Attar

Is a perfume oil product that is derived from flowers and other botanical sources. The word has Arabic origins, and can be translated as literally meaning scent; the use of such substances going back as far as Ancient times. A true attar is natural — only being composed of naturally occurring products from organic sources. Despite this, a market for synthetic versions has grown in recent years, which often times may also bear the name attar for marketing purposes, although they are not true attars in a technical sense. The primary makeup of a true attar is the material left over after flower petals have been distilled, pressurized, and heated in water. This rendered material — the attar — is often also combined with pieces of other types of materials, which are added to the substance for a variety of desired effects These added compounds and materials can include anything from spices, to woods, to resins, and add certain degrees of depth and complexity to the attar. The process of distilling the budding attar takes weeks, and the end result is an oil that is extremely fragrant and aromatic. This oil is then added to a fixative or a base, which provides an environment necessary for the aromatic molecules of the substance to bind together and develop. Sandalwood oil is a preferred fixative for this purpose, being used as such throughout the perfume industry for a variety of different attars.

Attars are extremely concentrated, and as such, are often not used as perfumes by themselves. If they are, they are usually only available in small quantities. It isn’t uncommon for the ageing process of an attar to take an excess of 10 years until the final product is deemed complete.