What is Florida Water?
Florida Water is quite similar in nature to Eau de Cologne, or cologne water.
A citrus based scent which pushes the sweet orange over the lemon and neroli of the traditional cologne water.
Clove and lavender is also added to spice up the fragrance.
The name is a reference to the infamous ‘Fountain of Youth‘.
The original Florida Water was introduced in 1808 by a New York perfumer named Robert I. Murray. In 1835 Murray joined forces with David T. Lanman and formed the well-known company Murray & Lanman. They claim to still use the original formula made in 1808.
This perfume was considered a unisex cologne and was often worn by both men and women alike.
Although Victorian etiquette manuals often warned young women to avoid overbearing or strong perfumes, Florida Water was considered to hold a neutral tone. It was also sometimes used to freshen textiles such as sachets, linens or corsages. It also became popular as an aftershave in barbershops.
During the 1880s, Murray & Lanman advertised Florida Water as “The Most Popular Perfume in the World”
Florida Water (花露水) has also seen popularity in Asia and has been produced in Hong Kong since the turn of the 20th century.
The most popular varietal would be the hundred-year-old Kwong Sang Hong “Two Girls” Brand of Hong Kong.
After China saw the rise of communism in 1949, private companies began to formulate similar products under names such as “Liu Shen” (六神) and “Butterfly” (蝴蝶).
These products have become quite popular but the formulations are different from more traditional brands such as Two Girls or Murray and Lanman.