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Kannauj Attar – Perfume Capital Of India

As India’s “Capital of Fragrance” or “Perfume,” Kannauj has widespread acclaim. Majority of people refer to it as the City of Attars. The most opulent of ittars were cultivated in this city, earning it a place in history. 

In this article, we are going to explore some interesting facts about the city of Attars. The top 5 attars that you should own are also suggested at the end of this post. So let’s start our journey without any further delay.

Kannauj Attar

Both floral and herb-based attar are traditionally produced in Kannauj. Rose, jasmine, marigold, and raat ki raani flowers are utilized, as well as plant extracts, grasses, roots, and resins like oud and vetiver. Herbs and spices like cinnamon, camphor, ginger, sandalwood, and saffron are also used. Animal and mineral items are also employed, in addition to flowers and plant goods, to extract smells like musk and opium.

However, the most intriguing feature is the age-old technique for literally capturing nature’s soul. The initial phase of the Deg Bhapka process involves suspending the material from which the smell is extracted over water in huge copper vats. By setting the vat over a fire made of wood or charcoal, the substance is steamed and distilled. The steam created in this way is transported through bamboo pipes that are attached to bhapkas, which are long, spherical copper pots.

History of Kannauj

The production of perfumes in the city has a lengthy history, with some experts putting its origins back thousands of years. Here in the city, attar art is well-known. Attars Perfumes are known to use essential oils, such as conventional sandalwood oil, but perfumes typically have an alcohol basis. Agarwood oil was utilized back then, according to a Harsha-Charit biography of Indian monarch Harsha from the 7th century.

Process of making Attar at Kannauj

The collection of flowers is the first step in the creation of perfume. After gathering the roses, the entire process is carried out. The techniques utilized in this procedure date back a thousand years, and Kannauj is the only city in India that continues to produce perfume using this approach. 

The exact amount of water is put into each container. As not everyone is capable of measuring the precise quantity of water required in this operation, the workers claim that this is the hardest aspect of their job. After being evenly distributed, the roses are poured into the water-filled containers.

The water and flower petals both boil until they begin to steam. The so-called Changa bamboo pipes join it to a smaller container. The “Bhapka,” a smaller container, contains sandalwood oil, which serves as the foundation for the “attar.” The workers continuously check the temperature of the containers as the water and flower petals are cooked for more than 6 hours.

What makes Kannauj Attar so special?

The thorough sourcing of natural and fragrant ingredients from different regions of the nation is what makes Kannauj Attar so unique. In the process of creating attar, these plant components are extracted through time-honored methods, yielding intensely potent smells that encapsulate the spirit of nature. The art of making attar combines tradition, the natural world, and creativity to create each scented drop, which is more than just a craft but also a reflection of cultural history.

A depth and richness that synthetic scents frequently lack are imparted to Kannauj Attar by the artists’ commitment to conserving the essence of nature as well as their deft hands and kind hearts. A very unique and revered art form in the world of perfumery, Kannauj Attar produces an olfactory experience that takes people over time and space.

Some more interesting facts about Kannauj Attar

During the Mughal era in India, Kannauj Attar gained even more prominence. Emperors like Shah Jahan and Akbar were known to be patrons of attar artisans, and the fragrances were often used in their royal courts.

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, certain attars were used for their therapeutic properties. These natural fragrances were believed to have healing effects on the mind and body, showcasing the holistic significance of Kannauj Attar.

Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India’s nonviolent independence movement, was known to favor Kannauj Attar. His preference for these natural fragrances reflected his philosophy of simplicity and connection to the earth.

Kannauj Attar was highly prized in ancient times and was a part of the vibrant trade along the Silk Route. Its fragrances were renowned and sought after in distant lands, contributing to the city’s economic and cultural importance.

Our top 5 recommended Attars

Heena Musky Attar

Heena Musky Attar

An appealing mixture with a musky undertone that perfectly captures the essence of Heena (henna). This attar evokes recollections of exquisite henna designs on hands and the lingering scent of celebrations because it radiates warmth and mysticism. Heena’s earthy, sweet notes blend with sensual musk to provide a seductive scent that is both classic and contemporary.

Juhi Attar

Juhi Attar

Juhi Attar is a delicate and floral beauty that captures the innocence of the jasmine blossom in its nighttime glory. As it releases the enticing sweetness and creamy floral richness of the juhi flower, its smell is a tribute to moonlit gardens. The fleeting beauty of the jasmine blossom is captured in this attar, which also leaves a path of refinement and grace wherever it remains.

Kadamb Attar

Kadamb Attar

The delicate perfume of the kadamb flower, which is renowned for its sweet, flowery, and woody undertones, is captured in this special combination. With this attar, you can experience the diversity and allure of nature as though you were strolling in a tropical garden.

Mehndi Attar

Mehndi Attar

This attar perfectly captures the spirit of celebration and customs with its symphony of rich, spicy, and earthy scents reminiscent of henna-covered festivities. Mehndi Attar captures the romance of special occasions and the rich artistry of mehndi designs with its warm and welcoming ambiance.

Mogra Attar

Mogra Attar

Infusing the air with its attractive floral scent, its exquisite smell perfectly evokes the purity of jasmine in full bloom. This attar exudes sophistication and sensuality, leaving behind a trail of priceless white floral notes that linger like an enduring hug.

Final Words

Not only does Kannauj Attar have pleasant aromas, but it also has a rich history and culture. These scents have been created by families for years utilizing unique pots and time-honored techniques. When we use Kannauj Attar, we are experiencing more than simply a pleasant scent; we are also feeling a connection to nature, a piece of history, and the labor of many people.

Kannauj Attar reminds us of the value of nature and traditions in a world where many things are produced in factories. It’s like a priceless Indian treasure that we can appreciate and learn from. As a result, when you inhale these aromas, keep in mind that they are more than just flavors; they also represent a rich tradition of Indian culture.


What are some popular types of Kannauj Attar?

Kannauj Attar comes in a variety of fragrances, each capturing the essence of different natural elements. Some popular types include Rose Attar, Sandalwood Attar, Jasmine Attar, and Oud Attar.

Is Kannauj Attar sustainable and eco-friendly?

Yes, Kannauj Attar is considered more sustainable compared to many mass-produced synthetic perfumes. The use of natural ingredients and traditional methods align with eco-friendly practices, promoting a closer connection to nature.

Are there any health benefits associated with Kannauj Attar?

Traditional Ayurvedic beliefs suggest that certain attars can have therapeutic benefits. For example, Sandalwood Attar is thought to have calming properties, while Rose Attar is believed to uplift the mood.

Can I buy Kannauj Attar outside of India?

Yes, Kannauj Attar is exported to various countries around the world. Many fragrance enthusiasts seek out these authentic attars to experience their unique and genuine scents, connecting with the rich heritage of Kannauj’s perfumery tradition.

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