Our Craft of Attars
The story of South Asian perfumes is as old as the civilization itself. Archaeological evidence shows the earliest inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent revered plants. With the passage of time, scented oils were extracted by pressing, pulverizing or distilling aromatic vegetable and animal produce. Early indications of this activity are available from the perfume jars and terracotta containers of the Indus Valley civilization, where archaeological work has revealed round copper stills, used for the distillation process that is at least five-thousand years old. These stills are called degs. Following the seasons of the flowers, traditional attar-makers, with their degs, travelled all over South Asia to make their fresh attars on-the-spot. Even now, traditional attar-makers like us still travel with their degs to be close to the harvest. Their equipment has changed little, if at all.