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Excursion to Kannauj (Perfume making)

Lucknow, India

Kannauj is a small town between Lucknow and Agra, that has an older history of perfumeries than Grasse in France. Well connected with India’s best expressway, Lucknow-Agra, Kannuaj falls just about 2 hours away from Lucknow and about 2.5 hours from Agra and is a convenient stopover on this route. Perfumes from Kannauj have a long history and have enjoyed royal patronage – they were worn by the Mughal Emperors for their high quality and unique scents.

It is believed that Kannauj has been a perfumery town since more than 1000 years and the traditional perfume making skills of perfumers are passed on from one generation to another within the family.

The traditional perfumes are called ‘Itar’ or ‘Attar’ and are usually made from flowers and herbs, but one of the unique varieties here is made from mud, where the scent of first monsoon rain on dry earth is captured to create a perfume.

Very few would know, that some of the leading international brands of perfumes pick-up concentrates from here for further production, giving Kannauj perfumes an international reach. 

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