India’s Perfume City to have International Perfume Park & Museum

Kannauj International Perfume Park and Museum

 Kannauj is getting its own International Perfume Park & Museum

Kannauj, a small town in Uttar Pradesh, is getting its own museum to promote its heritage of attars. Attars are nature perfumes oils, extracted from flowers, herbs or spices. For more than 400 years, Kannauj is making these attars (you might have heard of them as ‘ittars’) using the same age-old methods, conserving the traditions of the city. However, actual manufacturing is happening from more than a thousand years and is passed from one generation to another. That is why it is given the title of ‘The Perfume City of India’

International Perfume Park & Museum

The official name is still not finalized but currently, it is referred to as ‘International Perfume Park & Museum’. Its main purpose is to be a Skill Development Center. It will help the local manufacturers build and upgrade their skills as well as provide them an international platform for showcasing their work. It will also include an exclusive ‘Manufacturing Zone’ for distillation (extraction) of these attar perfumes. Experts and distilleries can work together on-site in the zone to create new fragrances.

The museum will host many unique varieties of fragrances of the city to its visitors, educating them on the history of attars and its production process. An auditorium, workshop area, souvenir shop, and cafeteria will be also be built inside. It will be built along the Lucknow-Agra highway.

The museum will be designed by ‘Studio Symbiosis’, a Noida-based architecture studio.  The design is similar to a flower with three petals, one of the most common ingredients of these attars. The first ‘petal’ area will house a museum, second will be for the auditorium and third for souvenir shop & cafe. The complete area of the location will be 18,000 sq. meters including the main site with an area of 6,000 sq. meters.  Learn more about the project from the studio’s official website. It will be developed under Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation (UPSIDC).

Foundation was laid in 2016

The idea was proposed in 2016 as a part of the Twin City Agreement between the cities of Grasse and Kannauj. The foundation stone ceremony for the project happened in April 2016. Grasse is a famous city in France known for its perfumes worldwide. The motto of this collaboration was to promote the natural attars industry of Kannauj on a global scale. Now, after about 4 years, the design of the museum is ready and it has gone under construction.

It is expected that the museum will help boost local businesses. Not just that, it will publicize the city’s legacy of making pure and natural perfumes. This will give a much-needed push to the industry when it is becoming difficult for the attar manufacturers to compete with artificial perfumes and their international marketing.

Attars are very different than perfumes. They are concentrated liquids made from only natural sources, whereas perfumes are made from synthetic chemicals mixed with alcohol. Since these artificial perfumes are comparatively very cheap and they are marketed heavily with big budgets, they are dominating the current market. Attars have since become a niche product, only popular among its enthusiasts. Hope this museum will make them more mainstream.