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FAQs: Aura Accord Oils by Anna Riva

Michelle Gruben folk magic materials oils

Aura Accord Oils trio

Virtually unchanged for decades, Anna Riva oils are a staple of magickal shops. They are used especially in the branches of art lumped under the term “folk magick”: Conjure, Hoodoo, rootwork, and Santeria. Typically, they're used to "dress" candles, talismans, and mojo bags for a particular magickal purpose. Some people also apply them directly to the body.

Are you interested in learning more about this ever-popular, ever-controversial product line?

Who is Anna Riva?

Anna Riva was the pen name of Dorothy Spencer (1922-2003), an American occult author. Her numerous pamphlets and books covered topics as diverse as herbalism, talismans, candle magick, crystal gazing, and séances. Her influences were equally varied—her published spells were influenced by Haitian Voodoo, African-American folk magick, Biblical psalms, and the European grimoire tradition.

Spencer’s company, International Products, manufactured a line of oils, incenses, and ritual powders. They were distributed in occult stores and through a mail order catalog. (Of course, many of the Anna Riva spellbooks call for these ingredients.) She focused on practical, easy-to-work spells centered around the use of magickal oils. “Anna Riva” became an almost mythical figure in the world of American folk magick. Anyone who has spent any time around rootworkers or botanicas has certainly seen the rows of gold-foil bottles on display.

Spencer herself lived a very private life, finally retiring from the business in the late 1990s. She sold her company to Indio Products, another California-based manufacturer of spiritual supplies. She died from Alzheimer’s in 2003.

What varieties are available?

The Anna Riva brand spawned a bewildering array of oils. Hundreds! See the bottom of this article for a complete (?) list.

There is the usual assortment of single-fragrance oils—that is, herbs, resins, and botanicals (“Lemongrass,” “Ginger,” “Myrrh”). There are oils for the planets and the zodiac signs. Some oils are formulated for a specific purpose—the label pretty much tells you what to do with it (“Smudge Blend,” “Anointing,” “Meditation”).

There are oils for major Gods, saints and spirits in the folk magick firmament (“Isis,” “San Cipriano”). There are quite a lot of Hoodoo “condition oils” with colorful names (“Boss Fix,” “Follow Me Boy”). Some of the oil names seem redundant (“Stay Away”/”Keep Away” or “Fast Luck”/”Luck in a Hurry”). Some are nearly incomprehensible (“Mexican Luck,” “Squint,” “Tiger”). No matter how strange the name or obscure the formula, you can bet that somewhere there is a magick worker who wouldn't be caught without it.

Are Aura Accord oils the same as Anna Riva’s?

Sometimes, people ask if Aura Accord oils are the same as Anna Riva. The answer is “yes.” The product is the same, only the packaging is different.

As any Anna Riva devotee will attest, many oils are hard to find and will go out of stock for long periods of time. The current owners are not great about keeping the stock list up-to-date, especially for small quantities. It’s very annoying when your favorite oil is between production runs, or only available in the giant 16 oz size.

Anna Riva oils were a mainstay in occult stores throughout the 1970s and 80s—but shop owners were often at the mercy of the products’ limited availability. Not to be so constrained, mail-order giant AzureGreen began bottling the oils under their private label, “Aura Accord by Anna Riva.” Basically, they obtain the oils from the manufacturer and bottle them in smaller quantities, including the popular 2 dram and 1 oz sizes.

What are Anna Riva oils made from?

That’s really a mystery! Dorothy Spencer (a.k.a. Anna Riva) never published the ingredients lists for her oils, incenses, and powders. When she sold the company, the formulas went to the new owners. To this day, the recipes remain proprietary.

Anna Riva scented oils last for years in the bottle, retaining their fragrance and never going rancid. Based on this info, it’s safe to assume they use a mineral oil base. Many of the oils are artificially colored. They obviously include synthetic fragrances, although some blends may also include essential oils. It’s unclear how much the formulas have changed over time. Some people say that the oils used to include more natural botanicals in Spencer’s time, while others attest that the products have remained extremely consistent through the decades.

Are they “real” magickal oils?

Anna Riva oils are a “love it or hate it” product. Everything about them inspires strong opinions—from the perfume-y aromas to the retro labels to the slightly off-color names of the formulas. They get a lot of bad press for containing synthetic ingredients. Especially now, at the height of the essential oil craze, there seems to be a perception that only plant-derived ingredients belong in magickal oils.

And yet, many people absolutely swear by them. Lots of professional spellworkers learned their craft with Anna Riva's oils, and many still use them. There's absolutely no point in telling these people their magick is void because, say, their Strawberry oil doesn't contain any real strawberries.

One of the reasons Anna Riva's oils are still available after almost 50 years is because of the brand loyalty they have inspired. Just a whiff of their odd, chemically perfume is enough to inspire a mystical mood in some people. For every negative review found online, there is a testimonial from someone who won’t budge from their favorite old formula.

Personally, I’m a magickal pragmatist. There’s no arguing with results. If it works, it works. I also believe that it’s possible for symbols and ingredients to acquire specific vibrations through years of focused use. Of course, there’s a time and place for all-natural oils too—it just depends on the working, and what gets your juices flowing. Sometimes you want an organic home-cooked meal, and sometimes a drive-thru cheeseburger hits the spot. You can also “boost” manufactured oils by adding your own ingredients—a bit of root, herb, or essential oil—to the mix.

Shop our store for Aura Accord products. Browse the archive. Or, check out the massive list of Anna Riva oils below.

Complete(ish) Current List of Anna Riva Oils

Abra Melin

Absinthe

Acacia

Adam and Eve

Algiers

All Purpose

Allspice

Almond

Altar

Amber

Ambergris

Ancient Wisdom

Anointing

Angel

Anger

Anise

Aphrodisia

Apple Blossom

Arabian Nights

Aries

Aquarius

Astral Travel

As You Please

Attraction

Aura

Autumn Leaves

Banana

Banishing

Basil

Bat’s Blood

Bayberry

Bend Over

Beneficial

Benzoin

Bergamot

Better Business

Bewitching

Big Money

Bingo

Black Arts

Black Cat

Black Devil

Black Panther

Blessing

Blue Sonata

Boss Fix

Bottom #20

Bouquet Oriental

Breaking Up

Buddha

Bull’s

Business

Caliph’s Beloved

Camphor

Cancer

Candle

Can’t Stay Away

Capricorn

Carnation

Casino

Cast Off Evil

Cedar

Cedar of Lebanon

Cherry

Cherry Blossom

Chinese Luck

Chocolate

Chypre

Cinnamon

Citronella

Civit

Cleo May

Cleopatra

Cloves

Clover

Coconut

Come to Me

Commanding

Compelling

Concentration

Confusion

Conjure

Conquering Glory

Controlling

Counteracting

Courage

Court

Crab Apple

Cranberry

Crossing

Crown of Success

Cypress

Damballah

Damnation

Desire Me

Devil’s

Devil’s Master

Devil’s Shoestring

Devil Trap

Dionysus

Dixie Love

Do As I Say

Domination

Double Action

Double Cross

Dove’s Blood

Dragon’s Blood

Draw Back

Drawing

Dream

Drive Away

Durga

Earth

Easy Life 

Easy Time

Egyptian Glory

Elder Gods

Enchantment

Eucalyptus

Eve

Evil Eye

Exodus

Exorcism

Fantasy

Fast Luck

Fast Money

Fiery Command

Fiery Wall of Protection

Financial Luck

Fire of Love

Five Finger Grass

Flaming Power

Flying

Follow Me Boy

Forget Her

Forget Him

Forget Me Not

Frankincense

Frankincense and Myrrh

French Creole

French Love

Freya

Frangi Pani

Friendship

Fruit of Life

Ganesha

Gemini

Get Away

Galangal

Gambler’s

Gardenia

Geranium

Ginger

Ginseng

Glow of Attraction

Go Away

Goddess

Gold and Silver

Good Luck

Good Time

Grape

Gris Gris

Guardian Angel

H & H

Haitian Love Drops

Happiness

Has No Hanna

Healing

Health Drawing

Heart’s Desire

Heather

Hebrew

Heliotrope

Hemlock

Helping Hand

Hex Breaking

Hexing

Hibiscus

High Altar

High Conquering

High John

Hold My Man

Holy

Holy Trinity

Honey

Honeysuckle

Horn of Plenty

Hot Foot

House Blessing

Hummingbird

Hyacinth

Hyssop

Impossible Objective

Indian Guide

Inflame Confusion

Influence

Invisible

Irresistible

Isis

Jasmine

Jerusalem

Jezebel

Jinx

Jinx Killer

Jink Removing

Job

Jockey Club

John the Conqueror

Joy

Judge Be For Me

Jupiter

Just Judge

Keep Away Evil

Keep Away Trouble

King Solomon

Knowledge

Kyphi

Lady Luck

La Flamme

Lavender

Law Stay Away

Lemon

Lemongrass

Leo

Libra

Lilac

Lily of the Valley

Lime

Lottery

Lotus

Love Breaker

Love Drawing

Love Drops

Love Me

Lovers

Lucifer

Luck in a Hurry

Lucky Business

Lucky Dog

Lucky Hand

Lucky Lodestone

Lucky Nine

Lucky Number

Lucky Play

Lucky Seven

Lucky Thirteen

Luv Luv Luv

Lyang Lyang

Mad

Magic

Magnet

Magnolia

Mandrake

Man Trap

Marriage

Mars

Master

Master Key

Meditation

Memory Drops

Mercury

Mexican Luck

Midnight

Millionaire

Mimosa

Mind Bender

Mint

Miracle

Mistletoe

Mojo Wishing

Money Drawing

Money Mist

Moon

Moving

Mummy

Musk

Myrrh

My Desire

Mystic Rites

Narcissus

Nature

Neptune

New Money Drops

New Orleans

Nine Mystery

Nutmeg

Olibanum

Orange

Orange Blossom

Orchid

Oriental

Papaya

Passion

Passion Flower

Patchouli

Peace

Peaceful Home

Pennyroyal

Peony

Peppermint

Pikaki

Pine

Pineapple

Pisces

Plumeria

Pluto

Poppy

Potpourri

Power

Prayer

Primrose

Promotion

Prosperity

Protect from Harm

Psychic

Q

Queen of Sheba

Queen of Tibet

Quick Money

Radiant Health

Red Fast Luck

Red Rose

Redwood

Return to Me

Revenge

Reverse Evil

Reversible

Road Opener

Rose

Rose Geranium

Rose of Crucifixion

Rosemary

Rue

Run Devil Run

Saffron Oil

Sage

Sagittarius

San Cipriano

San Jacobs

Sandalwood

Sassafras

Satan Be Gone

Saturn

Scorpio

Secret of Venus

Sensuality

Separating

Separation

Sesame

Seven Africans

Seven Day Uncross

Seven Eleven

Seven Holy Spirits

Seven Powers

Seventh Heaven

Shifting Sands

Shi Shi

Showers of Gold

Siete Machos

Smudge Blend

Snake

Song of Solomon

Spanish Moss

Spearmint

Special #20

Special Favor

Spellbound

Spell Breaking

Spikenard

Spirit

Spirit Guide

Spiritual Fast Luck

Spiritual Power

Spring Flowers

Squint

St. Anthony

St. Barbara

St. Expeditus

St. Ignatius

St. Joseph

St. Jude

St. Martha

St. Michael

St. Peter

Stay at Home

Stay Away

Steady Work

Strawberry

Success

Sun

Sure to Win

Sweet Grass

Sweet Pea

Tame

Tangerine

Taurus

Teasing Lover

Temple

Ten Commandments

Three Jacks

Three Kings

Tiger

Tobacco

Tranquility

Triple Action

Triple Cross

Tuberose

Tulip

Turn Back

Tutti Fruitti

Uncrossing

Unhexing

Uranus

Vanilla

Van Van

Venus

Verbena

Vetivert

Victory Over Evil

Violet

Virgo

Vision

Voodoo

Wall Breaker

War

Wealthy Way

Weed of Misfortune

White Rose

Will Power

Winner’s Circle

Winning Number

Wintergreen

Wishing

Wisteria

Witch Love

Witch’s

Wolf’s Eye

Wormwood

XX Double Cross

Ylang Ylang

Zodiac

Zula Zula

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