Freesia lessons: a big frustration on purity

Well, perfumery can give you the greatest moments of pleasure when you smell a fragrance gently striking your emotions. But it also can be your greatest frustration when you can’t find a smell you are looking for. Learning perfumery gives you similar ambivalent feelings, but they seem to be stronger and occur more often.

Let’s take Freesia again. Well, I tried the smell of the sample formula from the PerfumersWorld. Nice, green, soapy clean, but it’s not a smell of a Freesia flower. Trying to improve it I made another version – less soapy and lees sharp in green notes, softer, but again… it’s not Freesia. And then a very simple solution – what if I just blend the materials found in the headspace of Freesia smell? About 15 drops of Linalool, 3 drops of beta-Ionone, 1 drop of alfa-Terpineoil and a drop of 10% Triplal as a green note (thanks to a perfumer from a perfumemaking Yahoo group for this wonderful idea). I was very surprised to smell a real Freesia flower very similar to the smell of a live flower, but… it lasted just for a couple of moments as later I smelled the harsh notes of linalool and alfa-Terpineol… So I faced a problem of quality of aromachemicals I used. The impurities making linalool harsh and alfa-Terpineol piney killed my Freesia accord. When you use those aromachemicals in a complex composition you can blur and mask the effect of impurities. But when you make a simple accord where those ingredients are crucial… you need the purest materials you can get.

The only problem here is the question – is it possible to find Linalool of such purity grade? Reading the description of Freesia from the PerfumersWorld I understand, that it looks like natural Linalool that occurs in Freesia is much more pure and radiant than a synthetic product available. Does it mean that there is no Linalool on the market that could concur the natural Freesia smell? It’s funny and frustrating. With the power of all the modern science and technology we can do many great things, we can precisely determine the components of the live flower smell, but we can’t reproduce it in the way the nature does using only earth, sunlight and water in less than a year…

Now I am sitting here and typing this message and by the random movements of the air I smell a real Freesia fragrance that is coming from a bunch of blotters with the residues of my experiments.

By the way, searching for information on Freesias I found an interesting discussion on Perfume of Life. Here is a quote: "In fact, there’s no freesia in any perfume in the world." -Chandler Burr. The full text you can read here: http://www.chandlerburr.com/articles/25tghost.html (you have to “download” the article to read it).

And for those who didn’t know yet – Nicole Kidman makes her own perfumes. Freesia was one she made. He doesn’t share the secrets of her craft, but you can watch two interviews where she mentions her hobby. In the first one it’s in the begin and in the last one at the end. Have fun!

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