Freesias are a gardener’s favourite and one of the most widely sold cut flowers. Their bulb-like corms send stems and sword-shaped leaves up through the earth. The stems curve where the buds begin, giving freesia’s trumpet-shaped flowers their signature appearance of looking up to the sky.
Perfumers describe scents as if they were music. Every perfume is a song and each fragrance is a unique note chiming to sing it. The sharp smell of a top note scent creates a perfume’s first impression. The bottom note is long lasting and develops its depth. The middle note is the mellow, rounded aroma that harmonises the song. Freesia is the middle-note fragrance in many of today’s most famous perfumes.
The middle note is said to represent the heart, making freesias a popular choice for bridal bouquets. They are also a traditional seventh wedding anniversary gift, a symbol of faithfulness when love turns from passion to friendship. Freesia’s reputation as the flower of friendship can be traced back over 200 years to when it was first discovered in South Africa by a doctor who named it after his best friend, Dr Freese.
It has been cultivated in every colour of the rainbow, each one holding a different scent. The most fragrant flower is the classic freesia, which is white with a delicate mauve flush. The scent of the more modern orange and yellow varieties has a citrusy undertone. The flower’s fragrant versatility has made it a popular choice for fabric fresheners and soaps, so much so that freesia’s charming fragrance is associated with cleanliness and freshness.