labelI have seen Florida Water used worldwide ceremoniously. I have used it myself. I wondered at the popularity of it as it strikes me as a scent not quite right for celebrating divine energy and healing. Additionally, people who spray it out of their mouths as part of a cleansing ritual have numbness in their mouths afterwards due to it’s chemical base.

Florida Water’s stunning reputation is largely due to brilliant marketing. The famous French Designer, Du Maurier, designed the label for Florida Water which was originally introduced in the United States on Valentines Day, February 14, 1808, brilliant in itself. It was immediately popular and soon became a well-known cologne worldwide. Du Maurier’s beautiful label is still used today and features the Fountain of Youth which was believed at the time to be located in Florida.

The Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Florida in 1512 while searching for the fabled Fountain. It is unclear whether he believed he had found the fountain of youth in Florida or whether he “discovered” Florida while searching for it. Either way, for hundreds of years people traveled thousands of miles to drink artisan water from a spring located in Punta Gorda, a town on Charlotte Harbor. Florida Water Cologne has always been produced in New York and has never been produced with the famous artisan water.

The traffic to the spring has slowed down since 1974 when Congress passed the Clean Water Act, which required the Environmental Protection Agency to determine safe levels of a variety of contaminants. The spring water exceeds the maximum contaminant level for radioactivity, is heavy in sulfates and high in magnesium. It is of interesting note that most people are deficient in magnesium especially as they age, so there may be some truth to the longevity potential of drinking Florida’s artisan water, though it has not been proven to extend life.

I created DLO DOUS to honor the ancestors and those in service to them. DLO DOUS is 100% natural, benefits the user therapeutically, and is aromatically exquisite. It features herbal, floral and citrus notes that are ecologically and economically a tribute to the wide variety of benefits in Haitian plants, specifically vetiver and amyris. Haiti is a major supplier of vetiver to the world market. Vetiver essential oil is used in 90% of every contemporary western perfume.

Vetiver is considered a holy herb in India. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says, “I am the fragrance of the soil” (I am vetiver), a statement about the Divine Grace that infuses all life.vetiverdrawing

Vetiver essential oil is an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, cicatrisant, nervine, sedative, and vulnerary compound. It is an effective pesticide, insecticide, repellent and valuable fumigant. The larvicidal property of vetiver essential oil protect against mosquito larvae responsible for mosquito born diseases. When used in meditation vetiver essential oil enhances consciousness and invigorates spiritual energy. It is considered a direct link to the divine and said to protect against negative energies. It’s scent instills confidence and kindness and is uplifting and soothing and is used as a flavoring oil in beverages and foods.

Vetiver’s extensive root system helps prevent soil erosion, protects the fertility of the soil, and removes nitrates, phosphates and heavy metal contaminants in waste-water treatment. The cooling properties of it’s roots make it useful to treat heat stroke and lower body temperature. A sachet of vetiver roots placed in water will naturally chill it. Mats weaved with vetiver roots refresh the body and protect from insects. It’s also a very effective roof thatch.

Vetiver holds moisture and protects other plants from insects. Banana trees for example grow more rapidly and healthier when planted with vetiver.

Vetiver grass grows to a height of six feet. It’s simple to cultivate and can be harvested 2 to 3 times a year.

It’s earth’s most efficient cooking fuel. One pound of dry vetiver grass delivers 7,000 BTU’s of heat, more then any other plant.

It can be used as feed for farm animals, is an extremely good fertilizer with a high nitrogen, phosphate, potassium content, and can be used green in composting toilets and as a solution for simple, affordable and sustainable latrines.

Essential oil of amyris, which is distilled from the wood of the bushy evergreen tree indigenous to Haiti, is cultivated throughout all tropical zones of the world where it is known as West Indian Sandalwood. It is valued as a well-known fixative for perfume and used widely in soap. Cosmetically it is known as a skin regenerator that slows down aging.

Amyris_Elenifera_Ypey73Amyris oil is uplifting and said to improve creativity and imagination. It is used as an aid in meditation as it calms the mind and improves mental clarity. It also has cooling properties and relieves irritability, frustration, and sexual tension. It is widely used in massage oil for relaxing muscles.

Amyris grows to a height of 12 meters. It’s vertical branching habit and fine-grained termite resistant wood make it ideal for fence and furniture building. The foliage is deliciously fragrant and wonderful honey is made from it’s flowers. The tree provides edible fruit.

Amyris is not widely known as a natural anti-fungal. It yields taxaline, an oxazole with antibiotic activity against mycobacterium, a genus of actinobacteria that includes pathogens that causes serious diseases in mammals, including tuberculosis and leprosy. It has antiseptic, decongestant, emollient and sedative properties and was used widely as folk medicine to reduce fever, treat wounds, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal affliction, liver vascular afflictions, rheumatism, venereal disease, influenza, diarrhea and diabetes.

It’s unfortunately too scarce in Haiti for common use due to it’s use as torchwood. It is high and resin and naturally provides a torch that will burn all night which also means it makes wonderful incense.