In 1755, doctor Julian Botot invented the world’s first mouthwash for King Louis XV of France. The potent herbal rinse pleased the royal family so much that it would eventually receive an official endorsement, just days before the storming of the Bastille. The French Revolution made a casualty of the monarchy, but Dr. Botot’s concoction survived.
Still made in its original formula, Botot is an all-natural mouthwash containing natural extracts of anise, cinnamon, ginger and gillyflower (similar to cloves). The antibacterial elixir not only cleans and refreshes, but also produces a warm sensation thanks to the ginger, which increases circulation.
At the equivalent of 160 proof, the concentrated rinse is incredibly strong so keep away from children and an open flame. Unlike most factory mixed mouthwashes that taste like part mint and part battery acid, Botot contains no synthetic chemicals or coloring agents. Simply add a few drops to a small glass of water, adjusting the quantity to your preferred potency.
The Latin inscription on the bottle peculiarly reads cui fidas vide meaning watch whom you trust, but you can take our word for it that over all these years no one has yet to develop a better mouthwash than the original. Botot is available online at Kaufmann Mercantile for $16.90 a bottle, but since it’s concentrated it will last a long time.