Let’s discuss the main types of Attars produced in India.
Gulab ex Rosa Damascena or Rosa Edward;
Kewra ex Pandanus Odaritismus;
Motia ex Jasmimum Sambac Gulhina ex Lawsonia Alba
Chameli ex Jasmimum Glandiforum;
Mitti or Gill from the baked earth of Kannauj Kadam ex Antochephalus Cadamba;
Khus from the North Indian wild variety of Vetiver;
Hina and its various forms viz: Shamama, Shamam-tuI- Amber, Mus Amber and Musk Hina;
While all the other attars are made from a single floral/ plant material, Hina is true perfume compound. A great many floral and herbal materials are used some of which are: oakmoss, sugandhi mantri, laurel berry, juniper berry, cypriol, Indian valarian, jatamanshi, hydichium Spicatum and the attars of Gulab, Kewra, Motia, Gulhina and Chameli.
The superior qualities of Hina may contain saffron, ambergris, musk and agarwood oil. For coloring safflower is used. For the manufacture of good quality Hina, a single charge may take anything up to a month.
Though not attars, special mention must be made of three products which play an exceedingly important role in India:
Floral waters of Gulab and Kewra – Unlike the rose water available in the West, which is a by-product of the rose oil industry, it is a primary product here. The manufacture takes place in the same way as attars except there is no base material in the receiver. The floral waters so obtained have a truer fragrance.
Gulkand – Fresh petals of rose flowers along with twice the quantity of sugar are crushed together to produce Gulkand.
We sincerely thank J.N. Kapoor from Jagal Aroma Oils Distillery for the perfect information about Attars!