When the flowery broth begins to simmer, steam flows from the still, via a bamboo reed, into a copper pot holding sandalwood oil, which readily imbibes the rose-saturated vapor.
It takes about five to six hours for Tegh Singh’s roses to become rose attar. Throughout this process, Ram Singh stays on his toes, hopping between the still and pot, testing the water temperature with his hands, and listening to the hiss of steam to intuit whether to feed more wood into the fire. “I’ve been doing this since I was a boy,” says the 50-year-old Ram Singh, who apprenticed with an attar guru for a decade.
— Read more in This ancient town is the perfume capital of India: For centuries, perfumers in Kannauj have worked their alchemy to create “liquid gold.” at National Geographic.