An old trader of fragrance and partner of the Arochem Industry, Imdad Hussein 'Stationwala' told UNI here that Ratlam's 'Itr' had global demand and its USP was its non-alcoholic nature.
He said perfume-trader P M Rathore, who was the 'Godfather of Synthetic Perfume in Asia', started the fragrant oil's business in Ratlam in 1947 with Rs 60 lakh turnover. The business was carried forward by Mr Rathore's son Vijay Bhai. Later, Mr Stationwala became a business partner with 50 per cent stake. Presently, the business is flourishing with Rs three crore turnover with major presence in central India.
''Fragrance of Ratlam's 'Itr' has crossed political boundaries and reached the Arab nations, as alcohol-based perfumes are not used by Islam's followers,'' Mr Stationwala claimed.
Before 1947, 'Itr' was extracted from flowers but now it is manufactured through a distillation process, which is costly and difficult due to the scarcity of flowers. On the other hand, synthetic perfumes from aromatic chemicals are comparably cheaper and long-lasting.
He said Arochem Industry was manufacturing more than 100 varieties of synthetic perfumes.
''We do not use the mother base (ethyl alcohol) to dilute the perfume. Hence, it is not available in spray form, but being concentrated in nature it is more durable and effective,'' said Mr Stationwala.