Petrichor or in simple terms “Mitti Ki Khushboo” has now been made into a perfume. A perfume with the scent of the earth after rains has been made in Ahmedabad. Though the perfume has been around for years now, it gained immense popularity among the masses over the past month. Found in the Old Darwaza area which is a part of the old Ahmedabad, shops sell this scent. However, in these areas, it is mostly called “mitti attar” or “itr-e-khaki.”
Vivek Dilliwala is one of the oldest ‘attar’ sellers. His shop is located opposite the Jumma Masjid. He claims that the price ranges from Rs 120 to Rs 600 per 10 grams depending on the purity of the perfume and the sandalwood oil added to it.”Mitti attar is prepared in Kannauj, which, the perfume capital of the country. A huge quantity of mud is first baked as cakes in a closed copper vessel to vaporize any residual moisture. Steam is then passed over this by a process called hydro-distillation. The distillation is carried out for around 45 days. The residue from the distillation is collected in sandalwood oil (a base for all attar perfume),” he said.
Some of the attar shop owners who have themselves along with their ancestors been in this business for about 120 years claimed that one of the most popular uses of ‘Mitti’ Attar was to cure mentally disturbed as well as mentally challenged patients.”There was something about this fragrance that calmed the unstable mind with its freshness. This fact has been passed on to us from our forefathers.” They say.
The local ‘Vaidya’ or in other words the local physician who previously worked here almost 80 years ago agreed to buy this fragrance from their family. “There are few takers for this fragrance now. Many don’t know this exists,” says another attar shop owner Yunus Attarwala.
Dilliwala further added that a kilogram of the fragrance might cost anywhere between Rs 38,000 and Rs 70,000 depending on factors like aging and purity. And, it finds its uses in gutka and tobacco too.
The “mitti ki khushboo” attar is now also available online. Online vendors and the big online shopping sites like Flipkart and Amazon are selling this fragrance with prices starting from rupees 900 for just 10ml of attar.