanVel
1.428571
Summer Flowers Alan Bray
1.428513299925
8 Sweet Reveal Abercrombie & Fitch
1.4173594009001
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4170709005251
Vetyver Blanc Lanvin
1.4155572012002
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4116824024003
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4071937023253
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.4042613333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4005193006751
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.4003462004501
Dolce Aura Avon
1.4
10th Avenue Light Pink 10th Avenue Karl Antony
1.3938599914027
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.391304
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.389062100225
Black Vanilla N°7 The Master Perfumer
1.38473040015
Sexxy Shoo Limited Edition Gold Laurelle London
1.382353
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.378435700075
Fleur de Lune Jacques Zolty
1.3762551737349
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3694076197565
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3648952079511
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.363809100225
Lyrical Avon
1.3599549012752
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.3574315003751
Giglio delle Hawaii Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.3521993111765
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3509809012752
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.3509232012002
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.3506347008251
Petal Zents
1.3402340037505
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3387568070509
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3370406178524
Dream Gap
1.3356987030754
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.3348332019503
Flowerific Flirt!
1.3338523006751
Creations Pinkaura MAC
1.3337369005251
Blu Men Enjoy Byblos
1.333506100225
Oasis Sunset Kiko Milano
1.33344840015
Pour Femme Les Contes
1.33344840015
Woman Basic Ariane Inden
1.333333
Haecceitas Mirko Buffini Firenze
1.333333
Lucky Charm Dzintars
1.333333
Fantasy Flower In Pink Battistoni
1.333333
Actress Femme Apple Parfums
1.332685301079
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3301866021003
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3277522049507
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3267350015002
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3260279087762
Goddess Avon
1.322754100225
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.320057700075
Eau de Bouquet Avon
1.3167122012002
Premium I L'Eau de Parfum Korres
1.3162506006001
Daydream American Eagle
1.3160198003
InFlora Bottega Profumiera
1.31590440015
Inner Code Elode
1.3156999065259
Zara White Zara
1.3128850067509
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.3113934639086
Vanitas Versace
1.3103604016502
Freesia Fragonard
1.3093256726098
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3081536006001
Aerie American Eagle
1.3078191062258
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.307692
Sashka Sun M. Micallef
1.3020611114765
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.30039162293
Miracle Lancome
1.3003462004501
Florasense Jequiti
1.3002441062258
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.300057700075
Aire TerraNova
1.300057700075
Notas para dos Energy Bottega Verde
1.3
Return Panouge
1.2984768003
Forever La Rive
1.2893275011252
Flower Fusion The Merchant of Venice
1.2891608063008
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.2872460045006
Citrine Nest
1.2860025003751
Jaguar Woman Purple Edition Jaguar
1.285887100225
Ose Il Profvmo
1.28582940015
Yukata Sport Kenji Tanaka
1.28582940015
Miss Marisa Fleur Ebba Los Angeles
1.285771700075
Angelic Snowdrop Perlier
1.285714
1st Femme Par Siren
1.285714
Yu Perfect Sense Mane
1.285714
АRТ Grācija (ART Grace) Dzintars
1.285714
Esencia de los sueños Bottega Verde
1.2849747030754
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2849510105014
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.28463833743
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.2841445056258
With Love Guerlain
1.2820772027004
Splash - The Pear 2008 Marc Jacobs
1.275862
Dilis Classic Collection No. 19 Dilis Parfum
1.2749365048757
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2748619027754
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2734771009751
Romance Tender Notes Ralph Lauren
1.27284240015
Incidence Pour Homme Yves de Sistelle
1.272784700075
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.272727
Mysterious Freesia Les Aphrodisiaques
1.2714236028504
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2705433029254
Avon Smile Avon
1.2701971024753
Freesia + Violet Petals Love2Love
1.2673010532572
English Pear & Freesia Jo Malone
1.2670132004501
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.26678240015
Sula Lily Lotus Susanne Lang
1.266667
Dilis Classic Collection No. 20 Dilis Parfum
1.2660998123017
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.2648338033004
Happy Spirit Elixir d'Amour Chopard
1.264590507126
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Parfum Chanel
1.2638515546708
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.2630359791126
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.261905
Malaga Morph
1.2614980142519
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2612835456696
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.26087
Gala Novaya Zarya
1.2592202027004
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2591613014252
Azul Animale
1.2589677008251
Union Square Bond No 9
1.2589488033004
Haiku Sunset Avon
1.2585266006001
Wistful No1 Amway

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