A Brief History About the Origin of Attar:
Attar or Itrr has it’s etymology in Arabic term literally meaning ‘scent’. There are many stories about the origin of attar and it dates back to as far as 5000 years old Indus Valley Civilization. Archaeological excavations finds of Indus Valley Civilization reveal certain round copper stills. Detailed study by archaeologists document that these stills were used to make attar. These stills called Deg were carried around by attar makers to collect different flowers in full bloom. The petals of these flowers like Rose and Jasmine were used to prepare attar. Mughal Emperor Jahangir was one of the first patrons of attar who promoted the production on an industrial scale. Emperor Jahangir’s beloved wife Nur Jahan was very fond of attar and she used Rose Attar primarily while taking a bath. Attar distillation in India first took place in the sacred city of Kannauj. A legend goes by that ascetics or sadhus, who landed in Kannauj used to procure certain scented herbs which they used to light bonfires. The shepherds while grazing their cattle found that the smell lingered on even after the sadhus left the place. This led to the search of the herbs and finally attars began to be produced in India itself.
How is Attar Extracted?
The method believed to be followed during the Indus Valley Civilization to prepare attar was quite simple. Degs were used to hold the towater in which the petals of sweet smelling flowers were added. As the time passed by. the petals infused their scent into the water and itself dried up. The petals were removed from the concoction and what was left was the fragrant Qatar.
Evolution in technology has made little effect on the procedure of extraction of attar. The traditional method called the ‘Deg and Bhapka’ is still the most preferred method because it helps the attar in retaining its medicinal qualities. ‘Deg’ is the copper still and ‘Bhapka’ means steam. In a way it is the predecessor of steam distillation method being followed today. In this method:
• The flowers are plucked in early morning before the sunrise by experienced farmers or collectors and they take them to the distillery nearby.
• At the distillery, flower petals are separated from the bud.
• The petals and water are poured into copper pots called Degs.
• The copper pot or Deg are then sealed using a mixture of clay and cotton.
• The Deg is connected by a bamboo pipe (referred as Chonga) to a copper receiver (Bhapka) and a water tank.
• Once done, a fire is lit and the pot heated.
• After few hours the first distillate is condensed and the liquid is connected.
• The liquid is transferred to an empty copper pot and distilled again.
• In the 2nd distillation the true attar is extracted.
Some Medicinal Benefits of Attar:
Attar when extracted through the process of Deg and Bhapka or Cold Press method, are said to be in the purest form. According to Ancient Ayurveda, attar is said to contain amazing healing properties. Some of these are:
• Relief from headache and muscle tension.
• Relief from stomach related problems.
• Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties.
• Immunity Enhancer.
• Relief from Insomnia.
• Instantly Uplifts Mood.
• Can be useful in motion sickness.
Some Fun Facts about Attar:
• Attars have a distinct and strong fragrance which lingers on for a while.
• Unlike generic perfumes which come in a spray form, attar is an oil based fragrance which can be directly applied on the skin.
• Generic perfumes mostly contain alcohol in them while attar is absolutely natural and safe for skin.
• Pure attar is like wine. The longer it stays, the better it gets.
• Attar doesn’t expire.
• In Islamic culture, people use attar or musk as it is an integral part of their daily lives. It is a way of connecting with Allah, they believe. Thus, attar symbolises purity itself.
• To have the best experience of the fragrance of attar, it should be applied to the inner side of both the wrists and behind each earlobe.
• These are the pressure points which will allow the fragrance to linger a bit longer than usual.
• There are strict mandates of wearing attar which should be followed by people of Islamic culture.
• There are different attars for different seasons and moods.
You can buy natural attar online from Sugmy, as we produce 100% natural attar by extraction through the ‘Deg and Bhapka Method’, conserving the tradition and purity itself. The process is carried out at our manufacturing plant based in Kannauj, India.
Only 100% pure and organic raw materials are used to extract natural attar at Sugmy. The reason why we are able to maintain our standard of quality is because we get our raw materials directly from the farmers, cutting the costs incurred by middlemen. That is how we make sure that our end products are absolutely pure, keeping in mind the well being of our farmer friends.
Apart form our star product i.e attar, we also deal in 100% natural essential oils and natural perfumes. Continue shopping to experience the best of results with Sugmy.
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