How Attar and Perfume are Same Yet So Different?

When it comes to fragrance we just go and buy anything that we find on the top racks of the shop, regardless of the various classification made in between perfumes, we hardly care if it’s a perfume, EDT, EDP, Cologne, Attar, essential oil or deodorants. Everything might be used for the same purpose but the way of manufacturing the product and the reason it was manufactured varies a lot.

Perfume and attar does not only vary in the language English and Urdu! Some of the first fragrance lovers of attars were the Mughal kings of the medieval India. Attars are distillates of natural materials like flowers, herbs and fragmented spices and distilled with sandalwood oil and paraffin using the old hydro distillation process.

We know how from the medieval time, the aromatic fragrance is used with a medicinal value. The specialty of Attars lays in its medical value, they classified broadly based on their effect on human body temperature. The two categories are Warm attar and cold attars. The warm attars such as musk, amber and kesar are used in winters, they increase the body temperature. Cool attars such as rose, jasmine, kewda and mogra are used during the summer outdoors as it leaves cooling effect on the body.

Traditional attars are simple aromatic ingredients like a rose petal distilled over sandalwood oil, which is now a day replaced by Vetiver. This method is usually used to capture the aromatic fragrance from the most delicate plant to distill. But today most of the modern attars contain aromatic chemicals too.

The big difference in a perfume and attar bottle is that it is concentrated perfume oil, which is formulated to form a mixture with natural and chemical ingredients. Usually they are mixed in alcohol to make EDT, EDP or perfume.

Our love for perfume grows with the time and its oil. Its richness is exhibited by its long lasting fragrance. Perfumes are old vanity and it will certainly keep on pleasing our senses for several decades to come.