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Kannauj is known as the perfume city of India because of its long-standing tradition of producing high-quality perfumes and essential oils, is in the state of Uttar Pradesh, and has been a center for producing perfumes and fragrances for centuries.

Kannauj’s history of perfume production is deeply rooted in history, tracing back to the 7th century, during the reign of the Pushyabhuti emperor, King Harshvardhan, and was known as “Kanyakubja”. It was during this time that Kannauj was a major center for producing attars or natural perfumes made from flower and plant extracts.

Over the centuries, Kannauj’s reputation for producing high-quality perfumes has only grown. Today, the city is home to numerous distilleries and processing units where natural essential oils and perfumes are produced using traditional methods.

The perfumes produced in Kannauj are known for their unique and exotic scents, which are often inspired by local flora and fauna. Some of the most popular fragrances produced in Kannauj include rose, jasmine, sandalwood, and musk. Kannauj’s perfume industry has also played an important role in India’s economy, as the city is a major exporter of perfumes and essential oils to markets around the world.

History of The Origin of Perfume in Kannuj

The origin of perfume production in Kannauj can be traced back to ancient times. The city has been a center of perfume production for over a thousand years, with its reputation for producing high-quality fragrances dating back to the 7th century.

During the medieval period, Kannauj became famous for its production of attars, or natural perfumes made from the distillation of flower and plant extracts. These attars were highly valued and were often used by royalty and nobility.

Kannauj’s perfume industry flourished under the patronage of various rulers and emperors, including the Mughals, who were known for their love of perfumes. It is said that the Mughal emperor Jahangir was particularly fond of Kannauj’s rose attar and would order large quantities of it to be made and sent to him.

The perfume industry in Kannauj continued to thrive even after the decline of the Mughal empire, with the city’s perfumers developing new fragrances and refining their production techniques over the years. Today, Kannauj is still renowned for its traditional attars and essential oils, and the city’s perfumers continue to produce a wide range of fragrances using age-old methods that have been passed down through generations.

Progress of Kannauj as the Perfume City of India

Kannauj’s perfume industry has a long and rich history that spans over a thousand years, and the city’s perfumers have made significant contributions to the development and refinement of the art of perfumery in India. The progress of the perfume industry in Kannauj can be traced through the different rulers and empires that have held sway over the city over the centuries.

1. During King Harshvardhan’s Reign

During the 7th century, Kannauj was ruled by Emperor Harshvardhan, who is said to have been a great patron of the arts, including perfume-making. It is believed that it was during his reign that Kannauj’s perfume industry began to take shape, with the city becoming a center to produce attars and other fragrances made from natural extracts.

2. During the Influence of the Delhi Sultanate

In the medieval period, Kannauj’s perfume industry reached new heights under the patronage of the Delhi Sultanate, which ruled over northern India from the 13th to the 16th centuries. The sultans were known for their love of perfumes and would often commission Kannauj’s perfumers to create new fragrances for them.

3. During the Mughal Rule

The Mughal Empire, which ruled over India from the 16th to the 18th centuries, was also a major patron of Kannauj’s perfume industry. The Mughal emperors were particularly fond of rose attar, and it is said that Emperor Jahangir would order large quantities of Kannauj’s rose attar to be made and sent to him. Under the Mughals, Kannauj’s perfumers developed new fragrances and refined their production techniques.

4. During the Nawabs of Awadh

After the decline of the Mughal Empire, Kannauj’s perfume industry continued to flourish under the patronage of the Nawabs of Awadh, who were known for their love of perfumes and would often commission Kannauj’s perfumers to create new fragrances for them.

Today, Kannauj’s perfume industry is still going strong, with the city’s perfumers continuing to produce high-quality fragrances using traditional methods that have been passed down through generations. The city’s perfumes are famous for their unique and exotic scents, and Kannauj is still known as the perfume capital of India.

The Process of Perfume Making

The process of making perfume in Kannauj is a highly specialized and traditional craft that has been passed down through generations. The process typically involves the following steps:

Step 1- Collection of ingredients:

Natural ingredients such as flowers, herbs, spices, and other plant extracts of the highest quality are collected to create a unique and authentic final fragrance.

Step 2- Distillation:

The natural ingredients are then distilled to extract their aromatic essence in traditional copper stills where they are heated along with water and collected as a fragrant liquid.

Step 3- Blending:

Once the different essences have been extracted, they are blended to create the desired fragrance.

Step 4- Aging:

After blending, the perfume is left to age for a period to allow the different fragrances to fully integrate and mellow.

Step 5- Bottling:

Once the perfume has aged, it is packed in handcrafted and decorated bottles with intricate designs, adding to the beauty and uniqueness of the final product.

Most Loved Attars from Kannauj

Kannauj is renowned for its traditional attars, which are fragrant oils made from natural ingredients using traditional distillation methods. Some of the most famous attars of Kannauj include:

1. Rose Attar

Kannauj is known for producing some of the highest quality rose attars in the world. The attar is made by distilling the petals of the Damask rose, which is known for its sweet and fragrant scent.

2. Khus Attar

This attar is made from the roots of the vetiver plant, which is native to India. The attar has a deep, woody fragrance that is often used in perfumes and other fragrances.

3. Sandalwood Attar

Sandalwood is a fragrant wood that is native to India, and Kannauj is known for its high-quality sandalwood attars. It has a warm and woody fragrance often used in perfumes and other fragrances.

4. Jasmine Attar

Kannauj is also famous for its jasmine attar, which is made from the flowers of the Jasmine plant. The attar has a sweet and floral fragrance and is used in a variety of perfumes and other fragrances.

5. Musk Attar

Musk is a fragrant substance that is derived from the musk deer, and it has a deep and musky scent. Kannauj is known for its musk attars, which are made by distilling musk and other natural ingredients to create a unique and exotic fragrance.

These are some of the attars that are loved by people globally but the perfume city of India with more than 200 distilleries at work, creates a large number of fragrances that suits everyone’s preferences.


The perfume city of India has held its reputation for producing the best perfumes, attars, and essential oils for the longest time in history. The high demand for Kannauj’s perfume across the world has made it a government-protected entity and also has a glut of foreign and Indian brands in the market.

The essential oils manufactured in Kannauj are often used for aromatherapy, in-home, and air fresheners due to the relaxing and calming properties of the ingredients used in the process.

When you are in a gathering of people and get complimented for smelling good, such a nice feeling, isn’t it?

We at Kashmirica provide a wide range of attar perfumes especially curated with the best of fragrances and care. Try them today.

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