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Shah Jahan and the Empress Mumtaz Mahal



Shah Jahan's reign was the peak of the Mughal empire in India. When his wife Mumtaz died in 1631 while giving birth to their fourteenth child, he decided to pay tribute to her by constructing the famous Taj Mahal according to the plans that he had personally drawn up representing the image of paradise: a Memorial in pure white marble.


The dynasty brought to India the art and know-how of the Attars, including Arabic-Persian Perfumes. In order to supply the Court in Agra, a city of perfumes was created in Kannauj.  When I visited the city I discovered that the same ancestral techniques are still used to create Attars (click on the link to discover more about Attars in my book "L' Inde des parfums").  It was necessary to adapt these ancient techniques to the modern constraints of perfumery whilst employing the same raw materials.  The Shah's perfume and that of his beloved wife are the same (at the time there were no great differences)  but there is a little drop of oud included in the formula for the emperor.

The classical Imperial Attar is an accord celebrated with rose from Kannauj, sandalwood and ambergris distilled all together.

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