Formulas vary but the fragrance tends to be citrus, herbal and sometimes flowery. Sweet orange, lavender, spices, lime, lemon and neroli play dominant roles in the formulas. It is a unisex fragrance used as a skin toner, aftershave and cologne.
Many magical practitioners use Florida Water to change their luck or to bless and cleanse a room. It is said to offer lasting protection, particularly from the evil eye, and to attract good fortune.
Modern Witches, Pagans, Wiccans and New Orleans Voodoo practitioners often make their own Florida Water, although some do swear by the tried and true brands such as Murray & Lanman (pictured to the far left in the photo - click to enlarge.)
Florida Water has remained popular due to its many uses, positive reputation, easy availability and classic distinctive fragrance. Much like Nag Champa incense, it is a staple in many magic shops and botánica. Murray & Lanman is to Florida Water as Satya Sai Baba is to . Both are the most widely available of their kind and set the standard for their fragrances.
Bay Rum is another cologne with a similar fragrance profile that is used in the same way as Florida Water. Saint Thomas Bay Rum was one of the first, but now many brands make various formulas of Bay Rum, most with a dominant scent of West Indian Bay (Pimenta racemosa).
Florida Water Formula
- 8 ounces (one cup) 180 proof alcohol such as Everclear brand1
- 1 teaspoon lavender oil
- 1 teaspoon bergamot oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon or orange oil
- 1/4 teaspoon clove or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (cassia) oil
- 2 ounces (one fourth cup) cup water2
Combine all ingredients in an air tight glass jar and shake. Allow to stand a week, shake well before using. For external use only. This is a modernized recipe which uses alcohol in place of the traditional rum.1
If you cannot obtain either high proof rum or pure grain alcohol, use a the highest proof vodka, gin, etc. you can find or use rubbing alcohol available from any drug store or grocer, selecting the highest proof or percentage of alcohol possible.2
Bay Rum Formula
- 8 ounces good Rum
- 1/4 teaspoon lavender oil
- 1 teaspoon bergamot oil
- 1/2 teaspoon lime oil
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons bay oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (cassia) or 1/4 teaspoon clove oil
I prefer to choose a rum from the Dominican Republic. Good brands are Ron Brugal, Oliver & Oliver, Ron Matusalem, Vizcaya, Ron Barcelo, Ron Bermudez, and Ron Atlantico. From a chemistry perspective, Bicardi 151 blends very well and I've used it many times successfully. Same instructions as above.
References & Resources
- *You may use Bay Rum if you omit the 2 ounces of water.
- *If your alcohol is less than 90% alcohol (180 proof) then omit the water.
- Click to Enlarge the fragrance concentration chart below: