The New Orleans All-Purpose Conjure Oil
Van Van oil is one of the classic purpose-blended oils alternately known as Hoodoo, Conjure, Mojo, Dressing, Anointing, Conditioning or Magical oils. These oils have purported properties to bless your intention, most of them are extremely specific, such as Court Case Oil, But Van Van is different. It’s the multi-tool of oils, good for a variety of uses. Even the name of Van Van has a unique history, and no, there is neither Vanilla nor Chevy in Van Van…
The herb we call Vervain (Ver-VANE), is pronounced something like (vurh-VaHN) in French Creole, which then became Americanized to Van Van. Vervain is also known as Lemon Verbena. Although Vervain Essential Oil is sometimes listed as an ingredient, it is hard to come by and expensive, and Van Van is more often a blend of other oils, with Lemongrass listed as the main ingredient, and Vervain as a substitute or additional ingredient.
The signature scent of Van Van is clean and crisp, and comes from the variety of oriental grasses which make up the formula. Lemongrass is the central ingredient, a plant which brings great magical flexibility to the table. The other oriental grasses used to round out the Van Van formula have qualities similar to lemongrass, but broaden the scope in different directions, create depth to keep the formula grounded, and give the scent a deft touch. The result is a blend that is powerful without being overpowering, both energetically and to your senses, which is a tribute to how the formula was created.
Van Van oil originally appeared in New Orleans Louisiana, specifically in the West Bank district of Algiers, across the river from the French Quarter. It was so widely used in the last century, that it was said you couldn’t turn a corner in Algiers without smelling the scent of Van Van. A number of other oil recipes, such as the red Fast Luck oil come from Algiers, and for good reason.
Algiers – a Cultural Blend
Algiers is considered sacred by many Hoodoo rootworkers and New Orleans Voodoo practitioners. Thus, the recipes for oils and powders from the district are famous. Algiers is the second oldest area of New Orleans and became a place where various cultures and traditions mixed. [Read more…]