Time: 3pm to 4:30pm AEDT
Date: Friday, 24 May 2024
Speaker: Giti Datt, PhD Candidate
Venue: Seminar Room C, HC Coombs Building and Online via Zoom
Meeting ID: 345 072 5439
Passcode: 991667


Attars (distilled perfume oils) have been made in India for centuries. Today, historic distillation techniques continue to be used to extract the essence from natural aromatics, resulting in potent and highly valuable perfume oils. Once an integral part of elite Indian perfume cultures, these distilled attars are now primarily sold as a flavour ingredient to the domestic tobacco industry.

Capitalising on global fragrance trends favouring natural, artisanal and niche perfumery, some attar manufacturers are now striving to re-establish attar as a premium perfume material. As the industry evolves, facing challenges of climate change, restrictive global fragrance regulations, and the decline of historic forms of patronage and apprenticeship, it remains to be seen whether this artisanal material can establish itself as a viable, profitable perfume ingredient. 

In this seminar, Giti will share insights from her recent fieldwork in north India. Focusing on Kannauj, Hasayan, Lucknow and Delhi, her research followed the life cycle of attar, from farms to distilleries, manufacturers, retailers, and the people who buy and use them. Through this project, Giti seeks to highlight the specialised knowledge and skills of people involved in making and using attar, as well as the enduring social and cultural significance of this material. 

Please note: in case you are allergic or sensitive to fragrance, this seminar will involve perfume.

Event Speakers

Giti Datt

CHL PhD Candidate Giti Datt

Giti is an anthropologist and a perfumer, with expertise in the not-for-profit sector in a variety of social contexts.

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Event speakers

CHL PhD Candidate Giti Datt

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