Florida Water

Monday, September 12, 2011

A fellow root doctor recently shared an ARTICLE on facebook about a 147-year-old ship wreck. The ship was the Mary Celeste, and in the wreckage, preserved at the bottom of the ocean, researchers found a bottle of old cologne.  On the bottle was embossed, "Murray and Lanman, Florida Water, No. 69 Water Street, New York." This is the oldest known sample of Florida Water, to date. 

So, what is Florida Water? 

Florida Water, named for the legendary Fountain of Youth rumoured to be located in Florida, is a 19th Century comercial formula for toilet water.  It has heavy floral scents and a water-alcohol base. It is important to note that toilet waters are simply *weak* perfumes.  Where perfumes may contain 1 to 3 oz of oils per pint, toilet waters may contain 1 to 6 oz of oils per gallon, which is then diluted with water.

Currently, only two commerical suppliers still manufacture Florida Water, Lanman and Kemp and Two Girls.  Lanman and Kemp, once Murray and Lanman (pictured at left) is the most popular manufacturer used among hoodoos today.  Still, historically there were many commerical manufacturers for Florida Water, and no *true* way to make it.  A simple google search will supply one with an array of independent recipes to choose from, as well. 

How does one use Florida Water?

Florida Water can be used for home protection, sprinkled around the inside and outside of the house or used as a floor wash.  It can also be used to protect a person, sprinkled or dabbed on like the perfume it is.  Or, in the same fashion, Florida Water can be used to engender peace in a person's location.  For instance, if a person is subject to a hostile workplace, they simply dab on a little Florida Water to bring peace to their surroundings or sprinkle a little around a malicious coworker's work space.  While Florida Water can and is used in its pure from, many hoodoos like to *doctor* it a bit for its purpose.  For instance, if a root worker wishes to use Florida Water to bring peace when at home, they might add borage leaves and motherwort.

Florida Water can also be used in spiritual matters.  It can be used as a spiritual cleanser, added to a bath by itself or as part of a ritual bath recipe.  Also, Florida Water is used as an all-purpose altar offering.  Simply add a small amount to a dish of water and place it on your altar as an offering to whichever spirits you are working with.  For ancestral work, I use Kananga Water, but for all other spirit work, inlcuding working with Saints, Florida Water would be appropriate.