Perfumes

How Attar is made

Ittar, also known as attar, is an essential oil derived from botanical sources. Most commonly these oils are extracted via hydro or steam distillation. The Persian physician Ibn Sina, known as Avicenna in Europe, was first to derive the attar of flowers from distillation. Attar can also be expressed by chemical means but generally natural perfumes which qualify as ittars are distilled with water. The oils 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. Technically ittars are distillates of flowers, herbs, spices and other natural materials such as baked soil over sandalwood oil/liquid paraffins using hydrodistillation technique involving a still (deg) and receiving vessel (bhapka). These techniques are still in use today at Kannauj in India.

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