The city of Lucknow is known for its fine perfumes that are available in beautiful bottles of cut-glass work. Perfumers in Lucknow make delicate and lasting fragrances using various aromatic herbs, spices, sandal oil, musk, essence of flowers, and leaves. Attar, derived from Persian word 'atr' means fragrance. Perfumes or attars have been in use in Lucknow since the 19th century. During the days of the nawabs, perfumes were also added to food to enhance the taste and aroma of the dish. It is said that Mughal empress, Nur Jahan, would bathe in water perfumed by rose water, thus encouraging people to start extracting scented oil from the flower. 

Legend has it that the practice of using natural substances to derive scents came from ascetics who would burn roots and other plant material during their meditative bonfires. The sweet smells lingered for a while, inspiring nearby villagers to experiment with flowers to find the right tones. Once they had attars down to a science, the villagers started presenting these fragrances to the nawabs, who would spray the halls and walkways of the palaces before the arrival of guests. Since attar also has therapeutic properties, when sprayed in public spaces, it would subtly put visitors at ease.  

Unlike their synthetic counterparts, attars are meant to be applied directly to the skin, and last much longer. They are organic in nature, and therefore more sustainable than artificial scents. You can pick traditional and famous fragrances like khus, keora, chameli, zafran and agar from the markets in Aminabad or Chowk. 

Other Attractions in Lucknow