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Thursday, Oct 24, 2019

How the Indian perfume tradition has come a long way

India may not have seen another pioneering perfumer after Mughal empress Noorjahan, but the perfume space has no dearth of entrepreneurship.

more-lifestyle Updated: Sep 15, 2019 15:10 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Perfumery became more commercially viable for general public only about 200 years back, after synthetic molecules were discovered
Perfumery became more commercially viable for general public only about 200 years back, after synthetic molecules were discovered(Unsplash)
         

From being a royal indulgence historically, to now being ubiquitous enough to be available in tiny bottles as ittar, deodorants and other cheaper fragrances, the Indian perfume tradition has come a long way.

“Initially, the perfumes were only for the royals, because its extraction and distillation is extremely expensive. For instance, preparing a litre of Jasmine extract oil needs about a tonne of Jasmine flowers,” Niyati Purohit, founder and chief perfumer at Niro Perfume Studio told IANSlife.

“Perfumery became more commercially viable for general public only about 200 years back, after synthetic molecules were discovered. That’s when it became affordable and the perfume industry got a boost to experiment with different combinations,” she said.

India may not have seen another pioneering perfumer after Mughal empress Noorjahan, but the perfume space has no dearth of entrepreneurship. Like Purohit, who founded Niro Perfume Studio to allow people to experience scent in way that they it cherish for a lifetime.

Though perfume has always been part of people’s daily routine, Purohit says attitudes towards it have seen a change. “People have started exploring their perfume personalities. Now they are conscious of what fragrance they choose to wear for work, what for an evening out and which one for a function,” she noted.

But she rued that there is still a lack of information about what goes into the making of a perfume and what perfume suits what occasion. “Young professionals prefer light fragrances, like a fresh aquatic one. And not too many people experiment with creations like tobacco or leather or something spicier. Those are only worn by mature users, who travel abroad and come across them there. The Indian market is still about lighter, fresher notes,” she said.

To help people choose the right perfume, Purohit suggested following the weather. “The flavour preferences for a season, can also be applied to a fragrance. In summer, you choose a lighter, citrusy scents, while in winter, you go for warmer, spicier ones further depending on what you do, where you are, and other such factors.”

Purohit will be hosting a session on perfumery at the September Fest 2019 at Chennai’s Phoenix MarketCity and Palladium. The session addresses the basic techniques of perfume making, a hands-on perfume blending, tips on how to choose the right perfume and right ways to wear perfume.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

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First Published: Sep 15, 2019 15:10 IST

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