This month we celebrate the Rose, our flower of warmth and love. While its natural scent is widely adored, not many know the key to capturing its aroma in fragrance. When formulating high quality perfume oil from the rose flower, there are only a few species the oil can be extracted from. One of the most common species of rose is the Rosa Damascena, also referred to as Damascus Rose. Although largely grown in Bulgaria, Turkey, and Iran, it can also be found in India’s abundant selection of wild flowers. Access to the unique species of Rosa Damascena has allowed the Attarwala family to craft the delightfully pleasant Ruh Gulab. Interestingly enough, the Attarwala family has the Mughal Empire to thank for this fragrance.
In the early 1500s, the Mughal Empire brought various new seeds, plants and flowers with them to India during their expansion. When the third Mughal emperor, Akbar the Great, laid siege to Udaipur in Rajasthan, they chose to settle in a region nearby, known as Haldighati. There the Mughals planted Rosa Damascena. The soil and weather conditions of Haldighati made the area just ripe for cultivating the fine rose. For many years they were considered sacred and only used as offerings to temples.
The Attarwala family, who originate from Udaipur, would later handpick these roses from the same fields the Mughals planted them in hundreds of years earlier. Pictured above is Mr. Ismail Mohammadali Attarwala, the founder of Nemat, inspecting roses prior to cropping. Even today, roses from these fields are carefully examined before being sent to a water distillation unit (as shown below) where the family purify the rose oil to create Ruh Gulab, the "Essence of the Rose".
It’s not common for a fragrance to tell such history, but Ruh Gulab is a classic fragrance with a rich and intriguing story. We’re proud of our history and equally devoted to sharing quality fragrances that give a glimpse of the Indian culture, tradition, and love that go into each bottle. With that, we wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!