If you grew up in a Cuban family or are of Latino descent, chances are your head may have smelled of violets as a baby or even in your childhood years. Here’s the story behind the Cuban classic, “Agua de Violetas.”
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Posted by NBC Latino on Friday, April 14, 2017
Agua de Violetas is a way of life for most Cuban-Americans.
Of all things that are quintessentially Cuban, Agua de Violetas is probably the most Cuban of them all. The baby perfume that makes your cielito smell like a field of wild and fragrant violets has been used on pretty much every Cuban-American child at least once. But do you know the history of that perfume you still have in your home?
NBC Latino spoke with Augustín Reyes III and learned about the perfume’s history. This Augustín Reyes should not be confused for the original founder, Augustín Reyes, his grandfather. The original Augustín Reyes started the perfume line in Havana, Cuba in 1927, according to the interview by NBC Latino. Much like today, the perfume was a wild success and the family made a living off of selling the perfume, that it until Fidel Castro’s regime took hold of the island nation. By 1960, just one year after Castro seized power of the Cuban government, the Reyes family fled Cuba and settled in Miami, like most Cuban exiles. The Reyes family managed to smuggle out all the ingredients they needed to make the perfume. After settling in south Florida, the family business was up and running again. The main plant for the iconic perfume is still in Hialeah, Florida, a major Cuban exile enclave. The rest, as they say, is history. To this day, Agua de Violetas is still being used on Cuban babies, and adults, to add a crisp and fresh smell of violets to anyone who wishes.
Agua de Violetas is legit one of the greatest memories of any Cuban childhood.
Oh man: the smell of Agua de Violetas is like my childhood at abuela's house in a bottle https://t.co/cCQcBlaF96
— Keith Fernandez (@keifer24) April 15, 2017
*flashback to abuela combing my hair with Agua de Violetas and singing to me*
It was the one smell that connected all Cubans regardless of class, race, or socioeconomic status.
— Valerie (@ValoftheVilla) April 16, 2017
To this day, running out of Agua de Violetas is like losing a piece of yourself.
I ran out of my Agua de Violetas, I've worn it like everyday since birth lmao☹️
— chloe (@chloexoxxxx) April 12, 2017
Who knew that one little bottle could capture an entire culture so perfectly?
— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) January 18, 2017
So, all these years later…