Wild Lilac Attar
The word attar is as ancient as perfume making itself, being rooted in the ancient Persian word for “fragrance”. An attar is the extraction of botanicals through a distillation process, into a base of sandalwood. Sandalwood is used extensively in natural perfumery because it enhances scent, without overpowering the base botanical, and acts as a fixative and preservative. Some ancients believed these precious extractions to be powerful enough to attract angels and ward away evil, and powerful royals gifted the prized scents and used them as medicine, during spiritual and religious ceremonies, and to create an atmosphere of opulence and romance.
Our Wild Lilac Attar is handmade on the same female owned and operated, organic farm where our Organic Lilac Pommade is created. In the back fields of the farm, there lies an acre of very old and storied wild lilacs that are kept separate from the propagated preservation varieties because of their distinctive scent. Each spring these venerable blossoms are harvested and distilled into a small batch of wild lilac oil, extracted on a base of sandalwood. Most absolutes today use chemical solvents but in that process many delicate components of the flower’s spectrum of scent molecules are lost. Lilac, a graceful and subtle blossom, doesn’t lend itself to these harsh methods and so much of its true essence is lost that most have given up on the extraction. Our Wild Lilac Attar is made using the ancient methods – two to three gallons of fresh, organic lilac flowers are placed into an organic fat on glass chassis every day for 33 days. At the end of the process, between eight and ten bushels of flowers have been used (about a bathtub full of flowers) and the fat molecules are infused with the pure, rich scent from the exhaling flowers. The fat is then scraped off the chassis and combined with a high proof, organic, and edible solvent, in this case an alcohol almost like vodka. The alcohol separates the scent molecule from the fat using a gentle evaporation process and all of this results in about 5 precious milliliters of highly concentrated and exquisite lilac perfume oil, which then delicately combines with the soft, subtle essence of sandalwood. The attar created captures the lavish and provocative lilac essence with warm and exotic creamy base notes of exotic sandalwood.