facebook
CRAFT YOUR JOURNEY
Ittar Story_Cover1
NARRATIVES

A story of ittar, as told by the rain 

North India

The momentary scent evoked by the touch of rain
on warm earth lingers only for a few seconds.
It comes bearing memories
of all the monsoons 
that came before it,
descending upon men
before disappearing.

Leaving parched hearts yearning for it

A desire to reach out to its source,
to experience rain at any given moment.
A primal desire to go back in time,
to shape and change the unchangeable.

Desire always sets the wheels in motion

With time and energy dedicated, was mastered a craft
of capturing scents ephemeral in nature - to transfer
from a withering flower its ethereal quality to a bottle.

The elements - earth, fire and water
were invoked and cajoled to achieve
this recreation of a momentary redolence
as perfume.

Lasting fragrances from fleeting objects of nature

In this search for rain’s scent
flowers, grass, trees, plants and
metals were all scouted
At some point, no one knows when,
it dawned upon the seekers
who had their necks craned up,
to look below
to the ground that lay beneath.

From the brown-red mud, to which
the rains return time and again, were extracted
the remnants of a thousand monsoons.

Fresh as this morning’s dew.

The perfume when inhaled
allows the patron to traverse space and time,
to locate himself at a different place
from years ago.

To remember, and revel in
the glimpses of his past.
To reach out to those moments
that no longer arrive in dreams.

To seek refuge in the only sanctum, nostalgia 

An ode to the ittarwallahs of Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh, alchemical men who have mastered the ethereal craft of extracting from mud, the scent of rain.
Deriving its name from the Arabic word for perfume, ittar making is an ancient practice of perfumery that uses botanical sources to recreate the fragrances from nature.

Explore More

A Pleasant Synchronicity
A Pleasant Synchronicity

It is early morning and it is time to go. Ramesh, the driver is waiting for us, his spotless car smelling of incense offered to the deity...

Narrative South India
Gauri, a dance drama
Gauri, a dance drama

They stamp their feet rhythmically. Mouths shout words, instruments loudly answer to them, preparing the entrance of today’s celebrities...

Narrative North India
Frames from a Dravidian Tale
Frames from a Dravidian Tale

This travelling photography workshop conducted by Tyson Wheatley takes you across the diverse culturescapes of Tamil Nadu, during the month of celebrations and festivities...

Special Edition South India
History & Arch Madhya Pradesh Feat Image 1
Kingdoms of Old

This journey traces heritage through the remnants of the dynasties that ruled Madhya Pradesh from ancient times till the present...

Bespoke Journey West India
Taj Mahal Palace
Taj Mahal Palace

Under the glimmering lights of the bustling city of Mumbai lies a timeless structure. As the streets...

Hotel Guide West India
Difficult Loves
Difficult Loves

The title of the exhibition is: “Difficult loves”, reminding me of a collection of short stories by Italo Calvino, one of my favourite authors...

Narrative Delhi