Everything Old is New Again: Florida Water

The trademark on Florida Water is as old as 1808.  This fragrant "water" was first introduced by a New York City perfumier Robert Murray.  While France had their Eau de Cologne, which was often fragrant notes of citrus, Florida Water became America's version of the French Eau de Cologne.  Florida Water's formula held strong citrus notes with undertones of lavender and clove. 

Florida Water was known as kind of a "unisex" scent and this was even before the term "unisex" was even used. It was used in barbershops as an aftershave. Young women could wear it due to its light fragrance, and not worry about drawing attention to themselves with strong perfumes as often dictated as a no-no in Victorian etiquette manuals. 

 In 1835 Murray joined forces with David Trumbull Lanman, a druggist from Brooklyn. Together they formed Murray & Lanman. In the 1880s -  1890s, Murray & Lanman Florida Water was advertised as "The Most Popular Perfume in the World." Today Florida Water is still sold under the Murray & Lanman brand  - and still uses the original formula of 1808 - and still uses the same art from the early label. However, it's now bottled in plastic instead of glass. 

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So, where did this cologne get its name since it wasn't founded in Florida? The name refers to the Fountain of Youth. Let's reach back into our old junior high days during US History, shall we? In 1513 Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León led the first official expedition to Florida. It was at the old Catholic mission of St. Augustine where he landed. One of his goals was to find the mythical Fountain of Youth. Ponce de León named the new land "La Florida" because at the time of the discovery it was during Easter and the celebration of the "Festival of Flowers. 

Through the years Florida Water has been valued due to its refreshing nature. It has various uses such as a skin toner, and a body splash. Mothers are known to use it in water to help cool down and soothe their little ones after playing outside during a warm day. A drop or two in your footbaths, hair rinse, and the final rinse in your laundry water. 

Florida Water has also taken a place in the spiritual community as it has been used in place of holy water. It is used along with burning sage when blessing and cleansing a new home by using Florida Water to anoint windows and doorways for protection, prosperity, and luck. It is used as an offering on altars for spiritual practitioners and also for prayer. 

Due to the well known calming effects of lavender, Florida Water can be used to ease headaches and anxiety. To ensure a peaceful rest, a light misting on your pillow will not only make the pillow smell wonderful but ensure sweet dreams. 


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