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attar ATTAR

GENERAL INFO : Attar (Arabic: عطر‎) also known as ittar is a natural perfume oil derived from botanical sources. Most commonly these oils are taken from the botanical material through hydro or steam distillation. Oils can also be expressed by chemical means but generally natural perfumes which qualify as Ittar/Attars are distilled naturally. The oils obtained from the herbs flowers and wood are generally distilled into a wood base such as sandalwood and then aged. The aging period can last from one to ten years depending on the botanicals used and the results desired.
These all-natural perfumes are highly concentrated and therefore are usually offered for sale in small quantities and have traditionally been offered in decorated crystal cut type bottles or small jeweled decanters. Ittars are popular throughout the Middle East and the Far East of India as well as Bangladesh and Pakistan. Ittars have been used in the entire Eastern world for thousands of years. These 100% pure and natural perfumes are free of alcohol and chemicals and so the problems faced in the West by perfume lovers are irrelevant to most Eastern perfume lovers. Natural perfumes are affordable because they are so concentrated that a small bottle will last the user several weeks, if not months.
Some of the first lovers of Ittars were the Mughal nobles of India. Jasmine ittar was the favorite perfume of the Nizams of the Hyderabad state. Traditionally in the Eastern world it was a customary practice of nobility to offer ittar to their guests at the time of their departure. The ittars are traditionally given in ornate tiny crystal cut bottles called as itardans. This tradition of giving a scent to one's guests continues to this day in many parts of the Eastern world. Among Sufi worshipers the use of Ittars during meditation circles and dances is quite common.
Most ittars are alcohol-free and are used by many Muslim men and women. Ittar has long been considered one of the most treasured of material possessions and Prophet Muhammad has been compared to Ittar as one of the most beloved of gifts given to mankind.

TOP NOTES : How are Attars Made?
Attar-making is a labor-intensive process, requiring great talent, skill and patience. It can take over two weeks to make a small batch of a single attar. Anywhere from twenty-five to three-hundred and fifty pounds of flower petals are collected and placed inside a deg. From the deg, a long bamboo pipe leads downward to a copper recepticle that contains sandalwood oil. Water is added to the deg, and the lid is sealed down with a mixture of cotton and clay. The deg sits over a fire and contains no modern guages or thermostats. As the steam collects, it condenses and flows into the receiving vessel.
The fire must be constantly monitered to keep the correct temperature. Too much heat will burn the flowers. It will also create too much pressure which can explode the clay seal around the deg. The low heat and pressure preserves the fragile fragrance oils better than the hotter steam distillation method used to obtain essential oils.
The receiving vessel sits in a pool of water and is continually rotated by hand to blend the oils and keep them from overheating. Throughout the day, the master distiller monitors the deg and receiving vessel by feeling them with his hands and listening to the sounds from inside. When necessary, wet towels are rubbed over the vessels to cool them down.
At the end of the day, the distillation is stopped. Overnight, as the oil cools down, the water separates from it. In the morning, the water is poured off from the oil and put back into the still. Freshly picked flowers are added, and the process begins anew. This process will be repeated for fifteen to twenty days, until the sandalwood oil is completely saturated with the fragrant oil of the flowers.
Instructions 1. * 1
Add the sandalwood oleoresin and coconut carrier oil to the one gallon jar. Sandalwood oleoresin is a natural botanical oil that is concentrated. Sandalwood is also a common base fragrance in attar perfumes due to its ability to carry delicate scents that are added to it. Like the other ingredients needed in this formula, it can be purchased from a craft and hobby supply store. * 2
Add the polysorbate 20 to the jar. Polysorbate 20 is an emulsifier that blends oil and water. * 3
Add the floral hydrosol, or water, to the jar. Floral hydrosols are the distillations of natural flower materials. Such scents include rose, lavender, chamomile, geranium and many others. Choose a hydrosol depending on the scent you find most appealing. * 4
Stuff the flower petals into the muslin pouch and tie it shut. Stuff as many as you can into the sack, up to two cups, compressing them as needed. Use the petals of roses, lavender, lilac or other highly aromatic flowers. You may also use the leaves of lavender and some botanical materials; however, the oils from the flowers are less concentrated and may be safer for direct to skin use than the leaves. The choice is yours and depends entirely on what scents you like. * 5
Drop the sack into the one gallon jar and secure the lid. Let the jar sit for two weeks, undisturbed, in a dark and dry area. * 6
Squeeze the muslin sack containing the oil-soaked flower petals into the jar every two days for an additional week. This expels the natural botanical essences from the petals. * 7
Stir in 1 oz. of sodium lactate. Sodium lactate is a preservative that keeps bacteria from forming in your attar perfume. This can be obtained from a craft or hobby supply shop or online vendor. * 8
Dump the remaining liquid in the jar, after the three weeks have passed, into the glass decanter. Make sure to squeeze the muslin pouch another couple of times to further take advantage of the flower essences. Place the stopper into the opening of the decanter to create both a decorative accent and seal the highly aromatic attar perfume.
Tips & Warnings * Remove the stopper from the bottle and dab the wet end onto your pulse points.

The word 'attar', 'ittar' or 'othr' is basically an Arabic word which means 'scent'; this in turn is believed to have been derived from the Persian word Atr, meaning 'fragrance'.
The story of Indian perfumes is as old as the civilization itself. Archaeological evidence shows the earliest inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent held plants in great reverence. With the passage of time, scented oils were extracted by pressing, pulverizing or distilling aromatic vegetable and animal produce. Early indications of this activity are available from the perfume jars and terracotta containers of the Indus Valley civilization, where archeological work has revealed round copper stills, used for the distillation process that are at least five-thousand years old (reference req.). These stills are called degs. Following the seasons of the flowers, traditional ittar-makers, with their degs, traveled all over India to make their fresh ittars on-the-spot. Even now, a few traditional ittar-makers still travel with their degs to be close to the harvest. Their equipment has changed little, if at all.
A large number of references to cosmetics and perfumes in Sanskrit literature were found like in the Brhatsamhita is a 6th-century Sanskrit encyclopedia by Varahamihira (505 AD – 587 AD). Cosmetics and perfumes making were mainly practiced for the purpose of worship, sale and sensual enjoyment. Gandhayukti gave recipes for making scents. It gives a list of eight aromatic ingredients used for making scents. They were: Rodhara, Usira, Bignonia, Aguru, Musta, Vana, Priyangu, and Pathya. The Gandhayukti also gave recipes for mouth perfumes, bath powders, incense and talcum powder. The manufacture of rose water began perhaps in the nineteenth century AD. The earliest distillation of ittar was mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita. The Harshacharita, written in 7th century AD in northern India, mentions use of fragrant agarwood oil.
In ancient India, ittar was prepared by placing precious flowers and sacred plants into a water or vegetable oil. Slowly the plants and flowers would infuse the water/oil with their delicate fragrance. The plant and flower material would then be removed and a symphony of their aromatic beauty would be held in the ittar. These ittars were then worn as a sacred perfume or to anoint.
Ittar figures into some of the romantic stories of a bygone era. Its patrons included great poets like the legendary Mirza Ghalib. When Ghalib met his beloved in the winter, he rubbed his hands and face with ittar hina.
In Ain-e-Akbari, Abul Fazal, has mentioned that Akbar used ittar daily and burnt incense sticks in gold and silver censers. A princess's bath was incomplete without incense and ittar. A very popular ittar with the Mughal princes was ood, prepared in Assam.
Situated on the banks of the sacred River Ganges, 80 km from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, is the now almost forgotten ancient city of Kannauj, once the capital of the famed Emperor Harshavardhana. Today it prides itself as the 'Attar City' or the perfume city of India. Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh India is a major producing city of ittar. Here, there is a legend on how the first ittars were made in the area. The forest dwelling Faqirs and Sadhus (ascetics) used certain perfumed jungle herbs and roots in their bonfires during the winters. The shepherds who grazed their sheep in that region found the perfume lingering in the burnt wood long after the ascetics left the place. Word spread about this and some enterprising people searched and found the fragrant herbs and roots. Then the experiments on ittar began and the first ittars to be made were Rose and Hina. No | Name | Scientific Name | Part Distilled | 1, | Rose ittar | Rosa damascena | Flower | 2, | Motia/Jasmin ittar | Jasmine sambac | Flower | 3, | Mitti ittar | Baked earth | Earth from river | 4, | Kewda ittar | Pandanus odoritissimus | Flower | 5, | Saffron ittar | Crocus sativa | Stigma | 6, | Agarwood/Oud ittar | Aquilaria agallocha | Various parts | 7, | Gul Hina ittar | Lawsonia alba | Flower | 8, | Genda/Merigold ittar | Tagetes minuta | Flower | 9, | Champa ittar | Michelia champaca | Flower | 10, | Bakul ittar | Mimusops elengi | Flower | 11, | Blue Lotus ittar | Nymphaea caerulea | Flower | 12, | Pink Lotus ittar | Nelumbo nucifera | Flower | 13, | White Lotus ittar | Nelumbo nucifera | Flower | 14, | Tuberose/Rajniganda ittar | Polianthes tuberosa | Flower | 15, | White Water Lily ittar | Nymphaea ampla | Flower | 16, | Zafari ittar | Tagetes sp | Flower | 17, | Shamana ittar | compound of fragrant spices, herbs, woods | Various parts | 18, | Amber ittar | Pinus Succinifera | ---- | 19, | Chameli ittar | Jasminum Grandiflorum | Flower | 20, | Gulmohar ittar | Painciana Regia | Flower | 21, | Juhi ittar | Jasmine Auriculatum | Flower | 22, | Islamic Bakhur ittar | Melaleuca Alternifolia | ---- | 23, | Frangipani ittar | Plumeria Ruera | ---- | 24, | Khus ittar | Vetiveria Zizanoides | Roots | 25, | Mogra ittar | Abelmoschus Moschus | Flower | 26, | Loban ittar | Styrax Benzoin | Various parts | 27, | Nakh Choya ittar | Citrus Bigardia | Flower | 28, | Davana ittar | Artemesia Pallens | Leaves |
Types of Ittars
Indian Ittars may be broadly categorized into following types of flavour or ingredients used.
Floral Ittars – Ittars manufactured from single species of flower are coming under this category. These are :- * Gulab : Rosa damascena or Rosa Edword * Kewra : Pandanus odoratissimus. * Motia : Jasminum sambac * Gulhina : lawsonia inermis * Chameli : Jasminum grandiflorum * Kadam : Anthoephalus cadamba
Herbal Ittars - Ittars manufactured from combination of floral, herbal & spices come under this category. Hina and its various forms viz., Shamama, Shamam –tul – Amber, Musk Amber and Musk Hina.
Ittars which are neither floral nor herbal also come under this category. Ittar Mitti falls under this category and is produced by distillation of baked earth over base material.
Ittars can also be classified based on their effect on human body such as
Warm Ittars' – Ittars such as Musk, Amber, Kesar (Saffron), Oud, are used in winters, they increase the body temperature.
Cool Ittars' – like Rose, Jasmine, Khus, Kewda, Mogra, are used in summers and are cooling for the body.
The Indian perfumes in the past was used by the elite, particularly kings and queens. Also it is used in Hindu temples. Today it is used in numerous ways:
1. Pan Masala and Gutka is the largest consumer of Indian perfumes. The reason for using it is its extraordinary tenacity along with characteristic to withstand with tobacco note. The perfumes used are Rose, Kewra, Mehndi, Hina, Shamama, Mitti, Marigold etc.
2. Tobacco is smaller segment for perfume consumption as compared to above industry. The perfumes used are mainly kewra & Rose. Along with Pan masala & Gutkha it contributes to more the 75% of perfume consumption.
3. Betel nut is smaller segment for perfume consumption as compared to above two industry. The perfumes used are mainly Kewra & Rose.
4. It is used by many people as a personal perfume, particularly by Muslims due to absence of alcohol.
5. Perfumes have the application in pharmaceutical industry.
6. Perfumes of Rose & Kewra are used in traditional Indian sweets, for imparting flavour.
Safety & Application of Attar
Alcohol (common solvent for most perfumes) causes the perfume to evaporate much faster sometimes up to as much as 10 - 15 times faster. This causes the first impression of the perfume to be overwhelming to human senses, but it soon evaporates and loses power. Given its natural derivation, Attar lasts a long time. Body heat only intensifies its smell.
A major difference between synthetic perfumes and attar is that the oil-based ittar is worn directly on your body. The inside of the wrist, behind the ears, the inside of elbow joints, back of the neck and a few other parts of your anatomy are directly dabbed with attar.
A small drop is enough to be used as a fragrance on the body. A few drops can be added to water and used with aromatic vapour lamps. A few drops of some attar are used with cold drinks, such as milk, to give fragrance.
Storage & Shelf life
Ittar has a permanent shelf life and some ittars become stronger and smell better when they are older and they become very aromatic.
Future of Ittars
Due to increasing cost of Indian Sandalwood and high cost of production of ittars has had an ill effect on existence of this industry. Competition comes in the form of chemical based perfume products, which are cheaper compared to natural ittars.
1. When I’m wearing this perfume it make me calm and it have many type.
2. Thus perfume is alcohol-free.
3. It was easy to find.
4. It make me easy to remember about education
5. It was sunnah


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