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The following is a specialised range of rare and high quality Attar available from Mukhtalif Scents, each of which is unique and matures with age. Listed are its benefits according to the Qur’an, Sunnah and Science.
Deer Musk (Moschus MOSCHIFERUS)
There is a perfume so exquisite that everyone on earth knows its name but it is getting so rare that only very few people can boast at having ever smelled it. It is the Musk of a Deer. It is a small shy deer slightly larger than a dog, with fang like teeth (enlarged upper canines) which It uses to scratch forest lichens on which it feeds and as a means of protection. The deer are most active during dusk till dawn, being shy, most importantly they are now becoming increasing rare and are a protected species.
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Blessings be upon him) said: “The best of perfumes is Musk” (Sahih Muslim)
This Musk Deer roams around the regions of Kashmir and the Himalayas, stretching out to some parts of Siberia and remote regions of china. Musk deers differ as to fragrances, Siberian Musk is powerful in fragrance than the Indian Musk deer which is highly sought after. The Indian and Tibetan Musk deer has a beautifully balanced fragrance similar to a mild musk talc. The Oriental Musk deer comes as the least fragrant and is ideal for medicinal use rather as a perfumers ingredient, never the less, it is still rare.
Under it’s belly there is a small hairy glands like pods which produce small pellets or granules of a substance with a strong smell know as Deer Musk. These glands have been a treasure for many, in recent times they have known to fetch over $45,000/ kg!
Only the male deer produces this Musk and it drops the small grains in order to attract the female Deer. Women are attracted to nice smells particularly Musk, but females love this incredibly attractive perfume and from thousands of years men have been using Deer Musk to perfume themselves in order to be more attractive to women. In order to mate, and mark its territory to warn other males that this is his area and they should not think to settle here.
Many years ago, when Marco Polo travelled in Kashmir, Deer Musk was collected once a year from the ground in the forest, (unfortunately not as nowadays, where the deer is killed for its musk) by the rulers of those times it was forbidden to kill the deer for its prized Musk.
Musk grains taken out of the Gland or Pod
According to the Scientist and Scholar Ibn Qayyum al Jawaziyah r.a, in his book ‘Natural healing with the medicine of the Prophet’ it states that Musk is the King of perfumes, the most precious scent, it is hot and dry and pleases the spirit, it strengthens the internal organs, Musk helps old people during cold temperatures and climates, smelling musk helps people who suffer fainting attacks, helps to abate irregular heart accelerations and is also an aphrodisiac. Musk also accelerates healing of snake bites and removes the effects of poison and witchcraft.
The Musk grains that are inside the pods are also a remedy for every illnesses and diseases known to many alternative medicines. The Indian, Russian, Arab, Chinese and Japanese, are just amongst a few of the people whom have used Musk for the preparation of medicines for centuries for illnesses such as mental, neurological and cardiac disorders in varying formulas.
The smell of the Musk Glands (In pod form) are most sweet and musky but when it is opened to extract the grains, their perfume is totally different.
On first impact, Deer Musk is extraordinarily powerful, even for a perfumer like me, who is used to working with pure essences, its fragrance is of a musk with mild animalic tones. On tasting the Musk with just a tiny few grains on the tongue, it seems to pass through the body rapidly, bringing warmth and heat through the body, has a slight bitter and musky taste to it. It is well known throughout Asia and the info sub-continent, Musk from deer was worn by kings and queens of ancient times making it a symbol of power and a highly effective aphrodisiac.
It is well know the fragrance of Deer Musk acts as an aphrodisiac, the great man of Science Ibn Sina (r.a – known as Avicenna in Greek) whose books on medicine and science are still used throughout the western world particularly in medicine, would recommend the use of Deer Musk to patients whom suffered from sexual problems as well as other problems.
Some customers such as Hakims, buy the ingredients to make a traditional medicine. They use the most costly of all products; thin edible gold and silver sheets (warq), Deer Musk grains, Ambergris, Saffron and even Sea Pearls. This perfume is widely used by Healers for spiritual healing as well as physical healing of the mind and body. It is used by Islamic scholars of healing to write ruq’ya with an ink made using this musk and other ingredients, (please enquire) to help those under the influence of an evil eye, jinn or is spell bound.
I also make Safarjal with deer musk and Ambergris, this is an excellent remedy to help repair and develop the heart as mentioned by the Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him). This would be made to order due to ingredients such as sea water Pearls, Gold, and other organic ingredients and seasonal Quince; therefore please enquire within.
All praise and thanks be to Allah, Mukhtalif Scents has good quantity of this rare and king of perfumes.
Castor sacs of a Beaver
Castoreum is a natural Musk made by a Beaver. The beaver has castor sacs between the pelvis and its tail that produce this Musk. The Musk helps the beaver keep its fur shiny and as a water repellant. It is also used to mark their territory when mixed with urine and mating . The castoreum sac is used widely in perfume and medicinal use.
It has a very distinctive and powerful smell but one that blends well in perfumery both in oils as i use it and tinctures. In medicinal and pharma use, Castoreum was described in the British Pharmaceutical Codex for use in dysmenorrhea and hysterical conditions for raising blood pressure and increasing cardiac output. The activity of castoreum has been credited to the accumulation of salicin from willow trees in the beaver’s diet, which is transformed to salicylic acid and has an action very similar to aspirin.
Castoreum and Deer Musk make a great combination in perfumery and has been used in ancient times to the present day as an aphrodisiac.
Civet cats are a wild cat like mammal that can grow upto 20kg in weight. They are often found in the tropical forests of India, Africa and parts of SE Asia. They are widley used for their Musk, you will be amazed how many designer perfumes and aftershaves have the ingredient of civet in them.
The yellow oil or musk of Civet is extracted from the musk or glandular secretion by the musk sac glands near the testicles and back passage of the Civet cats.
The Musk is powdered and tinctured to make perfume or added in herbal medicine It has been used for brain, heart and spiritual illnesses as well as use as an aphrodisiac and libido assisting medicine.
It has also been designated as a spice by some. Al Masudi, an Arabian philosopher, pointed out Zabada (civet) as its known in Arabic as a spice in his book Meadows of Gold .Murudj al dhahab.
In History the Prophet Solomon a.s. used civet during 10thCentury B.C, where the Queen of Sheba gifted Civet musk to Solomon. He also made an elixir with civet Musk as an ingredient.
Adding 3 drops of Civet Musk oil with 1 drop of pure Lubaan Frankincense oil and 1 drop of Cinnamon oil to bathing water before going consummating a relationship with your partner can help in heightened pleasure, you could also use this combination as an aphrodisiac perfume oil which is ready to order in our online shop.
hyrax musk (Hyraceum)
Hyrax (Hyrocoidea) Musk comes from a small mammal approx. 12-24 inch long, weigh about 4-11 lbs and found around Africa/middle-east.
They are furry, have short furry tails similar in looks to large rats, guinea pigs, rabbits etc. What interests us perfumers about the Hyrax is its fossilised Musk.
Hyrax have been around for some 40 million years as fossilised evidence suggests. It is also know that elephants are the closest relatives to the hyrax, which may seem rather odd as they are both completely different to one an other.
So what is Hyrax? Hyrax musk is a hardened fossilised excrement made from the animals jelly like urine. It is often hundreds or even thousands of years old. This age gives it a unique sweet yet strong musk scent that has been used in perfumery. Its scents characteristics are deep animalistic scent, musky, earthy and even tobacco like. It is often mixed with Castoreum, Civet and or Deer Musk to obtain a sensual artisan fragrance. Hyrax often urinate in the same location, caves, mountains etc are the best places to find these ancient perfumery treasures.
Oud (Aloeswood, Agarwood)
Oud in Arabic literally means wood, it also refers to a fungal infection in a few Acquilaria type trees. It is probably the most expensive of trees in the world called Aquilaria sought for its resin after the tree has undergone an internal fungal infection, this fungal is called Oud. The wood turns dense in colour where the infection is most at and lighter as it goes towards itsborder. In the bible it is mentioned as aloes or aloeswood with many health and spiritual benefits for mankind. Oud oil is derived from these trees that grows abundantly and is found all over Southeast Asia. The highest quality Agarwood trees can be found in countries such as: Burma, Laos, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Indian Sub-Continent, Sri-Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia being the most strongest and sought after quality.
Oud has a very strong and unique scent that is available in chips, which are lit and burned. The scented smoke is called Bakhoor. Bakhoor has been used for thousands of years as a scent. Oud is also available in an oil form, which is made using a distillation process. The process of steam distillation is usually carried out by skilled work men. It is vital the fire under the pots of Agarwood Oud is kept at a constant temperature throughout its process of distillation, this requires experience and skill passed down generation after generation. Once the oil has separated from the water and has cooled down, it is sold as pure perfume oil, outweighing money than its weight in gold. It is used medicinally, pure or cut down and blended to make different perfume oils. I myself have seen the making of this beautiful oil and its scent is serene to the mind.
These trees form resins that can then produce some of the highest quality Oud oils. The Aquilaria tree grows up to 40 meters high and approx 2ft in diameter. It often bears sweetly scented, snow-white flowers. Of the 11 species of Aquilaria trees, found in say Laos, it is thought that 4-6 of them can produce the highly acclaimed Oud oil resin. The best oudh oil results from an entire tree being infected with high quality, dense resin and oil. The results are achieved by allowing plenty of time for infection to take place, and preferably in the forest or other non-contrived settings. This infection, in the past, was believed to be caused insect infestation. Eventually, this infection will cause the tree to die, and Agarwood resin can then be removed in various grades of quality, and sold. The lesser quality Agarwood has a whitish colour and contains less resin. They are graded then chopped, shredded, soaked, distilled, dried or rolled into incense sticks. The uninfected Agarwood has no scented value. Oudh oil has an eccentric, as well as, acquired fragrance. It is regarded as a very sophisticated and highly prized fragrance in the Islamic world.
The cross section of the Aquilaria tree below shows the dense Oudh resin produced by the infection within the tree, this is the most prized type of Oud.
Oud is hot in the first degree and dry. Oud again is particularly beneficial for health as it has been used for thousands of years. It is widely use in Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine and Sufi healing. The prince – Mufaddal bin Abil Barakaat from Yemen mentioned its healing properties in his work as so did Ibn Sinnan (r.a) saying it had healing and benefits for those whom suffered from Depression, Anxiety, Palpitations, Heart dieses, Nausea, Coughs, body pains amongst just a few. It was also reported the messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him) used Oud.
Sandalwood has a very long history – over 4,000 years of use – and is mentioned in Sanskrit and Chinese manuscripts. The oil was used in religious tradition in Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and ancient Egypt. Sandalwood has a sweet, woody aroma, which remains stable for a longer period of time, and it is yellow-orange brown in colour. In 1792 sandalwood was declared a “royal tree” by the Sultan of Mysore – a status that continues today with the Indian government “owning” all the sandalwood trees.
The availability of Indian Sandalwood is very limited which reflects its price as expensive to other some other oils. Hence, with all its unique characteristics and useful properties, Sandalwood demands a premium in the international markets. Sandal perfume oil is cold and dry in the second degree. The best quality oil comes from the Indian province of Mysore and Tamil Nadu where the harvest of Sandalwood trees are protected by the state government making it rare and expensive to buy. Other places include Australia.
The Therapeutic Applications of Sandalwood
Traditionally sandalwood has been used for treating digestive complications arising from diarrhoea, nausea, colic and gastritis. It is listed as a carminative and digestive muscle relaxant. Its antiseptic properties have been successfully employed for treating gonorrhoea and leucorrhoea. It has long been valued for treating these types of genital-urinary infections. Indigenous physicians observed that the oil and heartwood possessed antispasmodic properties and so utilized it for treating bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sore throat and related diseases. Its use in treatment of skin problems is legendary. It is an excellent moisturizer and nourishes all skin types. Applies to insect and mosquito bites, reduces swelling and itching. Its astringent, anti-lamasery, antiseptic, and pain relieving properties have been put to good used in healing wounds, scars, and acne. Applied to the forehead in the form of a paste it has a cooling effect and is used to bring down fevers. In cosmetic preparations it is excellent for reducing wrinkles. In the realm of mental and emotional therapeutics sandalwood is used for treating stress, depression, stress anxiety and nervous tension as it is both a sedative and tonic. It is thought to naturally control anger and aggression and to act upon subtle emotional centres to promote compassion and openness. It is also commonly used around India to fresh mosquito bites and has excellent effects.
Rose – The queen of Flowers
Like Turkey, Iran and Bulgharia, Valley of Taif in Western Saudi Arabia, near Jeddah is famous the world over for its Rose Attar and water. Rose water has sacred as well as festive uses in Arabia. It is used to perfume the Yamani corner of the Kabah.
Rose is cold and dry in the second degree. There are more than 300 different species of roses used in essence. The finest is said to be the Attar of Bulgarian rose, which retails for 5 times the value of gold in some places! due to this reason very few people stock it, this is Exclusive to Muqtalif Scents, it is intense and pure that approx 60,000 pounds in weight, of rose petals produce the 1kg of this high quality oil by the cold press method. The other most liked rose oil is of India.
Indians used this prized rose oil at the time of the wedding of Shah Jahan, for the love of his wife the ruler filled the moat around his castle with rose water over which the wedding guests were ferried, as the sun gave down heat on the rose water it caused a natural distillation of the oil which separated and floated on the top of the pond water. This was skimmed off and the Indian have excelled in producing rose attar ever since.
Rose is superior to most scents, it is powerful, and long lasting as a fragrance, it overcomes negativity and helps stimulate the mind, it is known as the queen of flowers in the floral world. Rose works instantaneously on the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies, purifying and uplifting all three. It is the least toxic oil, one can make a beautiful refreshing drink by adding a drop of pure rose oil to a gallon of water then taking one drop of that water and adding it to a fresh gallon of water. The resulting mixture is highly refreshing and the single drop still has the power to scent the water, even though it has been diluted almost a million times.
Ruh Khus (Oil of Vetiver Grass)
Vetiver grass also known as The fragrance of the soil.. is a tropical plant which grows naturally. The clump diameter is about 30 cm. and the height is 50-150 cm. The leaves are erect and rather stiff with 75 cm. of length and 8 mm. of width.
It is called many names as it has a complex array of essences, the “Oil of Tranquility” in India, it is cold and ideal for hot climates and is one of the most ancient and popular of all essential oils in Southeast Asia. Vetivert has natural refrigeration properties and used as a perfume cools the body. Vetiver strengthens the nervous system, reduces anxiety, stress, tension, and depression. Has a balancing effect, helps to stabilize energy. It is also ideal and has been used for centuries for men and women suffering with low libido. In medieval times it was said that men would bathe themselves with vetiver oil before marriage ceremonies. It is deeply relaxing and calming and therefore very useful for insomnia. Helps to concentrate and organize scattered thoughts and overcome intellectual fatigue, it is one of nature’s tranquillisers.
It takes 7,000,000 jasmine flowers to produce 1kg of pure grade A jasmine oil. It is famous in Arabia as Nasrin, in west Jasmine, while in Farsi it is known as Yasmin. The scent favored by Muslim mystic of Central Asia. Jasmine is well-known and most famous among the children too, for its unparalleled ability of sweet fragrance.
Jasmine contains over 100 ingredients including jasmolactone, jasmone, methyl jasmonate. Jasmine has been considered an exotic and powerful aphrodisiac since antiquity. In China, the relaxing jasmine tea has been a popular beverages for thousands of years. In the Sung Dynasty (960) the Emperor had several hundred pots of Arabian Jasmine moved into his courtyards, filling the palace with fragrance. Cleopatra is said to have used jasmine and is sill a favourite with the French perfumers. It takes 2,000 pounds of the hand-picked blossoms to yield 1 pound of jasmine oil. Jasmine becomes darker and more fragrant with age.
It is cold and dry, the flowers of jasmine are cold but the essential and perfume oil of Jasmine used in aromatherapy and holistic therapies is hot. This is an important consideration that not all substances work the same way in all forms. Example just as water and Ice are chemically the same substance, however are quite different in their effects, particularly on the body. Jasmine has been used in Islamic history and has the ability to uplift mood and lesson depression, It is beneficial for the elderly, but sniffing it excessively turns the complexion yellow. If Jasmine is dried and turned into powder and then placed on something, then whatever is black turns white.
Oil of Amber or Anber is hot in the first degree (known as Kahrabah in Persian)and the resin is derived from a species of pine tree, (Picea Succinfera) or Conifer tree. There are few places where authentic Amber is found, Russia, Dominic Republic, Middle east and some parts of North Africa. The sap of these trees is sometimes millions of years old and to tap into this sap and remove the essence is one method, but to grind down ancient amber stones then heat it to retrieve the essence is another method the latter being the most effective in healing but very difficult. You can believe that many plants that existed thousands and millions of years ago would have had many extraordinary benefits, these plants now extinct but their sap is still contained in fossilized Amber, hence they are often used for healing amongst the Great Hakims of the world
Amber balances the body and mind, it is therefore a chosen fragrance of sufis, it also strengthens the heart, brain, senses and limbs. It is beneficial in the treatment of facial paralysis, phlegmatic disorders, stomach illnesses due to cold temperament. the oil if inhaled is a good remedy for cold symptoms also helps to reduce headaches and migraines.
It is most benefited by use as an attar placed in the crest of helix as described in my how to use attar page. But is also greatly benefited by use as a massage oil combined with frankincense and sandalwood it becomes an ideal oil and acts greatly as an aphrodisiac.
This is an excretion by sperm whales, it is often found floating on the sea bed from the oceans of Allah. Ambergris occurs as a biliary secretion of the intestines of the sperm whale, also called whale vomit and can be found floating upon the sea, or on the coasts alongside Africa, India, Australia, Japan, America and southeast Asia; in fact it could be found anywhere along coastlines due to the sea currents. It is also sometimes found in the abdomens of whales. Because giant squids have been found embedded within lumps of ambergris, scientists have theorised that the whale’s intestine produces the substance as a means of easing the passage of hard, sharp objects that the whale might have inadvertently eaten. On the first instance of being expelled from the whale it is softer and lighter in colour, floating around in the sea help solidify the Ambergris and oxidisation helps darken it, hence never are all ambergris the same in colour.
This rare and expensive has been used in the perfume industry as a fixative for expensive and fine perfumes and for medicinal use. It is known to have medicinal properties e.g 0.5gm of pure ambergris placed upon a spoon and heated from below the spoon until it melts and sticks on the top of the spoon, let it dry and use this spoon to mix your regular drinks, water with honey or green tea. This is used to cure many illnesses including Parkinson’s disease.
Characteristics of Ambergris are mainly its odour, initially it is a faecal smell, animalistic like it having a unique odour; over time it becomes very musky and earthy type even something that resembles whales. It’s of various shapes and colours but mainly resembles stone like formations. Its feel when held is solid and waxy.
Saffron is derived from the stigmas of the crocus flower which blooms during autumn, Its healing properties are well known throughout history, Hakims have used it for centuries, Ulema (scholars in Islam) often use it to write ruqya to cure spiritual as well as physical illnesses.
Saffron is hot and dry it expels gases, heightens the spirit and energy, quells cough and increases sexual desire. Saffron also clarifies the eyes and helps clear conjuctivitis, strengthens the nerves, rejuvenates the heart, benefits insomnia, stimulates the urinary tract, helps stimulate menstrual periods and eases labour and complications during child delivery.
Frankincense has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula and in North Africa for more than 5000 years. Frankincense was a part of the Ketoret which is used when referring to the consecrated incense described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. It is also referred to as the HaKetoret (the incense). The frankincense of the Jews, as well as of the Greeks and Romans, was a substance now called Olibanum ( derived from the Arabic word Luban), a product of certain trees of the Boswellia (Natural Order, Amyridaceae), growing on the limestone rocks of south Arabia, Oman, Somalia. The most prized is the Hojari Frankincense.
The benefits of frankincense
In Ayurvedic medicine Indian frankincense commonly referred to as dhoop, has been used for hundreds of years for treating arthritis, healing wounds, strengthening the female hormone system, and purifying the atmosphere from undesirable germs. The use of frankincense in Ayurveda is called “dhoopan“. In Indian culture, it is suggested that burning frankincense daily in the house brings good health
In Islam frankincense is burned to ward off evil, its use in homes as a bukhoor (incese) is commonly practised. The famous eleventh-century Arabian physician, Ibn Sinna also known as Avicenna, recommended its cooling effects as a remedy for infections and illnesses that increase the body’s temperature. It was also the Sunnah of the Prophet Isa a.s to use this attar.
In christianity Along with gold and myrrh, frankincense is one of the three gifts are explicitly identified in the biblical book of Matthew as the to the infant Jesus (Isa a.s). It is well known that the Prophet Isa (a.s) used Lubaan.
Scientists at Cardiff University as well as scientists from Munich have done studies where they have been able to demonstrate that treatment for arthritis with an extract of Boswellia frereana – a rare frankincense species – inhibits the production of key inflammatory molecules which helps prevent the breakdown of the cartilage tissue which causes the condition. Recent studies by an international team of scientists, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, have indicated that burning frankincense resin (Boswellia) helps to alleviate anxiety and depression.
Greek and Roman physicians used Frankincense in the treatment of a great variety of diseases. Frankincense is also a natural insecticide and was used in ancient Egypt to fumigate wheat silos and repel wheat moths. In Arabia, the smoke of burning frankincense resin is used to repel mosquitoes and sand flies. Researchers have found that burning frankincense indoors improves the acoustic properties of the room. Dioscorides described how the bark of the tree was put into water to attract fish into nets and traps. In ancient Egypt the resin was a key ingredient for embalming their dead.
The Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) said to a man who complained about forgetfulness: “Use frankincense for it invigorates the heart with courage and it is a remedy for forgetfulness”
The city Dhofar in southern Oman, is believed to have been built by King Shadad and the people of Ad who were destroyed by Allah ta’ala. It was the centre of the frankincense trade, as camel caravans once traveled this route carrying this rare commodity through the Arabian Peninsula all the way to Jerusalem. Frankincense was used traditionally during religious ceremonies and also as a perfume and medicine. Even in Greek and Roman times, incense was much sought after. It was burnt on altars and used for embalming. Globules of frankincense were found in the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb.
The supreme frankincense tree, the boswellia sacra, grows in the Dhofar region (and in parts of northern Somalia). The best of it comes from trees on the inland side of the mountains, but some frankincense also grows on the plains to the south of Salalah. The tree prefers arid, mountainous climates and only the moisture of morning dew. It’s said the best quality resin comes from trees just out of reach of the monsoon rains, where rainfall is less than 10cm annually. The trees are usually found growing out of rocks and hillsides and dry river beds, wherever rich soil deposits of limestone are found.
A person came to one of the companions of the holy Prophet – Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) complaining of weak memory, Anas r.a said: “Soak pure Frankincense overnight in water and drink the solution in the morning on an empty stomach, for it benefits the memory”
Frankincense is hot in the second degree and dry in the first, it is known to have many uses from perfume, incense to medicinal purposes. Its fumes when burnt are very beneficial when there is a pestilence or virus in the air.
In a Hadith The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “Feed your women with incense when they are pregnant and the child in the womb will turn out to be a man with a strong heart, and if the child turn out to be a girl, then she will have a beautiful figure with wide hips” (Abu Nu’aim)
Hina is the perfume oil obtained from the flowers of the Henna plant. Henna plants are renowned for their healing properties.
Imam Tirmidi (r.a) and Imam Baihaqi (r.a) report similar traditions both in Sahih:
“That the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never suffered from a wound or thorn without applying henna to it”
It is considered one of the finest and most refined perfume oils in the world. In one tradition the
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:
“Henna blossom is the best of the aromatic plants in this world and the hereafter” (Baihaqi)
Another tradition in Imam Bukhari (r.a) Sahih A man complained to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) about pain in his legs, He the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) replied:
“Dye them with Henna” (Sahih Bukhari)
Henna is cold in the first degree and dry in the second, it has been used for many illnesses some being, burns, mouth ulcers, cuts, pleurisy, smallpox. It is well recommended for all skin problems including eczema, leprosy, Scabies, itching, blisters, skin pustules and pimples. The Attar improves with ageing which also reflects its price. It provides relive to the user when one suffers with headaches and insomnia (“Al Risalatil Nadirah Fil Attur al Fakhirah”, Syedi Abdulqadir bin Qazi Habibullah, 1252 A.H. Hiraaz, Yemen).
Myrrh comes from a small bushy tree, cultivated in ancient times in the Arabian peninsula. The grower made a small cut in the bark, where the resin would leak out. It was then collected and stored for about three months until it hardened into fragrant globules. Myrrh was used raw or crushed and mixed with oil to make a perfume. It was also used medicinally to reduce swelling and stop pain. Today myrrh is used in Chinese medicine for a variety of ailments.
Myrrh has been used for thousands of years as an aromatic fragrance when burned over charcoal. It was one of the oils commanded by Allah to the Prophets Musa (a.s) and Isa (a.s), to be one of the ingredients in their healing. In ancient times it was used to convey people to purify their spiritual environment. The word Myrrh is derived from a Hebrew and Arabic word “mur”, meaning “bitter”.
Myrrh trees grow on arid, rocky hills of the deserts of Arabia, Ethiopia, and Somalia. They are virtually in-destructible and can survive under the harsh conditions.
Myrrh is hot and dry, the trees produce a fragrant, pale yellow to brown resin that seeps out of splits in the bark and hardens into reddish-brown globules called ‘tears’ just like the Frankincense ‘tears’. The finest qualities of Myrrh tend to come from Tunis, and Morrocco.
Its Medicinal properties include it being anti-infectious, bacteriostatic, and antiseptic. Myrrh is ideal for opening up congestion and mucous clogging passages. Myrrh is also excellent as a gargle and/or mouthwash for toothache, sore gums, cankers in the mouth and throat, and asthma. The disinfectant properties make Myrrh exceptional for washing wounds, 2 to 5 drops in water for an excellent mouthwash. Avoid in pregnancy as it is a uterine stimulant. Small children and breast-feeding women should also avoid its use. Myrrh taken orally may also interfere with blood sugar levels and heart rate, so individuals with diabetes or heart conditions should not take it by mouth.
Bukhoor or Incense
Bukhoor or Incense has been used for thousands of years. It was widely used by the Egyptians to ward off evil spirits. It was used by the pharaohs physicians as an antibacterial medicine to an insecticide to due to its natural properties. In religion Incense in the form of frankincense and Myrrh amongst others were mentioned in the bible. In Islam it’s mentioned in the Qur’aan and in numerous Ahadith (sayings of the last Prophet Peace be upon him). It is widely used today throughout the religious world to create an ambient atmosphere for meditation or to ward off evil.
There are many types of bukhoor or incense, from agarwood, sandalwood or certain wood chippings bathed in fragrant oils, to frankincense from the Boswellia tree. In Europe Lavender was dried and used as an Incense too. These are then placed upon hot surfaces such as charcoal to allow the fragrances to fumigate rooms and rituals. In many parts of the Arab world incense such as Frankincense is still used to ward off evil from homes and perfumed wood from tree bark is burnt in burners where brides and grooms are made to stand over to allow the perfumed incense to fragrance the body and clothing.
This is a blend Attar, but thought I would mention it as it’s very popular amongst the Muslims of the Ummah for its pleasant smell. It is said that a Sufi perfumer whom made and sold perfume for a living once dreamt he entered Jannat Ul Firdaus after excessive dhikr, there he experienced a particular fragrance, upon recovering he immediately started to reproduce this fragrance upon completing it he called it Jannat-Ul-Firdaus.
Cedar wood in ancient times was used by Sulaiman a.s to build his place of worship because its fragrance was thought to lead worshipers to prayer and thus closer to Allah.
It has a warm woody aroma fresh in the cold climate and derives from shrubs and trees in a cold climate sometimes in high altitudes. The main makeup of Cedarwood Essential Oil are Beta Cedrene, Cedrene, Cedrol, Widdrol, Thujopsene these and others contribute a vast amount to its medicinal importance to the human body.
It is antiseptic, ideal for skin treatments such as eczema, it is a natural anti-inflammatory and therefore ideal for arthritis, it is an antispasmodic helps stops internal and external spasms, promotes urination, helps regulate mensuration, acts as an excellent insect repellant – placing Cedarwood amongst clothes stops moths attacking them. It is also excellent for men as an aphrodisiac when used as a balanced oil.
Patchouli plant is a tropical perennial, it would grow indoors like a plant in the UK, but it s native to Asia, it is a woody and earthy fragranced herb plant. I thought i would mention it as t works well with Attars like Oudh, During the discovery of Tutankamun, there was 40 litres of pure patchouli around his burial site, at the time traders were said to have valued it more than the price of gold. Sandalwood etc for fragrance. Mature Patchouli is deeper, more mysterious and darker in colour as opposed to young patchouli oil. Apart from its use as a scent, It is very beneficial for health purposes. Patchouli oil is great for anyone suffering from depression, helping remove sadness, disappointments, negativity and replaces them with hope. This is probably due to inhaling the fragrance and allowing a reaction to take place whereby releasing of pleasure hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. Therefore Inhaling patchouli Attar has an amazing effect on the hormones and various chemical reactions in the body and mind, thus helping anxiety and tension relief.
Patchouli also prevents wounds from becoming septic. It has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac and for sexual dysfunction. It is a powerful astringent and helps the muscles relax. It prevents sagging skin and hair loss. It is excellent as an anti inflammatory especially after a fever. In massage it stimulates blood circulation, It is excellent for stopping fungal growth especially feet, toes, nails etc. It is also a natural insecticide, by adding a few drops to water and spraying kitchen work areas it keeps insects away especially in hot climates.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘if anyone offers yu myrtle as a present do not refuse it as its from the garden, but it should not be used as a tooth stick’
The above hadith tells us the value of Myrtle.
Ibn Abas r.a said:’When the Prophet Nuh a.s disembarked his Ark, the first thing he planted as Myrtle’ and again from the same source said: ‘Adam departed from the Garden with three things: Myrtle – which is the queen of all sweet smelling shrubs of the world, Compressed dates which are queen of all the dates in the world, and the stalk of corn which is the queen of all food in the world Abu Nu’aim.
Myrtle is one of the oldest flowers since man was on earth. As aboveAdam a.s bought this as one of three things with him when he came to this world. Myrtle was also planted by Nuh a.s as one of the first things he did as he disembarked from the ark.
Myrtle is an evergreen shrub or tree that can grow up to 5 metres tall. It has long fragrant leaves and white distinctive flowers shaped like stars. the petals are also fragrant. it can be found along mountainous regions of west Africa, Saharan desert, the Mediterranean and the indian Sub continent including Sri Lanka.
Myrtle oil ranges from a yellow to orange in colour and has a fresh fragrance like the leaves having somewhat medicinal aromatic characteristics similar to eucalyptus oil.
According to A Suyutis medicine of the Prophet, using Myrtle as an Attar oil is great at stopping hot headaches. In powder form it is great on ulcers and spots. it relives symptoms of prolapsed rectum or uterus if one sits in a decoction of Myrtle.
Myrtle has been used by physicians forever 2500 years. Especially prescribed for fever in that time due to high levels of salicylic acid – a main ingredient of Aspirin.
Cananga (kananga) Flower (Ylang Ylang)
These beautiful fragrant flowers come from a tropical tree, native to the Indonesian Islands, but spread to Malaysia, Philippines, Madagascar etc. Apart from trees, ylang ylang can also grow out of a woody evergreen shrub.
The flowers are several inches long, 6 pointed narrow petal design simulating a sea star yielding a highly fragranced scent and popular throughout the world in perfumery.
The oil has many benefits, it is one of nature’s most oldest antidepressants, this amazing oil lifts ones mood, by releasing serotonins. It takes away anxiety, stress and sadness. It is an ideal scent for those going through hard times.
With its amazing relaxation properties, ylang ylang is also known to have sedative properties, it is ideal to use as a natural sedative and allows one to sleep easily.
It is also known to reduce high blood pressure therefore is known to man as a natural hypotensive.
This scent is infamously known as an aphrodisiac oil world over, it has amazing qualities both as a massage oil and perfume oil in helping couples stimulate a healthy physical relationship. The loss of libido anxiety are a norm in todays busy lifestyle, cananga flower or ylang ylang is ideal to re-kindle ones sexual drive.
In Indonesia, it is a flower used in marriage ceremonies example, spread on beds. In Samoan culture it is widely used from treating skin problems to use as an Aphrodisiac.
Yang Ylang should be used in recommended doses to avoid, headaches, nausea and increased sensitivity.
Abu Hurrah (r.a) said, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “He who is presented with a flower of sweet basil should not reject it, because it is light in weight and has a pleasing scent” (Muslim) and (Bukhari)
IMAM Suyuti has mentioned in his book Medicine of the Prophet (peace be upon him( Basil is hot, its aroma strengthens the heart, a sprinkling of basil in water induces sleep.
Basil is a great herb with my benefits including flavour, As an Attar oil, it too has many benefits. Its a good pain relief, provides a brilliance upon ones face, gives relief from colds and fevers, The fragrance relieves one from stress and depressions and helps induce sleep. Treats asthma, improves blood circulation.
Labdanum comes from the shrubs known as Cistus Ladanifer, it is common to the Mediterranean region. Apart from a shrub it is even a species of rock rose found in this region and can also be found in South of France and Morocco. The best in my opinion over the years has been from the island of Crete.
It is best obtained through steam distillation process and during this process it is a thick brown sticky gum like resin and this is the best form.
Labdanum has been used for centuries as a herbal medicine as well as for perfumery use.
It has many amazing therapeutic benefits, It is well known to relieve stress, bring about calmness and tranquillity on the mind. It is an antimicrobial, astringent, antiseptic, expectorant and has emmenagogue properties (to increase menstrual flow). I have found it can even help with menstrual cramps, if applied to the lower abdomen with black seed oil. It is an excellent ointment for the skin and has been often used throughout history to help rejuvenate tired and aged skin, reduce wrinkles help with tightening loosened muscles.
I have found that during ancient times Labdanum was used and still is, for rheumatism.
I use aged or mature Labdanum when blending and making perfume oils, which bring an artisan type scent, awe inspiring but bringing peace to the heart and mind.
The fragrance notes are, rich, tenacious and complex, it base notes are leathery and tobacco like, warm and musky, so it blends well with many natural base note fragrances such as Patchouli, Oud, Vetiver etc.
And Allah knows best.
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