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The Perfume City Of India, Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh

The Perfume City Of India, Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh

Ritika Gupta

Have you ever heard of The Perfume City of India? No? At least, you must have smelled the calming fragrance of Itraa (also spelt Ittra, Ittar, Itar or Attra)? In this blog, explore the perfume city of India, Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh!

1. The Perfume City Of India is 30kms away from the City of Nawabs, Lucknow, in Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh. The city is practising the art of extracting the fragrance from various natural sources from the past 5000-years.

2. These naturally procured perfumes are known as Itraa made from a Persian term, Atr.

3. In today’s world, with the entrance of harmful chemically-processed perfumes in the market, the thousand-year-old processes suffer lesser demand in the market. Nonetheless, the less costly perfumes haven’t been able to end the luxurious smell of Itraa, and the ancient process continues till now!

4. Itraa is extracted through the process of hydro-distillation that takes four to five hours to be completed. The perfume is made by keeping flower-petals inside the nickel-plated-copper containers (to prevent rust). It is boiled. There’s a condenser attached to it, which is filled with oil. Travelling from the hollow-bamboo piper, water vapours released from the flowers reach the condenser and oil absorbs the scent. When the condenser cools-down, filtration-process begins to leave to separate water from the oil. Quality of itraa increases, the process is repeated.

5. There are 6-types of natural perfumes that are made in Kannauj, including Gulab, Henna, Shamama Henna, Jasmine, Bela and Mud. Mud-itraa is only made in Kannauj.

6. The reason why Kannauj is known as the Perfume City of India is approximately 80% of its population is part of the Itraa-Manufacturing process.

7. This process of procuring Itraa has been described in the old texts of Ayurved in India; the first reference being in the Vedas.

8. Earlier, during the Yajnas, to remove the disturbing smell of meat released from the sacrifice, spices & flowers were put into the fire. From this, the idea of extraction of the scent from natural ingredients was discovered.

9. As Itraa organic and safe, away from any kind of chemicals, it is massively used in medicines and cosmetics.

See Also

Do you know, there’s an equivalent, almost twin city of Kannauj in the world? The Perfume City of France, Grasse is also considered as the Capital Perfume City of the World.


Now soon, the two cities and nations are coming together to bring to life the World’s Biggest Perfume Museum to promote the natural perfumes over the chemically processed ones.

Blog Edited By Ritika Gupta

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