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Florida Water

Item Description

First appearing around the early 1800’s, this distinctively American variant of the Eau de Cologne quickly became popular for a variety of uses. It has prominent floral and citrus notes. Many old formularies contain recipes for Florida water. Formulae may be found easily now on the internet. Although Florida Water was popular as a cologne and aftershave, it was also used for rubdowns, room freshener, added to the bath, scenting linens, etc..

Here is a typical old formula, from the Household Cyclopedia, a formulary published in 1881

Florida Water.




Alcohol at 90°, 50 qts.; essence of lemon and Portugal, each 4 oz.; essence of lavender and clove, each 8 oz.; canella, 1/2 oz.; water, 20 qts.

And another from "Fortunes in Formulas For Home, Farm, and Workshop" edited by Garner D. Hiscox, M.E. and Prof. T. O'Conner Sloane, A.B., A.M., Em., Ph.D. (The Norman B. Henley Publishing Company, 1937) Reference

FLORIDA WATER #1
oil of bergamot 3 fluid ounces
oil of lavender 1 fluid ounce
oil of lemon 1 fluid ounce
oil of cloves 1 1/4 fluid drachms
oil of cinnamon 2 1/2 fluid drachms
oil of neroli 1/2 fluid drachms
essence of jasmine 6 fluid ounces
essence of musk 2 fluid ounces
alcohol 8 pints
rose water 1 pint

Mix and, if cloudy, filter through magnesium carbonate.


Even today, Florida Water is still a pleasing cologne, now marketed by Lanman & Kemp Barclay and Co. as Murray and Lanman Florida Water. This was introduced into the US market on Valentine’s Day, 1808. It is inexpensive, running around $5 for a 7 ounce plastic bottle. The bottle is elegant for being plastic, with embossed lettering. The ornate label has pictures of a man playing a lute, a woman holding a dove, lots of floral vines and birds, and in the center what is apparently the legendary fountain of youth.

After an initial lemony blast, Murray and Lanman Florida water quickly quiets down to just a subtle citrus scent. It does not last long on my skin, but it is quite enjoyable while it is there.

Florida Water is another old cologne that has folk magical usages. Here is a quote from The Leaping Hare pagan website:

Florida Water
If you have ever browsed through the pages of an occult supplies catalogue or visited a Witchcraft shop, the chances are good that you have seen at least one exotically decorated bottle of what is called Florida Water. Despite its misleading name, this is not a bottle of water from the state of Florida. Rather, it is a magickal cologne with a distinctive floral and citrus scent. It is a magickal staple in such practices as Santeria, Voodoo, and Hoodoo, but this does not mean that Wiccans and other modern Witches cannot use it as well in their art of Spellcraft.
Traditionally, Florida Water is used for ritual offering and purification. It is also said to possess the power to banish negative energy vibrations, exorcise evil entities and thought-forms, natural disturbances. Additionally, if a man or woman should desire a lover or spouse to be more affectionate and stronger in the display of her or his emotions, a love spell in which Florida Water is used would surely bring about the desired results.
Many Witches prefer to make their own Florida Water for spellcasting purposes instead of using the store-bought variety. The reason for this is that all homemade magickal items, including candles, incenses, and oils are believed to be magicakally more potent and pure as they are crafted with intent and impregnated with the Witch's personal energy vibrations.
To make a traditional Florida Water cologne you will need to follow these simple directions.
When the Moon is full and shining bright, add four pints of pure alcohol to one half pint of rose water, one ounce of tincture of musk, and one ounce of jasmine oil, one half ounce of lavender oil, three drops each of clove oil and neroli oil, an eighth of an ounce of cinnamon oil, an done and one half ounces of bergamot oil. Strain through a cheesecloth into a clean glass bottle. Cork tightly or seal with a cap, and keep cool, dark place until the following Full Moon.


In summary, Florida Water is an inexpensive, pleasing, unpretentious cologne that stimulates nostalgia and the imagination as well as the nose.


The discussion thread for this review is here. If you don't want to rate the product please post in the discussion thread so as not to skew the review scores.

Latest reviews

Pros: scent
Cons: duration
I found this in the ethnic hair care section of my supermarket. I'd been hearing about it and, at $5 I figured why not? A wet splash after shaving revealed a moderately complex mix of floral and citrus, almost a candy scent. It doesn't hang around long with a sweet odor hanging the longest. It felt good going on too, just wish this was in a glass bottle. I'll be decanting it later to see what changes take place.
Price
5.00 star(s)
Scent
4.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Packaging
4.00 star(s)
Complexity
4.00 star(s)
Staying Power
2.00 star(s)
Quality of Atomizer
3.00 star(s)
I ran across this at my local HEB about a year and a half ago. It was under $4 bucks and I remembered seeing it at my Great Grandpaws house. I cracked it open and knew it had to come home with me. I used it in the laundry and as a AS and a after shower brace. Cut it 50/50 with distilled water in a spray bottle and it clears the air of smells.
Price
5.00 star(s)
Scent
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Packaging
5.00 star(s)
Complexity
5.00 star(s)
Staying Power
5.00 star(s)
Quality of Atomizer
5.00 star(s)
I found this just OK. It's got some things to like about it, but I'm not blown away. Doesn't last too long, smells pretty natural, price is reasonable, packaging is functionally simple and aesthetically showy. I'm not great with scents, but to my nose it starts with a musky citrus of some sort and almost immediately fades into a slightly spicy cinnamon scent. The top notes are so brief, they literally lasted a few seconds and were gone.

I find this to be more of a refreshing splash than anything else, but since I rarely use anything for that purpose, it just sits on the shelf looking pretty in it's neat little bottle.
Price
3.00 star(s)
Scent
3.00 star(s)
Quality
2.00 star(s)
Packaging
4.00 star(s)
Complexity
2.00 star(s)
Staying Power
1.00 star(s)
Quality of Atomizer
1.00 star(s)

Item information

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Howard
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