Manufacturers & Exporters of Indian Attars, Islamic Attar Perfume Oils & Pure Fragrance Oils in Bombay ( Mumbai ) India.
Habib International : Attar & Perfumes in India  

Special Occasion Attars in India.


Indian Attars & Perfumes

Traditional Attars

The traditional attars of India are rarely found in their pure form today. They are often adulterated with synthetic chemicals or the base oil, sandalwood, is stretched with liquid paraffin and other substances. In the traditional process various flowers, roots, herbs, spices, etc are hydrodistilled in copper vessels into a receiving vessel containing sandalwood oil.

It means that a certain proportion of flowers or other aromatic plants is put into a copper vessel containing water, sealed and the aromatic vapors produced from a wood or cow dung fire, rises through bamboo pipes and passes into another copper vessel containing sandalwood oil, sitting below the larger distilling one. There the vapors condense and after the days distillation the water and oil separate, allowing most of the aromatic molecules to become adsorbed into the sandalwood oil.

The water is decanted off and added back to the distilling vessel for the next days distillation. The process, in the case of single flowers like rose, jasmin, kewda, night queen, kadam, heena, etc is repeated for a minimum of 15 days until the sandalwood becomes totally saturated with the perfume of that particular flower. The process for making Hina, Shamama, Amber, and Saffron Attar is much more sophisticated and requires numerous other steps as as many as 60 natural ingredients go into thier production which takes place over a couple of months.


ATTAR SANDAL


Santalum album is a parasitic, evergreen tree growing primarily in South Central India, in the dry forests of the Deccan plateau, which rolls through the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The finest wood and oil has traditionally come from Mysore,Karnataka the fabled City of Sandalwood ,and from Tamil Nadu. The tree is modestly sized, unobtrusive, like its scent, growing to a height of 60 feet and with a girth of 5 feet. Santalum album in India fruits twice a year- in April-May and October-November, All sandalwood trees in India belong to the government. If the tree sits on private land, the farmer is entitled to 75% of its value for growing and protecting it, once it is harvested. Agmark status: All genuine agricultural exports that meet certain governmental quality standards carry the Agmark stamp. With Sandalwood, this is supposed to indicate that it was not poached but legally harvested and exported. Sandalwood is a precious oil on a par with jasmine and rose.Chemically, sandalwood looks like this: -santalol min. 50%, -santalol min. 19-30%, and santalenes appx 2-10%.
There may also be trace amounts of carboxylic acid, borneol, santalone, furfurol and tersantalal, among others. Many of the constituents of sandalwood are just now being identified.Sandalwood is steam or water distilled from the heartwood and roots with a mature tree yielding about 60 kilos of oil. Aromatherapy accounts for only a tiny percentage of world sandalwood use, with the bulk going into the perfume and toiletries industry.

Another interesting use is in attar making. Sandalwood is an excellent fixative, and has a long tradition of being the cradle for certain delicate scents which cannot stand on their own, usually due to extreme rarity and fragility. This translates into costliness. Traditionally, attars are made using a deg, one of the predecessors of the modern still. A deg is an ancient but still used distillation unit which delivers a superior oil in subtlety, complexity, and richness, as the distillation takes place at a very low temperature and for a long period of time. A deg distillation of sandalwood can take 15 days. To make an attar, flowers, earth or a combination of spices are placed in the main tub, and the receiver is filled with sandalwood oil, preferably itself deg distilled. The main tub is slowly heated and the aromatic molecules are gently coaxed over to, received, and held fast in the sandalwood bed. One of the most common attars is rose (Gulab.) Attar of Roses has been prized for thousands of years as the ultimately luxurious and sensual perfume. Another beautiful attar is that of Jasmine sambac (Mogra or Motia,) which is a jasmine slowly distilled (by deg,) into sandalwood oil. As a side note, this is also done occasionally without the sandalwood, making it not an attar but a Ruh, (i.e. a distilledjasmine oil,) and this is very rare and extremely expensive. Also, there is not much stability with this oil and the notes may change rapidly from rich floral to very green. Some other floral attars are Sona Champa (Michaela champaca,), Bakul (Mimopsus elengi,) Marigold (Tagetes minuta,) Kewda or Kadi (Pandanus odoratissimus,) Henna (Lawsonia inermis) and Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera varieties.) Examples of attars made from blends of herbs, flowers, woods, and spices are Shamama and Amberi and Al Habib which are deep, rich, musky, exotic, oriental, sensual, and amber-like, of varying sweetness. Another interesting and exciting attar is Mitti, made from the earth of Central India near the Perfumer's city of Kanauuj. Mitti is supposed to evoke the first rains of the new monsoon and the rebirth of all life, as the year's cycle continues. Within the gentle yet powerful cradle of sandalwood, the rich and hopeful earth notes slowly and subtly unfold in faithful reproduction of the season's first raindrops hitting the parched earth of Central India.


ATTAR KEWRA
Co-distillation of Sandalwood with Pandanus

This is one of the rarest flower attar absolutes of India. . A scent so appealing its addictive!!!

We have a manufacturing unit in Chatarpur,Orissa. The soil and climate of Orissa is highly suited for the harvest and distillation of Kewra. A simple distilling unit extracts the delicate essence of the flower. A large copper cauldron or 'deg' is filled with water and the fresh flowers placed inside. A ribbon of clay perhaps 3" thick is placed around the rim of the cauldron and a lid placed on top of that. A special piece of metal, curved at both ends, and called a 'kamani' spring is then slid under the lib of the cauldron and over the lid. A wedge of wood is then driven between the spring and the lid forcing it down onto the clay ribbon and creating a tight seal between it and the cauldron. Separately a long necked receiver called a 'Bhapka" is filled with 5 kilos of pure sandalwood oil. Into its mouth a cotton wrapped bamboo pipe is inserted. The
other end of the bamboo pipe is inserted into the cauldron's lid and a tight seal is formed there using cotton and clay. As the pipe is affixed to the lid, the receiver is placed in a water bath formed from an old steel drum.


With all parts now in place the fire is ignited beneath the copper receiver and the distillation process commences. Great care is exercised in maintaining the proper heat so that the floral material suspended in water does not burn and also the proper pressure can be maintained. No mechanical gauges are afixed to the lid which means the pressure is regulated through long experience of controlling the heat of the fire. As the proper pressure is reached the flowers begin to release their volatile aromatic chemicals and pass along with the steam into the receiver. On the receiver side an assistant constantly monitors the heat of that vessel by feeling its exterior temperature with his hand. As it gets warm he changes the water in the water bath as it is critical that it should stay cool so that condensation occurs. After 4 hours the condensed material and sandalwood have filled the receiver and so a new one is affixed and the process continues for another 4 hours. At the end of that time the process is stopped for the day and the two receivers are allowed to cool overnight before the oil and water are separated. Once this occurs the water that is siphoned off is added to the cauldron for the distillation to take place that day as it contains so valuable water soluble aromatic molecules. This process is repeated for 15 days or until the oil has become saturated with the champa fragrance in the proper proportion. In a high quality attar the actual percentage of kewra essence absorbed in the sandalwood oil will be about 3%.



ATTAR GULAB
Co-distillation of Sandalwood with Rose

The most expensive attar is Rooh gulab said to have been discovered by Noorjehan, wife of Emperor Jehangir of the Mughal era. The story goes that she went for a morning bath and was delighted with the fragrance of the oily layer on the water which had been left overnight to keep it cool. When distilled, it turned out to be her favourite rose perfume. Old texts mention that the floral group primarily used for attar manufacture was rose, bela, jasmine, champa, molesari and tuberose along with roots like vetiver and ginger. Sandal, cinnamon and aloe bark were also used. Heavy odours like musk, myrrh and ambergris, were also used with khus. Sandalwood oil forms the base as, during distillation, the original smell of sandalwood vanishes and the oil captures the fragrance of the flower. We have a manufacturing unit in Barwana, in the heart of India's Rose district esp to extract this exquisite fragrance.



ATTAR CHAMPA
Co-distillation of Sandalwood with Champaca

Champa Attar Production We have a manufacturing unit in Chatarpur,Orissa. The soil and climate of Orissa is highly suited for the harvest and distillation of Champa. Growing under natural conditions, the trees reach an enormous size. The flowers
are plucked from the trees. . A simple distilling unit extracts the delicate essence of the flower. A large copper cauldron or 'deg' is filled with water and the fresh flowers placed inside. A ribbon of clay perhaps 3" thick is placed around the rim of the cauldron and a lid placed on top of that. A special piece of metal, curved at both ends, and called a 'kamani' spring is then slid under the lib of the cauldron and over the lid. A wedge of wood is then driven between the spring and the lid forcing it down onto the clay ribbon and creating a tight seal between it and the cauldron. Separately a long necked receiver called a 'Bhapka" is filled with 4 kilos of pure sandalwood oil. Into its mouth a cotton wrapped bamboo pipe is inserted. The other end of the bamboo pipe is inserted into the cauldron's lid and a tight seal is formed there using
cotton and clay. As the pipe is affixed to the lid, the receiver is placed in a water bath formed from an old steel drum.


With all parts now in place the fire is ignited beneath the copper receiver and the distillation process commences. Great care is exercised in maintaining the proper heat so that the floral material suspended in water does not burn and also the
proper pressure can be maintained. No mechanical gauges are afixed to the lid which means the pressure is regulated through long experience of controlling the heat of the fire. As the proper pressure is reached the flowers begin to release their
volatile aromatic chemicals and pass along with the steam into the receiver. On the receiver side an assistant constantly monitors the heat of that vessel by feeling its exterior temperature with his hand. As it gets warm he changes the water in
the water bath as it is critical that it should stay cool so that condensation occurs. After 4 hours the condensed material and sandalwood have filled the receiver and so a new one is affixed and the process continues for another 4 hours. At the end
of that time the process is stopped for the day and the two receivers are allowed to cool overnight before the oil and water are separated. Once this occurs the water that is siphoned off is added to the cauldron for the distillation to take place
that day as it contains so valuable water soluble aromatic molecules. This process is repeated for 15 days or until the oil has become saturated with the champa fragrance in the proper proportion. In a high quality attar the actual percentage of
champa essence absorbed in the sandalwood oil will be about 5%.

ATTAR MOTIA
Co-distillation of Sandalwood with Jasmin sambac

ATTAR SHAMAMA
Co-distillation of Sandalwood with Saffron, Agarwood and at least 10 other herbs, spices

 

 

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Habib International : Manufacturers & Exporters of Indian Attars, Islamic Attar Perfume Oils & Pure Fragrance Oils in Bombay ( Mumbai ) India.