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

1.510621732844
Ofresia Diptyque
1.5022800578356
Nautica Sunset Voyage Nautica
1.5017239461684
Fresia Santa Maria Novella
1.5012234456679
Glam Goddess Victoria`s Secret
1.5009453898343
Fresia Zara
1.5005005005005
Simply Breathless Victoria`s Secret
1.5005005005005
Revitalizing Mary Kay
1.5004448893338
Be...Serene Avon
1.5003892781671
Freesia Caswell Massey
1.5003892781671
Freesia Splash Coach
1.5003336670003
Jua Trilogy
1.5003336670003
Freesia Demeter Fragrance
1.5002224446669
Joie de Vivre Jacob
1.5002224446669
Soliflore Freesia Dame Perfumery
1.5002224446669
Classic Freesia Dana
1.5001668335002
Freesia – White Tea Durance en Provence
1.5001112223334
Boss Jour Pour Femme Runway Edition Hugo Boss
1.5001112223334
Freesia C.O.Bigelow
1.5000556111667
Torrid Bloom Torrid
1.5000556111667
Island Blossom Korres
1.5000556111667
Bouquet d'Amour Malicieuse Mariella Burani
1.5000556111667
Avec Toi sous les Etoiles Des Filles a la Vanille
1.5
Ccori Crystal Yanbal
1.5
Charlie Pink Sparkle Revlon
1.5
Águas e Brisas Lima Deliciosa Avon
1.5
Qbhanera Diadema Exclusif
1.4872948913358
Chiffon Peony Freesia Victoria`s Secret
1.4811122233344
Body Fantasies Signature Freesia Parfums de Coeur
1.4658200598376
Dream More Gap
1.4613397816706
Zara Rose Zara
1.4460011126682
One Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
1.4377273898343
First Rendezvous Oriflame
1.4376987060394
Les Creations de Monsieur Dior Forever and Ever Christian Dior
1.4358355025025
Very Sexy Summer Victoria`s Secret
1.4355615563341
Scent Essence - Romantic Bouquet Avon
1.428571
Summer Flowers Alan Bray
1.428571
Musk Inspirador PanVel
1.4285153888333
8 Sweet Reveal Abercrombie & Fitch
1.4251668335002
Fleur de Lune Jacques Zolty
1.4173343340007
Love to Dream Victoria`s Secret
1.4170562781671
Vetyver Blanc Lanvin
1.4169450558336
Oasis Sunset Kiko Milano
1.416667
Shanghai Mod.2 Parfum Bar
1.4155793898343
Delicate Freesia Taylor of London
1.4116155573351
Ghost Summer Dream Ghost
1.4045873333333
Flowerbomb Viktor&Rolf
1.4005005005005
Sula Butterfly Kiss Susanne Lang
1.4003336670003
Dolce Aura Avon
1.4001112223334
Soft Tension Andrea Maack
1.3914885764654
Chloe Eau de Parfum Chloe
1.391304
Tropical Wind Dzintars
1.3861165015015
Flowerific Flirt!
1.3847262223334
Sexxy Shoo Limited Edition Gold Laurelle London
1.382353
Private Collection Freesia Adolfo Dominguez
1.3815643900567
Pure Seduction Victoria`s Secret
1.3691821685018
Dreamlife Bouquet Avon
1.3677994878212
J`adore Christian Dior
1.3638028335002
Lyrical Avon
1.359975001001
Sun (original) Oriflame
1.3571412841731
Victoria's Secret Bombshells in Bloom Victoria`s Secret
1.3510566121677
Florentine Freesia Flower Water Crabtree & Evelyn
1.3507785563341
Freesia Fields Bath and Body Works
1.3506117228339
Petal Zents
1.350478731843
Dior Addict Eau Fraiche (2014) Christian Dior
1.3501668335002
Inner Code Elode
1.3462652223334
Black Vanilla N°7 The Master Perfumer
1.3385604496719
Incredible Daring Victoria`s Secret
1.3357913661439
Acqua di Gio Giorgio Armani
1.3356130578356
Dreaming Pearl Tommy Hilfiger
1.3338335005005
Creations Pinkaura MAC
1.3334442223334
Pour Femme Les Contes
1.333333
Lucky Charm Dzintars
1.333333
Haecceitas Mirko Buffini Firenze
1.333333
Fantasy Flower In Pink Battistoni
1.333333
Actress Femme Apple Parfums
1.3277811705038
Body by Victoria Victoria`s Secret
1.3266376121677
So...?Desirable So...?
1.3258391176732
Goddess Avon
1.3227478335002
Mylla Bottega Verde
1.3223129471694
Modern Quartz Molyneux
1.3200556111667
Eau de Bouquet Avon
1.3191251246802
Dream Gap
1.3180131126682
U by Ungaro for Her Emanuel Ungaro
1.3176824446669
Forever La Rive
1.3167343898343
Premium I L'Eau de Parfum Korres
1.3162338893338
Daydream American Eagle
1.3158518385052
Zara White Zara
1.3152313898343
Fahrenheit Summer 2007 Christian Dior
1.3127526161717
L’Eau d’Issey Fleur de Bois Issey Miyake
1.3121381038817
Vanitas Versace
1.3117501667223
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Chanel
1.3081925005005
Aerie American Eagle
1.307692
Sashka Sun M. Micallef
1.3076457268379
Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers
1.301852730842
Vixen Victoria`s Secret
1.3001112223334
Return Panouge
1.3000707268379
Clinique Happy in Bloom Clinique
1.3000556111667
Notas para dos Energy Bottega Verde
1.3000556111667
Aire TerraNova
1.2984111705038
Angels Only Victoria`s Secret
1.2980918361695
Miracle Lancome
1.2977418893338
Florasense Jequiti
1.2948188345012
Freesia Fragonard
1.2859920558336
Jaguar Woman Purple Edition Jaguar
1.2858350598376
Citrine Nest
1.2858252223334
Yukata Sport Kenji Tanaka
1.2858252223334
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
1.284282028028
Boss Woman Hugo Boss
1.2840434486709
With Love Guerlain
1.282002002002
Splash - The Pear 2008 Marc Jacobs
1.2799003380047
Samba Perfumer`s Workshop
1.275862
Dilis Classic Collection No. 19 Dilis Parfum
1.2757073192081
English Pear & Freesia Jo Malone London
1.2734499451674
Romance Tender Notes Ralph Lauren
1.2734105633411
Be ... Kissable! Avon
1.2730050558336
Ose Il Profvmo
1.2729494446669
Incidence Pour Homme Yves de Sistelle
1.2728382223334
Taj Rasi Gold Edition Lattafa Perfumes
1.2727826111667
Fresia di Portofino Officine del Profumo
1.272727
Mysterious Freesia Les Aphrodisiaques
1.2718907796686
Freesia + Violet Petals Love2Love
1.2704062243354
Avon Smile Avon
1.2677718893338
Wistful No1 Amway
1.2670006670003
Wisteria Chantecaille
1.2668894446669
Baldinini de Nuit Baldinini
1.2667782223334
Sula Lily Lotus Susanne Lang
1.266667
Dilis Classic Collection No. 20 Dilis Parfum
1.2654728335002
Freesia Magnolia Adopt` by Reserve Naturelle
1.2638809451674
Calypso Rose Calypso Christiane Celle
1.2634657695473
Midnight Fantasy Britney Spears
1.2620188957847
Ralph Ralph Lauren
1.261905
Malaga Morph
1.2617245663441
Boss The Scent For Her Hugo Boss
1.2613235663441
Astor Place Bond No 9
1.2609851206762
Vanitas Eau de Toilette Versace
1.26087
Gala Novaya Zarya
1.2606231136692
Happy Spirit Elixir d'Amour Chopard
1.2605365613391
Les Exclusifs de Chanel Beige Parfum Chanel
1.2602338355022
Perhaps Bob Mackie
1.2592461695028
Haiku Sunset Avon
1.2592006131687
Vie Privée 2007 Yves Rocher
1.2591216121677
Azul Animale
1.2591000542765
Lacoste Pour Femme Lacoste
1.2579272243354
mark Instant Vacation Greek Isles mark.
1.2572932801691
Afghanistan Orange Blossom The 7 Virtues
1.2569105005005
Oscar Island Flowers Oscar de la Renta

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