Attars are like flowers - as old as the ages but as fresh as tomorrow’s dew drops. The subtle blending of the various aromas is very likely the creation of melody. Distillation process is carried out in the flowering season only and produces enough stock to last the entire year. For this, fresh flowers have to be plucked at dawn and used before sunrise as fragrances begin to diminish after sunrise. They are put into a metal container along with water. A lid is sealed onto this vessel, which is then heated from the bottom. The vapours pass though a condensing tube, and get collected in another vessel submerged in water. This oil is called ‘attar’. Oils obtained like this are generally distilled into a wood base such as sandalwood and then aged. Ageing period varies from one to ten years, depending on the result desired. Attars can be left pure (natural attars) or blended with other aromatic chemical compounds (synthetic attars). Natural ones are obviously more expensive. Attar’s floral group is primarily of Rose, Jasmine, Champa, Molsari, Harshingar and Tuberose. Among the woods and barks used are Sandal, Cinnamon and Aloewood. Roots of Vetivar and Ginger along with heavy odors of vegetable Musk, Patchouli, Amber, spices and herbs are of great value.
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