Definition of attar in English:


(also otto)


  • A fragrant essential oil, typically made from rose petals.

    ‘attar of roses’
    • ‘Cleopatra would never have set off to woo Mark Anthony armed with a single spritz of attar of roses.’
    • ‘More than 90 per cent of the rose attar produced in Bulgaria is exported to the US, France and Switzerland.’
    • ‘A diluted form of attar, it gives a delightful, delicate taste.’
    • ‘The valley of Taif in Western Saudi Arabia near Jeddah is famous the world over for its rose attar and water.’
    • ‘Kazanlik, by the way, is the rose grown in fields all over Bulgaria to produce the famous attar of roses so important to the perfume industry.’
    • ‘If you need to substitute for rose otto, rose geranium is not perfect, but it can give a suitable result.’
    • ‘This is because they contain the same essential oils as attar of roses.’
    • ‘The famous crop of the dry and dusty Tundzha Valley makes Bulgaria the world's largest exporter of attar of roses.’


Late 17th century: via Persian from Arabic ‘iṭr perfume, essence.