Kadam(Anthocephalus cadamba) Attar/India wild harvest



Images of Kadam/Kadamba/Anthocephalus cadamba

olfactory properties of Kadam(Anthocephalus cadamba) Attar/India wild harvest

The sandalwood based attar of Kadam displays a wonderful rich, sweet, heavy, honeyed, powdery-floral bouquet which due to the presence of sandalwood(into which the flowers are distilled over a period of 10-15 days) maintains its aromatic profile in a consistent manner over many hours(24 hours later the
As with all sandalwood based attars, the overall bouquet has soft precious woods radiance subtly manifesting itself as an undertone , helping harmonize and exalt all the flowers rich beauty.
All true traditonal attars, in my opinion are perfect perfumes in themselves and can be enjoyed as such. They are a treasure to explore through all stages of their aromatic life, revealing quiet facets of beauty as one concentrates on the volatile molecules as they release into the air in a measured way(again due to the true fixative effect of sandalwood)
Kadam attar was once regularly distilled in North India but nowadays it is rarely done although we are doing our small part to keep this precious attar on the aromatic palette of one of our colleagues who is dedicated to this ancient art and craft.The high cost of legally traded sandalwood within India has resulted in a steep decline in the production of traditional attars and many of the delightful aromatic treasures that were once produced from Indian flowers are no longer produced.


One can of course use the attars in blending if one feels so inclined. One needs to proceed with great caution though as small additions of natural essences are all that is required to create the changes one desires. In general these absolutes, essential oils and co2 extracts can be added to kadam attar to create wonderful perfumes- araucaria eo; beeswax abs; boronia abs; broom abs; cabreuva eo; cananga eo; carrot seed, eo, co2 and abs; cedarwood eo and abs; champaca, golden abs; champaca, white co2; Cassie abs; hay abs; coriander eo, co2 and abs; frangipani abs; helichrysum eo and abs; honey/miel abs; jasmine absolutes(grandifloroum, sambac and auriculatum); karo karounde abs; magnolia lily co2 mimosa absolute; neroil eo; orange blossom abs; orris eo, co2 and abs; rose otto and abs(centifolia, bourbonia, and damascena); siamwood eo; tuberose abs; ylang abs

In perfumery can be used in garland perfumes; sacred perfumes, high class florals

Kadam/Kadamba Tree in Literature
It is evening. The rain is pouring in lance-like showers. Our lane is under knee-deep water. The tank has overflown into the garden, and the bushy tops of the Bael trees are seen standing out over the waters. Our whole being, on this delightful rainy evening, is radiating rapture like the Kadamba flower its fragrant spikes. The time for the arrival of our tutor is over by just a few minutes. Yet there is no certainty...! We are41 sitting on the verandah overlooking the lane[12] watching and watching with a piteous gaze. All of a sudden, with a great big thump, our hearts seem to fall in a swoon. The familiar black umbrella has turned the corner undefeated even by such weather! Could it not be somebody else? It certainly could not! In the wide wide world there might be found another, his equal in pertinacity, but never in this little lane of ours.
My Reminiscences, by Rabindranath Tagore

Near the unwalled city, the priest sat down before the pandit, Ratna
Ram, whose seat was under the kadamba tree by the temple of Maha Dev.
Ratna Ram was learned in the signs of different languages and could
write them with a reed, so that those who had knowledge could decipher
his writing, even after many days and at a great distance: Ratna Ram,
to whom the gods had given that greatest of all kinds of wisdom,
whereby he could hold secretly any knowledge and not speak of it till
the thing should be accomplished. (The pandit was well known to Skag
who studied Hindi before him for an hour or more, on certain days.)
Son of Power, by Will Levington Comfort and
Zamin Ki Dost

Ritûsamhâra is clearly a work of Kâlidâsa's immaturity. The youthful love-song in it does not reach the sublime reticence which is in Shakuntalâ and Kumâra-Sambhava. But the tune of these voluptuous outbreaks is set to the varied harmony of Nature's symphony. The moonbeams of the summer evening, resonant with the flow of fountains, acknowledge it as a part of its own melody. In its rhythm sways the Kadamba forest, glistening in the first cool rain of the season; and the south breezes, carrying the scent of the mango blossoms, temper it with their murmur.
Creative Unity, by Rabindranath Tagore
Close by on a mud-flat stood a large Kadamba tree in full flower. My
lord, the baby, looked at it with greedy eyes, and Raicharan knew his
meaning. Only a short time before he had made, out of these very
flower balls, a small go-cart; and the child had been so entirely happy
dragging it about with a string, that for the whole day Raicharan was
not made to put on the reins at all. He was promoted from a horse into a
groom.
The Hungry Stones And Other Stories, by
Rabindranath Tagore

In the middle of the sea of nectar,
In the isle of precious gems,
Which is surrounded by wish giving Kalpaga trees,
In the garden Kadamba trees,
In the house of the gem of thought,
On the all holy seat of the lap of the great God Shiva,
Sits she who is like a tide
In the sea of happiness of ultimate truth,
And is worshipped by only by few select holy men.
Adi Sankaracharya's
Soundarya Lahari
Translated bY P. R. Ramachander

After the rain a gentle breeze springs up
while the sky is overlaid with clouds;
one sees the horizon suddenly in a flash of lightning;
moon and stars and planets are asleep;
a heady scent is borne from kadambas wet with rain
and the sound of frogs spreads out in utter darkness.
How can the lonely lover spend these nights ?
Page 1
SANSKRIT
POETRY
from Vidjäkara's "Treasury" TRANSLATED BY
DANIEL H. H. INGALLS

As the temperatures had cooled down considerably Naveen suggested we visit a place which he knew had some Kadam trees. This is very important from our fragrance research viewpoint as Kadam flowers are greatly valued for the wonderful fragrance they impart to attars. Outside the city we came to a tiny village where we asked an elderly farmer if he knew how we could find the place where Naveen had heard their was Kadam trees. The farmer told us that he would be happy to guide us there himself so he got in the car and off we went on another fragrant adventure. After a few miles we left the tarred road and followed a dirt one until it ended in a small ravine at the gate of an ancient temple. Once again I felt we had entered a forgotten world where anything and everything was possible. The kind and gentle soul which had guided us to this serene spot told us that many centuries before a great sage had settled here and became absorbed in meditation. In India it is believed that nature blesses that place where meditation is being done and so, in this case, a grove of Kadam trees began to grow up around his hermitage. They became so thick that it created a canopy of foliage above the place where he was sitting. The flowers when in bloom gave off their delicious aroma from 3-6 AM the time considered most auspicious for spiritual practice. Many old Kadam trees still surrounded the temple and we wandered about in search of some that were in bloom. This is the season in which they flower but their full crop usually appears only when the monsoon rains begin. A beautiful grouping of old and gnarled trees surrounded a stone lined well and the elderly farmer told us that this was a sacred place where Sita use to do her daily ablutions when she and Rama stayed here on their way to Ayodhya from Sri Lanka. Their story is recounted in the Ramayana one of the most famous epics in India. As we walked up the ravine we found more and more Kadam trees but none seemed in bloom. We came upon a forest department nursery tucked neatly away in the ravine that served as a propagation station for neem and other trees that were known to do well in this location. Thousands of tiny saplings were growing there in the shade of mature neem and peepul trees. We asked the watchman if he knew of any Kadam trees in bloom and he directed us to spot to the side of the road upon which we had come. We were overjoyed to find several trees with both mature flowers and new buds emerging. At the time of our discovery a number of village children appeared on the scene. They were asked to collect some flowers from the higher reaches of the tree in a flash they were scrambling up the trunk and onto the limbs. Laughing and chattering merrily they nimbly collected flowers while I took pictures of them. They were delighted to render this service and we were delighted to see their absolute spontaneity, innocence and purity. Their eyes sparkled with joy and happiness and there voices were like the melodious chirping of birds. They collected a small bundle of flowers and returned to the ground with their treasure in hand. And what a treasure it was. The fragrance of Kadam is rich, mellow, and delicious.
Kadam Newsletter





Links to Kadam/Kadamba/Anthocephalus cadamba
Human Flower Project-Pom-Pom of the Monsoon
Kadam Flower Article
Kadamba Tree-Wikipedia Article
A dictionary of the economic products of India, Volume 1 By George Watt
Indian herbal remedies By C. P. Khare
Plant lore, legends, and lyrics By Richard Folkard