Spiritual Realm

A Brief History of Florida Water, and How it Made its way into Witchcraft

June 1, 2021
Florida Water
A bottle of Florida Water I purchased recently. Yes, that’s a skeleton in the background.

I wanted to write a post giving a brief history of Florida water, and how it made its way into witchcraft. At least my thoughts on it anyway. How has something that was created to be a perfume, end up as something witches (or anyone else who is involved in the metaphysical lifestyle) use as an energy cleanser. In fact, if you search Florida Water, most websites you come across describe it as something used in purification, rituals, or a cleansing tool. They do mention that it started off as a perfume. No one talks about how it transitioned from just a lovely scent to a spiritual practitioner’s necessity.

A Little Bit of History:
I took it upon myself to do some research, in which I came across its origins. Apparently, Florida Water is an American version of of Cologne Water.  Which I found to be an interesting read because apparently it was a bubonic plague deterrent. Drinking Cologne Water would cause the citrus oil scent to seep out of your sweat glands which in turn would make fleas think twice about biting you. I do have to ask, did it have to be injested? I mean, would the same results not be achieved by just spritzing yourself with it, maybe even bathing in it…or was it specifically the fact that you were sweating it out that gave these fleas a second thought? Maybe it wasn’t the cologne, maybe it was the sweat? I don’t know, I wasn’t there, but I feel like these questions should have been asked. 

You can also read how Florida Water came to be in 1808. Apparently in the Victorian era, they had “etiquette manuals” and in these manuals it was said that too strong of a scent is offensive on a woman so the fact that Florida Water’s scent was not only lovely, but mild, it won a lot of people over. As someone who appreciates strong scents, in perfumes and candles, etc. I can say that it’s not my go-to as a body spray, I do, however spray it on myself as an energy cleanser if needed.

A Little Bit of Magic:
Now that we know a bit more then we wanted to about the history of this magical concoction. I want to talk about how I feel it came to be used in “magic” (and for the record when I say magic in this context I mean, in spells, rituals, protection, purification, etc.). For the record this is my own opinion based on my knowledge of herbs and spells. The truth is no one really knows for sure.

A few of the ingredients in Florida Water are sweet orange, lavender and clove. One of the magical properties of sweet orange is that it repels negativity, one of lavenders many uses is purification, and one of clove’s uses is to protect against evil. So you have these three agents that work together with alcohol, which is a disinfectant as well as a cleanser. As well as water, a natural cleanser and purifier. I’m sure there are more ingredients, but those are just the main ones. They’re all mixed together and end up having this protection party.

My Thoughts:
I feel like the dude that came up with this knew what he was doing the whole time. Think about it, back in those days “magic” was punishable by death. No one was going to want to share with the world that they are involved with it, including the inventor. So he creates a “perfume”. This perfume sells rather quickly because of its so widely accepted scent. Amongst those that have purchased the perfume are some with knowledge of herbs do healing work in hushed tones. They know the importance of the ingredients and give the inventor a non-visible nod of approval.

What I am saying is that, there was a good chance that it was created with magic in mind, but it had a great alibi so it was easily accessible, which I feel the huge reason for its popularity as a perfume could have been due to the fact that it was a cover up for witchcraft. The fact that they could use it as a perfume as well made for a nice diversion.
So did it really make that transition from perfume to witchcraft, or was it created for it all along? This is something we may never know for sure, but in my mind that’s how I see it.
Thanks for stopping by, have a good week. 


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