Imagine an aerial view of Puskhar, a lake at its heart, followed by a thick smattering of white temples, and finally surrounded by acres and acres of red rose fields. Perhaps not perfectly circular, but these are the layers that form Puskhar.

It is the Mughals who first started rose cultivation here. The kings wanted their rose wines and the queens their perfumes and this land, known for its succulent fruit, seemed the right place to grow fragrant roses. Today, nearly 698 hectares are dedicated to rose cultivation. Roses from these fields find their way into temples and dargahs, perfume laboratories across the world and into North India’s favourite chewable speciality — paan.

To get hold of rose products, visit Kamal & Company opposite Gau Ghat, which sells rose products including rosewater, incense sticks, perfumes and gulkand — a mixture of roses, honey and sugar used as a flavouring in paan. In Ajmer, Heena Factory and Lala Mal & Sons near Madar Gate, just next to Azad Sweets, sell perfumes fit for a queen. For a true-blue rose perfume, ask for the ones based on sandalwood oil, not paraffin.