I sell my Hoodoo product line in a few select stores. One day I was in a store taking inventory, when I glaced up and saw a woman at the other end of the store with one of my washes in her hand. I knew what was coming. Suddenly I was in one of those slow motion sceens where as she is unscrewing the top off the bottle I am reaching out toward her and trying to stop her as I called out to her, "Nooooooo!"
Too late. She opened the container and took a big whif and she got a snout full of ammonia.
For some reason folks think they should open bottles and jars and sniff. I do it myself. I blame the purfume industry.
People, this ain't aromatherepy!
Many Hoodoo/Conjure concoctions have unpleasent or pungent smells. Some have nice smells and some have little or no scent. I tell everyone, "When a recipe comes out smelling nice, it's a happy accident." You have to understand; the herbs, roots, and the bases that are put into a recipe are chosen for their magical properties, for what they will do, and because they work. Not because they smell good together. Aromatherepy and purfumery are exactly the opposite, in the purfume and essential oils industries the oils and scents are chosen so that they will please the nose.
Washes and Waters might be made with ammonia, Pine-sol, swamp water, or even urine (no products in my line are made from urine, but some may instruct you to add you own.) Some will contain perfumed oils or waters and smell guite nice. Some will smell of vinegar or camphor (which smells like Vicks Vapor Rub™). But if you are new to Hoodoo you might not know, by the name of the product, which are going to smell nice and which will be pungent.
A rule of thumb to follow, which usually works, is: if the product is used in “enemy work” or to hex, lay a trick, jinx, cross or otherwise involve a form of “hard work” or baneful magic, it will usually be pungent, stink to high heaven, or in general be unpleasant.
If the product is meant to work on a love condition or is meant to bring luck, happiness, or peace it will usually smell nice or neutral.
The name on the product will sometimes give you an idea if the product is going to smell nice or nasty. Products with traditional names like, “Come here” or “Follow Me Boy” or Kiss Me Quick” are used for love and will either smell nice or not at all. Products with name like “War Water” “Crossing” or “Cut and Clear” might smell horrible or pungent.
However, there are many products with traditional names that may not clearly tell you what type of scent you might encounter. For example: Florida Water. Many folks unfamiliar with this product may assume it is names for the state of Florida. But both the state’s name and the product’s name allude to the Spanish word for floral or flowers, and Florida Water smells like a floral cologne.
Hot Foot Powder or Hot Foot Oil does not advertise the fact that they have a variety of peppers in them. Boss Fix is another example of a product that makes it tough to guess if you will have a pleasant olfactory experience or not.
There are many more products that serve a wide variety of conditions and have a wide variety of scents ranging from non-existent to, “Oh My God.”
The main point is that the scent is the result of using the ingredients to meet the needs of the condition be it love, revenge, peace, protection or whatever; and it is not always going to be sweet or pretty. Do you want it to smell good or do you want it to work? Life isn’t always sweet or pretty and this ain’t aromatherapy!
I am Hexeba Theaux. My family has been in Louisiana since the 1700s and most of them still live there. Good Cajun folk. Heck, if you throw a rock in St. Martinville, Louisiana you'll probably hit one of my cousins. I have practiced Southern Folk Magic since I was a child. These are my thoughts on what is called Hoodoo or Conjure. I own and operate CajunConjure.com.