Zhong Tang (Dalian) Materials Co., Ltd
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If you are only a visitor, then you may overlook some of the signs of the city's pillar industries. But when we saw the cars, trucks, and vendors on the street, and the carts that occasionally filled with flowers, we passed through a gate and walked on the stone road in the ancient city. Everything seemed to be clear again.
Twenty years ago, Nongauje had 700 oil distillation plants, but now it has less than 100. The oily base oil or attar (sandalwood mixed distilled oil) produced in these distillation fields is generally extracted from flowers such as rose, jasmine and balsam by distillation. Intar in India refers to a product obtained by distilling floral and other precious aromatic essential oils on the basis of sandalwood essential oil.
The concentration of aromas makes their odors unique, while the extraction time and the raw materials produced also have an effect on the aroma. Four tons of hand-picked roses can only make one kilogram of Attar.
Before the sunrise every day, flower farmers in Damask rose will manually pick flowers from the thorny shrubs and send them to the distillery on the same day.
They poured flowers into a large copper pan and added a little cold water. Under the cauldron, the workers lit their hands with wood or animal dung, and boiled for 4 to 6 hours. High-temperature steam will release essential oils from the flowers, and these essential oils will flow along the bamboo pipes to the receiving tank. The water-cooled bamboo tube is the place where the final concentration is achieved, with the function of traditional distillation equipment cooling.
The process of extracting essential oils is very complicated. If the temperature is too high, the resulting scent will have a smoky smell. Judging the heating time is a very important task. This skill is generally handed down from generation to generation, from father to son.
But Vev Bhav Pathak, manager of the Muna Lal and Sons distillation plant, said demand for essential oils is declining. He said: "Essential oil is not a cost-effective product. The cost of production is very high, but very few people can understand it. Even fewer people appreciate it."
One of the reasons for the high prices is the increasing scarcity of sandalwood. Sandalwood oil itself can be used as a perfume, but the traditional practice is to mix it with rose oil, and then produce a mixture of essential oils.
The Indian government has banned the logging of sandalwood in order to prevent the deforestation. Pathak said: "This makes the price of sandalwood almost impossible to bear."
In order to cope with the rising costs, Muna Lal and Sons Distillation, like his competitors, uses less expensive paraffin as the essential oil base, but the taste of these essential oils is not attractive to those who know and love authentic sandalwood bases. force.
Although there is a unique product called "The Soul of Roses", the entire industry is still at risk. "Rose of the Soul" is extracted by distillation. Apart from the rose, no other mixture is added and a large number of roses are added during the manufacturing process to increase the concentration of the aroma.
The production of 1 kilogram of the "rose soul" requires at least 8 tons of roses. The wholesale price of Rose Soul produced by Muna Lal and Sons is US$18,000 per kilogram (approximately RMB120,000).
In India, many wealthy customers will still buy attar and "spirit of roses". However, the largest domestic customer of Genaujie is the chewing tobacco industry. Pure rose essential oil is a natural product, customers can safely put in the mouth, only a small drop is enough to improve the flavor of large quantities of tobacco.
In the overseas market, the Middle East is the largest customer in this industry. Many customers here not only appreciate its value, but also have financial resources to purchase. In 2014, the total consumption of Saudi Arabian perfumes was 1.4 billion U.S. dollars (about 9.2 billion yuan). On average, each Saudi customer spends only 700 U.S. dollars on pure essential oils (about 4,662 yuan). . In the Middle East, many traditional factors make people appreciate this natural scent. In order to pursue the purest quality, some customers are willing to pay a big price to buy.
How can Gennauer supply traditional attar and "spirit of roses"?
Pushpraj Jain, owner of the Pragmati Aroma Distillation Plant, said: “The younger generation is more interested in modern perfumes and I have to meet the needs of customers.” Now, besides continuing to operate the distillery, he also develops new spices, saying that There was concern about the production of traditional essential oils.
One of the challenges facing the industry is visible to the naked eye. Despite the fact that the distillery is still operating, you can still see the boilers still in use on the Victorian paddle steam turbines due to lack of investment.
In many closed distillation plants, dust and cobwebs have long buried the glories of the past.
Perhaps the "spirit of roses" will stay in these places for some time, but how long can it really smell its time?
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