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Wing Man for Stan
Posts: 153
Registered: August 2006
Location: Washington State


Florida Water

Reviews Views Date of last review
20 2051 Tue November 17, 2015


Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $5.00 8.0


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

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.
Keywords: Florida Water
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In M3 RemissionRegistered: February 2009Location: South LouisianaPosts: 24
Review Date: Mon August 17, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated Rating: 0 
Price: 10
Quality: 8
Packaging: 7
Scent: 7
Complexity: 8
Staying Power: 2
Quality of Atomizer: -1
I use this as an aftershave, and it's great for that. Makes my skin feel absolutely wonderful. The burn is strong, and if you've had a rough shave (as I did today, knew I shouldn't have tried to get one more shave out of that blade!), the burn is tremendous.

I love the smell of the dry-down, but as noted before, it doesn't last long. That's fine by me though, since I can put any cologne I please on top of it.
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Surreptitious Brush SnifferRegistered: August 2009Location: Rochester, NYPosts: 306
Review Date: Thu September 17, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated Rating: 0 
Price: 10
Quality: 7
Packaging: 8
Scent: 10
Complexity: 10
Staying Power: 3
Quality of Atomizer: -1
Good smell, good feel, nice on the skin ...

I agree that this is awfully weak as a cologne, but it makes a nice aftershave. It's got a bit of burn, but, when used after witch hazel, really helps with razor burn and redness. It's not quite as "bracing" as Pinaud Clubman, but it does the job.

The wife also really likes the smell, which is key--the Clubman reminds her of her Grampa, the Pinaud Bay Rum is "nice" but nothing special, and she's not a fan of AV, Old Spice, or other readily available (here, anyway) drugstore aftershaves.

Add to that the fact that it's the cheapest AS ever--you can buy a case of the stuff for $30 from the maker (that's $2.50 apiece)--and I'm sold. I'll still use the Pinauds now and again, and maybe try out some other scents too, but I think this is my daily splash until further notice ...
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Method ManiacRegistered: February 2009Location: denialPosts: 403
Review Date: Wed September 23, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated Rating: 0 
Price: 6
Quality: 5
Packaging: 8
Scent: 6
Complexity: 5
Staying Power: 2
Quality of Atomizer: -1
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.
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How many members is Ouch?Registered: August 2009Location: South of Fort Worth TXPosts: 7112
Review Date: Thu May 12, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated Rating: 0 
Price: 10
Quality: 10
Packaging: 10
Scent: 10
Complexity: 10
Staying Power: 10
Quality of Atomizer: 10
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.
I'm a ole Minister who loves the Ole South. I am an Arko Acolyte.
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Spyderco ManRegistered: September 2014Location: Normal, ILPosts: 4464
Review Date: Tue November 17, 2015 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $5.00 Rating: 8 
Pros: scent
Cons: duration
Price: 10
Quality: 9
Packaging: 9
Scent: 9
Complexity: 8
Staying Power: 4
Quality of Atomizer: 7
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.
--Ted, BOMB, BOTOC, BOTSS, LOBOS, OGA, OOP, Knights of the Veg Table, Charter Member PLC and Member of the Graham-Field Survivors Club
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