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Florida Water, learn to make your own!

Large pot with herbs and roses
Making Florida Water with fresh ingredients

Have you ever wondered what is in that nice smelling stuff called Florida Water? The original Florida water dates back from the 1880s, and it was by Murray & Lanman's. The Americanized eau de cologne is a staple for Spiritists, Hoodooists, and so many others who favor this citrus, lavender, and bergamot infused alcohol to call on spirits, make baths, and more.

Since I believe that one should be self-reliant and learn to be in tune with nature, I like to grow a healthy herb and rose garden and have the resources to produce my version of Florida water, which is better than the quality commercial versions.

I do not share my recipe with anyone. Today, for example, I created a batch of Florida Water with a combination of herbs that were methodically grown, harvested, and selected to facilitate spirit trance and communication. However, I am happy to provide a basic recipe that can be modified to suit particular needs.

First, let's take a look at what are the core elements of Florida Water. The herbal components are the spirit, the florals bring out a fun and playful nature, the citrus notes bring out a bright note, and finally, the concoction's heart is the spices.

1. Alcohol medium: Vodka is pretty neutral.

Purple basil
Purple Basil one of the many varieties I grow.

2. Aromatic greens or herbs: Use a minimum of three aromatics of your choice and keep the amounts consistent to a 4:4:4 ratio. Examples of easy to grow herbs:

a. Mint (there are more than 600 varieties of mint from which to select)

b. Basil (there are 150 species of basil)

c. Rosemary (I know of at least ten varieties to cultivate)

3. Florals: This is where one can have fun creating different notes. The ratio is 3:3:3.

a. Rose petals use fresh fragrant roses

b. Jasmine (it blooms in Summer, so if it is not available, use dry)

c. Lavender (it can be fresh leaves or blooms or dried)

Yland Ylang bloom
Ylang Ylang bloom, heavenly!

When I lived in Puerto Rico, I had and Ylang Ylang tree, so clearly that is my flower of choice if it is available fresh.

4. Citrus notes: Have fun with this and do not be stingy with the peel or zest. Just keep the ratio consistent with 1:1:1. There are many varieties to us, depending on your intent.

a. Lemon

b. Orange

c. Lime

4. Spice is the heart of Florida Water, but the notes are high so keep this to a 1:1:1 ratio:

a. Allspice

b. Cinnamon

c. Clove

Commercial Florida Water and homemade version
Huge difference between the commercial stuff and my Florida Water.

Place all ingredients in a large pot and cover with vodka, simmer on low heat for approximately 30 minutes or so. Cool it down, strain and bottle.

Now, where in the world will you find a scent so intoxicating and lovely as the one you can make. I promise you, once you do this once, you will never rebuy the commercial stuff.

Because I respect nature, I do not throw away the remaining herbs and spices. I leave them in the pot and cover them with water. Simmered for another 30 minutes and strained, they make an awesome ebó misí for you and your loved ones.

I am curious to know about your success with this recipe, so log in on this site to leave me a note or comment.


Oní Yemayá Achagbá

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