Are you fond of the wonderful earthy smell that comes with the first rain of the season? The exquisite dilution is a blend of molecules coming out from the thirsty soil soaking in the long-awaited droplets of rain.
If you have any desire to capture the wonderful scent of wet earth or the Scent of Rain into the bottle. Then the old city named Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh has made it possible thousands of years ago.
At Kannauj ‘The Perfume Capital of India’, the scent of petrichor is distilled into miniature glass vials. Because of the fragrant credentials of this city, Kannauj is majorly popular as ‘Perfume Capital of India’ and ‘Grasse of the East.
The perfumeries of Kannauj were majorly famous for their magnificent attars. The legendary perfumers of ancient Kannauj have created a fabulous scent that would capture the fragrance of earth or ‘The Scent of Rain’ when it first gets touched by the monsoon rains.
Mitti attar is known as the Perfume of Earth in today’s times which is extracted from the clay and is distilled with ancient techniques. It is also popular as itr-e-khaki.
The manufacturing of Mitti Attar takes place even today in the traditional perfumeries of Kannauj. Kannauj is the place where craftsmen of perfumes opt to fire under aging degs or under copper cauldrons for carving out this excepional perfume.
The process of distillation is also known as deg bhapka. It is a painstakingly long and slow process without any trace of modernity or industrial machinery.
The copper deg is manufactured at its own fireplace. It possesses its own trough of water. It is connected with a bulbous condenser which is popular as bhapka. This in turn after distillation obtains the fragrant liquid.
The manufacturing of little clay shards takes place in neighboring villages before they are sun-baked and placed in the degs. The crafsmen put these shards of half-baked clay instead of flower petals and vetiver roots into the deg.
After that, they cover them with water, hammer a lid down on top, and then after that, they seal it with mud. Before filling the bhapka with sandalwood oil and before sinking it into the water trough, they used to light a plank of wood or cow-dung dire underneath.
A hollow bamboo pipe that carries the heady vapors from the simmering pot into the receiver is used to connect the deg and bhapka. This pipe is used for mixing the sandalwood oil base. The receiver is switched and the deg is cooled with wet clothes every few hours for stopping the condensation.
Traditionally perfumes were stored in camel-skin pockets. But, now these are kept in the bottles that are made from the skins of buffalo. The leather bottle or kuppis containing the fragrant essential oil trapped in the sandalwood oil base are placed in the sun for turning the excessive water to get evaporated and for the true scent of attar to get developed that is mineral-rich and warm.