An attar is an all natural scent that is made from the petals of flowers distilled in water through a process that involves low heat and pressure. Over a period of several weeks, steam containing fragrance oil is condensed and collected in to a container of Eucalyptus Oil . The oils blend together until the sandalwood becomes entirely saturated with the flowers’ fragrance.
Sandalwood is used as a base as it easily binds with the fragrance oil molecules, allowing their subtle tones to develop and become longer lasting than if the scent was used by itself. A sandalwood infused attar improves with age in the same way as a fine wine. The result is an aroma which is a lot more pleasing than that of synthetic scents. It is a technique that has been practiced for more than a thousand years.
To make an attar requires an intensive labor fueled process. An individual skilled in this art needs a great talent and lots of patience. It often takes more than a fortnight to make a single attar. The first step involves the collection of anywhere from twenty to four hundred pounds of flower petals. The actual amount depends upon the type of flowers used and the size of the receptacle.
Water is added to the deg, after which the lid is sealed closed with clay. The deg should be heated on top a wood fire. As steam is produced it condenses and flows along the pipe into the copper vessel. For the best results the fire needs to be kept at the right temperature, too great a heat can cause the flowers to burn or may lead to the clay seal breaking apart under pressure.
The copper vessel used to receive the liquid sits in water and is rotated continually to help blend the oils and prevent overheating. If required, wet towels are wrapped around the vessel to cool down the contents. A master distiller keeps watch over the process to ensure the end results are as desired.
At the end of each day, the distillation process is stopped. As the oil cools the water separates. Each morning excess water is removed and then placed back into the still. More flowers are added and the process is continued. From start to finish, creating an attar perfume takes between twenty to thirty days. When the sandalwood oil is saturated with fragrance, the finished product is ready.