Attar manufacturing is a closely-guarded family business, and queries about the business are regarded as an intrusion into a private act, drawing hostile glares. Turning up its nose at technology—the perfume industry here is distinctly uncomfortable with even the slightest touch of modernisation—the industry still uses the age-old, slow, laborious and labour-intensive process where the sandalwood oil extraction itself takes a week. The process of making attar is still the same as followed centuries ago—degh bhapka. The flower-water mixture is heated on brick ovens using wood charcoal.
— From Fleeting Fragrance, a fascinating article in Business Today about attar production in India.