History and Origin of Attar

History and Origin of Attar

The word ‘attar’, ‘ittar’, or ‘itra’ have been derived from the Persian word ‘itir’ and Arabic word ‘itr’, which means’ perfume. This word would be a derivative of sugandha, a Sanskrit term for “aromatic”. The natural perfume or attar was used thousands of years ago. There are mainly two types of attar based on their effect on the human body;

  • Warm Attar: This includes Musk, Amber, and Kesar(saffron), which are best in winter
  • Cool Attar: Rose, jasmine, khus, kewda, and mogra are perfect for summer.

The History of Fragrance

Attar is very oil in India, and we can find about fragrance and perfume in the Indian epics and Granths. The kings would start their day with scents of attar. Even they would take baths with varieties of fragrances. The consumption of fragrances was enormous in the harems of kings. 

The Origins of Attar

Regarding the origin of fragrances, the Egyptian civilization-initiated manufacturing perfumes from plants. However, India has been closely linked to this since ancient times. India became the country of attar manufacturing after the 16th century. It is the Mughal empire that spreads attar. Akbar, an emperor, established a culture of refinement and pleasures. He even booked a ministry to develop perfumes for the body and the flavoring of dishes. 

The emperor applied oud attar on his body, and the doors and furniture of his palace were coated with these precious compositions. It has been said that courtesans and queens are the ones who used the attars of rose. Due to its growing demand, the production now takes place in Kannauj, the region of Uttar Pradesh.

It is a Thousand-Year-Old Manufacturing Process

The method of making attar is called degh-bhapka in Hinduism. The artisans use copper to heat the perfume with wood and cow dung! Flower petals, spices, or wood pieces are poured into the degh and then covered with water. The artisans then coat it with cotton and clay on the edges to close it properly the water is then boiled. Bhapka, on the other hand, contains essential oil which will “absorb” the steam filtered with an unpleasant odor. Preparing an attar can take hours as it involves patience for a better fragrance. 

How the Attar is taken at the Time of the Modern Perfumery?

Attar is used in the East, especially by Muslims, because of the absence of alcohol in its formula. However, Indians have turned to imported perfumes abandoning alcohol-free perfumes. In addition, the traditional attar is evolving because of the scarcity and high price of ingredients. Sandalwood oil, the critical element in making attar, is often replaced by substitutes such as liquid paraffin.

Even today, the manufacture of real attar still takes place in Kannauj. However, it is less appealing to the new generation seeking European perfume, particularly in France. In the West, luxury and the best attar for men are beginning to attract a niche clientele looking for a particular oriental lifestyle.

Below are the ways to choose the Best Attar-

The aromatic oils are extracted from natural sources such as wood, plants, flower petals, herbs, and spices to refresh your mind and body and offer you a relaxing and pleasant experience.

Compared to modern perfumes, the fragrance of attars is natural, alcoholic-free, and long-lasting, making it safe for your skin.

Even after the seamless benefits of attar, choosing the right attar for you might often be challenging, especially if you’re new to attars. Consider these factors while selecting the best attar.

Get it from Authentic Sellers:

The first and foremost thing you should consider while buying the best attar for men and women is buying them from authentic sellers only.


All the attars are not suitable for every season. Attars, including Shamama Attar, are best suited for winter as they comprise features that make you feel warm.

While attars like Gulab, Mitti Attar, and Rooh Khus Attar are best suited for summers as they have cooling properties.

Gender – How to Pick Attar for Men or Women?

The categories of top notes, middle notes, and base notes are the main compositions of attar, and middle and Base notes play a significant role in defining the final aroma. It would be best always to consider whether you’re buying the best attar for men or women. In case you’re buying the best attar for men, they should have with strong aroma having spicy, woody, and oud aroma. If you’re buying attar for women, consider buying floral attars with notes of wood and musk.

Arksutra, an authentic, traditional essential oils and perfume brand with its foundations in the ancient science of Ayurveda, is offering you the best attar for men. 

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