Also known as
Ittar, Attar, Itr
Ittar or Attar or Itr is a type of natural perfume extracted from flowers (such as jasmine, rose or sandal), herbs, spices, or barks. It is very popular in the Middle East, South Asia, and parts of Africa. Ittar is the most common form of concentrated perfume. Ittars are natural perfumes for daily use, and it is not injurious to health as alcohol can be and is suitable for both men and women. It contains about 20% to 50% concentrated perfume. It is a blend of various extracts and usually takes a period of about 5 to 10 years. The most well-known essential oil is probably Rose ittar. Most ittars are alcohol-free and are used by many Muslims, as one of the most beloved of materialistic things of this world to The Prophet Muhammad was ittar. They are also used among Hindu priests, and are offered as prasad and sprinkled on the devotees.
How to select
The ittars are traditionally given in ornate tiny crystal cut bottles called as itardans. Because of its concentrated form, Ittar is sold in tiny bottles.
The Indian ittars in the past was used by the elite, particularly kings and queens. Today it is used in numerous ways
· Pan Masala and Gutka is the largest consumer of Indian ittars. The reason for using it is its extraordinary tenacity along with characteristic to withstand with tobacco note. The ittars used are Rose, Kewra, Mehndi, Hina, Shamama, Mitti, Marigold,etc
· Tobacco is relatively smaller segment for ittar consumption as compared to above industry. The ittars used are mainly kewra & Rose. Along with Pan masala & Gutkha it contributes to more the 75% of ittar consumption.
· Betel nut is also flvored with ittars such as Kewra and rose.
· Ittars of Rose & Kewra are used in traditional Indian sweets, for imparting flavor
· A few drops of some ittars are used with cold drinks, such as milk, to give fragrance.
How to store
Alcohol (common solvent for most perfumes) causes the perfume to evaporate much faster sometimes unto as much as 10 - 15 times faster. It is important to store ittar in an airtight glass vial in a cool dry place. Ittar has a permanent shelf life and some ittars become stronger and smell better when they are older.
· Owing to natural origin it is suitable for all types of skin. It is also useful in treating various skin diseases, various cosmetics, as it helps in improving skin tone and texture.
· Ittar oils are free from alcohol and any preservatives or chemical additives. They balance the Doshas (Vata, Pitta & Kapha) and promote the energy of the chakras
· Lemon oil taken internally or sniffed, is good for diabetes, asthma, boils and varicose veins. Three drops of sweet marjoram taken with a little jaggery cures migraine and hangovers. Nausea and vomiting are immediately controlled by petitgren oil.
· Indian ittar is increasingly being used for aromatherapy these days
· Jasmine extract is useful in cases of stress, hypertension and treating skin ailments. Inhaling sandalwood oil lessens stress and can stop vomiting. Applying it on the chest and throat cures dry cough.