Online Videos of Attar Distillation, Vetiver Harvest, Patchouli Harvest

Online Videos of Attar Distillation, Vetiver Harvest, Patchouli Harvest

14 years ago I started visiting India regularly for the study of the ancient and modern fragrance industry of India. Ramakant Harlalka kindly agreed to be my guide and mentor for these aromatic explorations of India's vast botanical wealth and their use in preparing essential oils, co2 extracts, hydrosols, absolutes and attars.

During the course of our journeys together we visited many farms, distilleries, scientific institutions dedicated to aromatic and medicinal plant research, extracting units, etc and gradually, with his kind assistance I was able to get, some idea of the vibrant fragrance industry that existed in the past and was and is emerging in current times.

At the time of my first meeting with him and our first trip together in 1997, his sons, Nishant and Nikunj were quite young, but now 14 years later, they have both become very active in the family business. Nikunj, the older son, is married and managing their organic family farms in the state of Chittisgarh and involved in growing vetiver, patchouli, lemongrass, palmarosa, basil and other crops on a large scale. He also manages their distilling units in that area as well.

Nishant, the younger son, is pursuing his career in perfumery and is also managing their distillation and extraction projects north of Mumbai. He is doing a lot of creative work with codistillations of vetiver and flowers that were traditionally used in making attar.

Ramakants wife, Urmilla, is managing the flower enfluerage project which focuses on using jojoba as a base oil for capturing the fragrance of champa, jasmine and other flowers.

Ramakant travels extensively throughout India to manage aromatic projects in different parts of the country but spends most of his time at their distillery near Haridwar in the foothills of the Himalayas. From there he travels into the surrounding mountains to assist farmers with the growing of geranium, rosa damascena and other aromatic crops.

His brother Laxmikant and his two sons, Sandeep and Sanjay, and their families are actively involved in running various aspects of the family business.

Very early in my explorations of India it became apparent that an indepth documentation should be done of the the growing, harvest and distillation of the various crops used for making natural essences. Towards that end a lot of documentation was done by still photography which can be found in the Image Archive of White Lotus Aromatics.

But it was also my wish that eventually much more could be done with video documentation of this fascinating world. Now that Ramakant's sons are growing up, they are beginning to manage this side of things very well. Over the next few years many new video clips will be added to YouTube so that those who cannot travel to India can get an even better idea of how various aromatic crops are grown, harvested, distilled and extracted.

Here is are the first few links for the videos they are makin:

Growing and harvesting of Patchouli in Chittisgarh

Making of Mitti attar(Earth) in Kannauj

Wild Vetiver Harvest(which is used for making Ruh Khus)

Traditional Attar Making

Making of Sesame Seed/Jasmin Enfluerage(by ancient method)