What is Attar? What Are Its Uses?
In the world of perfumery, attar holds a significant place!
Attar is an Arabic word that means scent.
Also known as Ittar, attar is a natural perfume oil that is derived from plant sources like herbs, blooming flowers, spices, barks, and other such organic sources. Oils can also be extracted from chemical means; however, only perfumes that are distilled naturally qualify to be an attar. Once these natural oils are obtained, they are processed into the wood base like sandalwood and then aged to make a beautiful scent. The ageing period can vary from one to ten years, depending on the botanical through which the oil is derived. It also varies on the kind of results desired.
There is no expiry date to pure attars, and with time many of them smell even better.
Attars are considered luxurious and were offered to gods in ancient times, and it is also a tradition to give them to the guests on their departure as nobility. Oudh attar, being the noblest of all, is well-known as a premium gifting option. It has been used in the eastern part of the globe for thousands of years.
As these naturally-extracted perfumes are of high concentration, they are usually sold in small quantities in some small crystal bottles. These beautiful small bottles make the attire more pleasing. Also, natural perfume is costly, so to make attar affordable, they are offered in small quantities. Only a little amount of attar is enough for use because of its high concentration, and thus, a bottle can last for a long time.
What are its uses?
In ancient times, attar was used only by the elite, particularly by kings and queens. Also, it was and still is used in religious places. There are numerous uses of attar:
- As there is no alcohol content in attar, it is used as a personal perfume, particularly by Muslim community.
- Attar is found useful in the pharmaceutical industry. It is known to strengthen the nervous system, relieve depression, stress, and food cravings.
- The perfumes of rose and kewra are added in some sweet delicacies in countries like Pakistan, India, and Bengal.
- The industry of pan masala and gutkha in India, Pakistan, and Bengal is the major consumer of attar. It is used because of its high persistence characteristics to cope up with a tobacco note. Attar such as rose, kewra, Shamama, Heena, Mitti, and Marigold are primarily used.
- As compared to the sweets industry, the consumption of attar in the tobacco industry is relatively lower. The industry generally uses perfumes of kewra and rose. Tobacco, pan masala, and gutkha altogether contribute to more than 75% of perfume consumption.
- The betel nut industry also contributes to perfume consumption. However, the contribution is smaller as compared to the other industries. The betel nuts industry mostly makes use of kewra and rose perfumes.
We hope this was a fun read. If you are also an attar lover, try some of the best attar options such as Sandalwood Ma’al Attar and Diamond Attar offered by Al Haramain! We stock premium attars and perfumes to meet your desired taste - shop now!