What is Florida Water? If you’ve spent any time in any witchcraft or pagan communities, you’ve probably heard of it in reference to folk or root magic — especially Voodoo or similar paths. You may have even seen Solange Knowles flaunt a bottle of it during the 2018 Met Gala. The following post will tell you all you need to know about this curiously versatile product.
Florida Water isn’t water from the state of Florida
It may sound like it has something directly to do with Florida, but it’s really only a play on words in reference to the fabled “Fountain of Youth.” If you’re a history nerd, you’re aware that explorer Juan Ponce de Leon explored Florida in the 16th century. It’s notoriously claimed that the man discovered the actual “fountain of youth” in the state of Florida, but really this is all just a myth. The Smithsonian Magazine reports that Ponce de Leon never searched for this mythical place, but the myth persists well into 2019. Florida Water is a commercial product that was named after the supposed fountain of youth. It’s not made in Florida. It’s not made from any ingredients specifically exclusive to Florida. It’s simply an all-purpose product whose creators had a great idea for a name.
What’s it for?
Florida Water was created by Robert Murray in 1808 in the state of New York. It was intended as the American’s answer to French eau’ de parfum, and rocketed to popularity seemingly overnight. Throughout the 1800s, Florida Water was used as a perfume by men and women, as well as a home air freshener and linen fragrance. It was also widely used as an aftershave both at home and in barber shops around the country. Its versatility was discovered as a useful skin toner and also a powerful cleaning agent to mask odors in hospitals and homes.
In short, you can use this stuff for pretty much anything that involves smelling good, caring for your skin or cleaning the house. It also soothes sunburns and has been used to cool the skin during hot seasons. It’s highly versatile, even though its original use was intended to be as a “light” fragrance by a New York perfumer.
Florida Water use in witchcraft
It’s hard to say when witches (of any path) began using Florida Water in their practices. Since the product didn’t even come about until the 1800s — and wasn’t even a household name until the middle of the century — any application of it would be contemporary in nature. Nonetheless, it has persisted as a beloved tool in the homes of witches across the world. As mentioned earlier, Solange Knowles showed off a bottle of the stuff, and then later mentioned that she likes to wash her hands with it. This could or could not be in reference to root magic workings that involve cleansing with Florida Water to attract wealth and abundance.
Florida Water — in relation to magic and witchcraft — can be used to cleanse the home of negativity, much like burning sage does. It can also be used to anoint oneself with any chosen intent. In healing magic it can be used to bathe the afflicted during ritual, and it can be used to attract positive energy.