Images of India : Delhi’s oldest perfumery…

imgper5It is steeped in history and is a riot of scents. It also has a long list of celebrity clients. The quaint nearly 200-year-old shop is tucked away in a crowded lane in Dariba Kalan, which contains Asia’s largest jewellery market. Every shop here claims a lineage dating back to the 19th century preceding the 1857 rebellion against British rule. The scent shop was built in 1816 and is known all over India for its perfumes called ittars, extracted from fresh flowers and sandalwood oil, managed by Praful Gundhi and his brothers, seventh generation of the city’s most famous family of perfumers. The most expensive ittar – a 10 gram bottle of Ruh-e-Gulab – costs Rs.18,000 ($276); the cheapest – a variant of the rose perfume – comes for Rs.1,000.