As you are walking through the lanes of our Festival of Fragrance, we invite you to embark on a captivating journey that narrates the story of the exquisite aromas of India.
In the heart of this aromatic adventure, we pay homage to the enchanting cities of India renowned worldwide for their unique fragrances. From the enchanting streets of Kannauj, known as the “Perfume capital of India,” to the mystical allure of Mysore’s sandalwood forests, and the intoxicating roses of Aligarh, India’s diverse geography is a treasure trove of aromatic wonders.
The history of fragrances in India is a captivating journey that dates back over two millennia. This rich legacy of aromatic scents has been deeply woven into the cultural and social fabric of the country. The origins of India’s love for fragrances can be traced back to ancient times.
In the Vedic era, perfumes gained recognition in Ayurvedic texts and literature. Notably, the Mahabharata and other texts like Charaka Samhita referenced fragrances like aloeswood, sandalwood, and lotus, portraying their significance. This period marked the inception of perfume crafting in India, dating back to the Indus Valley civilization, where terracotta distillation apparatuses were unearthed from around 3000 BCE. Fragrance-making thrived during the Mughal reign, known as ‘itra’ or ‘attar,’ with Queen Noorjahan’s legendary concoctions. These scents found their way to distant lands. However, during the struggle for independence, the perfume industry waned, only regaining prominence post-independence.
A significant chapter in the history of Indian fragrances involves the Silk Road, a bustling network of trade routes that facilitated the exchange of perfumes, spices, and other valuable goods between India and the West. Indian aromatics like agarwood, sandalwood, and musk were highly sought-after commodities, and their trade connections stretched from ships journeying to Rome during the Roman Empire’s zenith to commerce with Europe and the Middle East in the nineteenth century. India’s aromatic offerings reached homes worldwide, solidifying the nation’s position as a prominent player on the international stage. The appeal of Indian fragrances was not confined by geographical boundaries; it transcended time and space, enriching lives across the globe.
What sets Indian fragrances apart is not just their exquisite scents but also the profound symbolism and meaning they carry. These fragrances connect people to their heritage, linking them to their roots, and evoking cherished memories of the past. They serve as spiritual markers, binding the faithful to their deities through rituals like the camphor flame, symbolizing the connection between humans and divinity. In India, fragrances are not merely pleasant scents but also carriers of history, culture, and emotions, making them an integral part of the nation’s identity. The allure of Indian fragrances remains as potent today as it was in ancient times, a testament to the enduring power of these aromatic treasures.
Indian perfumery has given the world the ancient art of extracting natural ittars and traditional fragrances by capturing the essence of these exotic blooms. We find master craftsmen blending heritage with innovation, producing enchanting perfumes that transport us to the lush gardens and bazaars of this fragrant land. “Saundhi”- The Festival of Fragrance takes you on a path to discover the deep legends of Indian perfumery. Let us celebrate the rich legacy of Indian fragrances, where every aroma tells a story of nature’s finest gifts.