India’s perfume city: City of Kannauj

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The astounding city of Kannauj has a different ambience compared to other cities in India. As soon as you enter Kannauj which is 130 kilometers northwest from Lucknow, the very essence of ittar will take you to another world. In this city, people have been manufacturing perfume for 5000 years. That is why Kannauj is called the perfume city of India. Kannauj is the only place where the largest amount of ittar is manufactured naturally in the entire world. 80% of the population is engaged in the ittar manufacturing industry.
But how did the culture of this industry start in this city? Scriptures of Ayurveda have mentioned the art of making perfume. The first available descript of the perfume is available in the Vedas. It is written in the Vedas that when yajnas were performed, a lot of things were put into it as sacrificed. When meat was sacrificed, a foul smell filled the air. To eliminate that foul smell, aromatic ingredients were offered into the fire. After that the art of extracting scent from various things began.
The synthetic perfumes have a chemical combination that is being manufactured on a large scale. But the traditional process of making perfume in Kannauj never got outdated. No changes have been made in the process since 5000 years. In Kannauj perfume is prepared with the help of a hydro-distillation process. Nickel plated copper vessels are used so that they do not get rusted. Flowers are soaked in water and heated in containers. Then condensers are filled with oil. On boiling the vapes of the flower passes through the hollow bamboo pipes into the condenser. The oil present in the condenser sucks up the vapour’s fragrance. This process goes on for around five hours. Excess water is separated from the oil after the condenser completely cools down. As per the perfumes quality the process is repeated until 30 days. It is a continuous process with the same oil. Perfumes made in Kannauj are supplied throughout India.

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