The City of Kannauj and Attars


Kannauj is famously known as the fragrance capital of the country.  The city has  held its place in history to have curated the most redolent of ittars be it for royalty , the British or simply for people who have a nose for natural concoctions.

Ittar is the oil that is extracted from botanical sources like flowers, woods , fruits etc. A true attar is a perfume oil made from flower petals distilled in water using low heat and pressure. Some attars also contain exotic woods, spices and resins. Over several weeks, the steam containing the fragrance oils is collected into a container of mild sandalwood oil. There, the oils blend together until the sandalwood is completely saturated with the fragrance of the flowers. In the art of perfumery, sandalwood oil is used as a 'base', or 'fixative'. It binds with the molecules of the fragrance oils and allows their subtleties to develop and last longer than if the flower oil was worn by itself. There is alchemy at work here! Like a fine wine, a true, sandalwood-based attar actually improves with age. You cannot find a more natural perfume than a true attar.


Also known as the Grasse of India Kannauj is a small town in Uttar Pradesh that inspired perfumers for a series of centuries now. They have enjoyed royal patronage having had been introduced to India by Noor Jahan as myths have it. Perfumers from Kannauj  have not only encapsulated scents from botanicals but also elements of earth when they are first hit with droplets from the sky. The tantalizing scent of the wet earth veiled by the first rains have been bottled by perfumers from this fragrant city. It’s a very lesser known fact that perfumeres and big perfume companies from across the globe  pick up concentrates from here which thus help give Kannauj perfumes an international reach.

Kannauj has a fragrance for every type of wearer.

  • The Romantics: The most popular attars made at Kannauj constitute of Roses. This scents is ideal for people who have romance flowing in their veins engulfed with a sense of old world romanticism of the deep and carnal scents of Rose.
  • The Woody Bunch: Sandalwood is a hit amongst the cultural fragrance lovers. The purity and the lustrousness of this note directly hits the heart and takes you down a beautiful fragrant road.
  • A piece of Earth: The attar Miiti is a beautiful note encapsulated by the master perfumers of Kannauj. Also known as Itr-e- Khaki , this perfume is made by distilling half baked clay. This kind of attar is given a soft mix with the lustrous note of Sandalwood making it a beautiful dry down. A perfect choice for people who love taking back a piece of the place with them while travelling.
  • Amidst the Nature: These kind of scents usually bottle very local scents from the woods bringing the people closer to nature as though standing amidst the best that nature has to offer. The scents are inclusive of notes like Patchouli, Cedar and Agarwood. The greens help you find yourself in the lap of mother nature and brings you calm.
  • Sweet Enough for you to handle: The Amber attar is caressed by the notes of Sandalwood to deliver a rather sweet mix to the attar game. These scents dwell on the carnality factor and offer a trail of lingering desire for the wearer.

  • Out of the box Experimenters: If you fall into this category of perfume lover then the oriental attars of Kannauj  comprising of  Vanilla, spices and exotic flowers  will definitely render you different from the crowd and  help you stand out voluptuous, charming impertinent fragrance and flaunt your warm sensuality.
  • Full of Life: Perfumes for people who possess the zest for life are ready to take on adventures would love the rather fresh and piquant attars of Kannauj that bottle fragrances of lemon, violet and grapefruit.

The steaming cauldrons and the wafting smells at  perfume factories in Kannauj will be an experience like none other. And uncorking the bottle to create an explosion of scent is something unparalleled and to be experienced only in Kannauj. Once you leave the city the fragrance of Kannauj is sure to linger on.

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