The word ittar or attar is basically an Arabic word which means scent,this in turn has been derived from the Persian word Atr,meaning fragrance.
Attar is a natural perfume oil derived from botanical sources. Most commonly these oils are taken from the botanical material through hydro or steam distillation. Oils can also be expressed by chemical means but generally natural perfumes which qualify as Ittar/Attars are distilled naturally. The oils obtained from the herbs flowers and wood are generally distilled into a wood base such as sandalwood and then aged. The aging period can last from one to ten years depending on the botanicals used and the results desired.
These all-natural perfumes are highly concentrated and therefore are usually offered for sale in small quantities and have traditionally been offered in decorated crystal cut type bottles or small jeweled decanters. Attars/Ittars have been used in the entire Eastern world for thousands of years. These 100% pure and natural perfumes are free of alcohol and chemicals. Natural perfumes are affordable because they are so concentrated that a small bottle will last the user several weeks, if not months. Due to the purity and the nature of oils, there is very little chance of spoilage .
Some of the first lovers of Attars/Ittars were the Mughal nobles of India. Jasmine ittar was the favorite perfume of the Nizams of the Hyderabad state. Traditionally in the Eastern world it was a customary practice of nobility to offer ittar to their guests at the time of their departure. The Attars/Ittars are traditionally given in ornate tiny crystal cut bottles called as itardans. This tradition of giving a scent to one's guests continues to this day in many parts of the Eastern world. Among Sufi worshipers the use of Attars/Ittars during meditation circles and dances is quite common.
Famous Attars/Ittars List
Rose Attar/Ittar (Rosa damascena - Flower)
Motia/Jasmin Attar/Ittar (Jasmine sambac - Flower)
Mitti Attar/Ittar (Baked earth - Earth from river)
Kewda Attar/Ittar (Pandanus odoritissimus - Flower)
Saffron Attar/Ittar (Crocus sativa - Stigma)
Agarwood/Oud Attar/Ittar (Aquilaria agallocha - Various parts)
Gul Hina Attar/Ittar (Lawsonia alba - Flower)
Genda/Merigold Attar/Ittar (Tagetes minuta - Flower)
Champa Attar/Ittar (Michelia champaca - Flower)
Bakul Attar/Ittar (Mimusops elengi - Flower)
Blue Lotus Attar/Ittar (Nymphaea caerulea - Flower)
Pink Lotus Attar/Ittar (Nelumbo nucifera - Flower)
White Lotus Attar/Ittar (Nelumbo nucifera - Flower)
Tuberose/Rajniganda Attar/Ittar (Polianthes tuberosa - Flower)
White Water Lily Attar/Ittar (Nymphaea ampla - Flower)
Zafari Attar/Ittar (Tagetes sp - Flower)
Shamana Attar/Ittar (compound of fragrant spices, herbs, woods - Various parts)
Amber Attar/Ittar (Pinus Succinifera - ----)
Chameli Attar/Ittar (Jasminum Grandiflorum - Flower)
Gulmohar Attar/Ittar (Painciana Regia - Flower)
Juhi Attar/Ittar (Jasmine Auriculatum - Flower)
Islamic Bakhur Attar/Ittar (Melaleuca Alternifolia - ----)
Frangipani Attar/Ittar (Plumeria Ruera - ----)
Khus Attar/Ittar (Vetiveria Zizanoides - Roots)
Mogra Attar/Ittar (Abelmoschus Moschus - Flower)
Loban Attar/Ittar (Styrax Benzoin - Various parts)
Nakh Choya Attar/Ittar (Citrus Bigardia - Flower)
Davana Attar/Ittar (Artemesia Pallens - Leaves)
Types of Attars/IttarsAttars/Ittars may be broadly categorized into following types of flavour or ingredients used.
Attars/Ittars manufactured from single species of flower are coming under this category. These are :-
Gulab ex Rosa damascena or Rosa Edword
Kewra ex Pandanus odoratissimus
Motia ex Jasminum sambac
Gulhina ex lawsonia inermis
Chameli ex Jasminum grandiflorum
Kadam ex Anthoephalus cadamba
Attars/Ittars manufactured from combination of floral, herbal & spices come under this category.
Hina and its various forms viz., Shamama, Shamam tul Amber, Musk Amber and Musk Hina.
Attars/Ittars which are neither floral nor herbal also come under this category. Ittar Mitti falls under this category and is produced by distillation of baked earth over base material.
Attars/Ittars can also be classified based on their effect on human body such as
Attars/Ittars such as Musk, Amber, Kesar (Saffron), Oud, are used in winters, they increase the bodytemperature.
like Rose, Jasmine, Khus, Kewda, Mogra, are used in summers and are cooling for the body.
The Indian ittars in the past was used by the elite, particularly kings and queens. Today it is used in numerous ways
A major difference between synthetic perfumes and ittar is that the oil-based ittar is worn directly on your body. The inside of the wrist, behind the ears, the inside of elbow joints, back of the neck and a few other parts of your anatomy are directly dabbed with ittar. A small drop is enough to be used as a fragrance on the body. A few drops can be added to water and used with aromatic vapour lamps. A few drops of some Attars/Ittars are used with cold drinks, such as milk, to give fragrance.
Pan Masala and Gutka is the largest consumer of Indian ittars. The reason for using it is its extraordinary tenacity along with characteristic to withstand with tobacco note. The ittars used are Rose, Kewra, Mehndi, Hina, Shamama, Mitti, Marigold,etc
Tobacco is relatively smaller segment for ittar consumption as compared to above industry. The ittars used are mainly kewra & Rose. Along with Pan masala & Gutkha it contributes to more the 75% of ittar consumption.
Betel nut is also flvored with ittars such as Kewra and rose.
Ittars of Rose & Kewra are used in traditional Indian sweets, for imparting flavor
A few drops of some ittars are used with cold drinks, such as milk, to give fragrance.
How to store
Alcohol (common solvent for most perfumes) causes the perfume to evaporate much faster sometimes unto as much as 10 - 15 times faster. It is important to store ittar in an airtight glass vial in a cool dry place. Ittar has a permanent shelf life and some ittars become stronger and smell better when they are older.
Owing to natural origin it is suitable for all types of skin. It is also useful in treating various skin diseases, various cosmetics, as it helps in improving skin tone and texture.
Ittar oils are free from alcohol and any preservatives or chemical additives. They balance the Doshas (Vata, Pitta & Kapha) and promote the energy of the chakras
Lemon oil taken internally or sniffed, is good for diabetes, asthma, boils and varicose veins. Three drops of sweet marjoram taken with a little jaggery cures migraine and hangovers. Nausea and vomiting are immediately controlled by petitgren oil.
Indian ittar is increasingly being used for aromatherapy these days
Jasmine extract is useful in cases of stress, hypertension and treating skin ailments. Inhaling sandalwood oil lessens stress and can stop vomiting. Applying it on the chest and throat cures dry cough.
Ittar has a permanent shelf life and some Attars/Ittars become stronger and smell better when they are older.
How ittars are made:
The art of making these fragrances is a laborious process. There are two types of perfumes. One is extracted from herbs through the process of distillation it takes 45 days to make them and another one to two years to mature. The second are floral perfumes which are extracted from flowers through hydro/steam distillation. "
VENUS    :    GULAB (Attars/Ittars)
MARS     :     MOTIA (Attars/Ittars)
MERCURY    :    CHANDAN (Attars/Ittars)
SUN    :    MOTIA (Attars/Ittars)
JUPITER    :    KEWARA (Attars/Ittars)
MOON    :    RAT KE RANI (Attars/Ittars)
SATURN    :    CHAMELI (Attars/Ittars)
RAHU    :    KHUSKHUS (Attars/Ittars)
KETU    :    SHAMA (Attars/Ittars)