By Haziq Qadri @haziq_qadri

DESPITE Old Delhi's infamous traffic congestion and heavily polluted air, the walled city keeps a sweet-smelling secret within its blanket of smog

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The shop's 'attars', or perfume makers, create their natural perfumes using fresh flowers and sandalwood oil

Perfume shop Gulab Singh Johrimal has been situated on one of the city's oldest lanes of Dariba Kalan since 1816.

The store is Delhi's oldest perfume store and is famous all over the country for it's authentic fragrances, which are made using fresh flowers and sandalwood oil.

A Gulab Singh Johrimal worker labels one of the fragrances which are made at one of two distilleries in Uttar Pradesh

The store is owned by the Gundhi family, who have opted to keep the tradition alive against competition from synthetic perfumes - which are sold to consumers at a much cheaper price.

Mukul Gundhi stands outside his shop which is situated in one of Old Delhi's oldest lanes

With the cost of sandalwood oil rising, many perfumeries are producing synthetic versions which sell for as little as 30p a bottle.

Bottles of natural perfume are lined-up on the shelf - the store is famous all over India as being the oldest perfume shop in Delhi

In contrast, the authentic fragrances of the Gulab Singh Johrimal can sell for up to £179.

The shop has been run by members of the Gundhi family for nearly two hundred years, and fragrances are manufactured using oil from Jasmine and Rose flowers.

The Gundhi family provide gift boxes of special handmade perfumes for those who are shopping for a special someone

Another perfume shop, also named Gulab Singh Johrimal, was set up by the same family in 1816 and is based nearby.

The Dariba Kalan store is owned by Ram Singh and is managed by his three sons Praful, Atul, and Mukul, who all use the surname Gundhi.

Owner Ram Singh relaxes in his shop set in the hustle and bustle of the walled city

Praful, 53, said: “People don’t know this, but there are perfumes made for different seasons.

A staff member pours perfumes into bottles at the Gulab Singh Johrimal

"We have a perfume used in summers that smells like the earth during the first monsoon showers, and a different one used during winters."

The Gundhi family produce the fragrances, known as ittar in India, from two distilleries in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Praful Gundhi checks perfume oils in the shop's storeroom

Roughly 50 attars, or perfume makers, have worked at the shop or distilleries since the business started back in 1816.

According the Praful, the shop's original owner Gulab Singh would exhibit perfumes to Mughal emperors and royalty.

To this day, this jewel of Old Delhi still has lines of Belgian cut decanters containing an array of beautiful fragrances.

Praful continued: “Making quality ittar is a very difficult task. The flowers are plucked at the crack of dawn and then processed before the sunset, to retain the fragrant aroma.”

Ram's brother Kishan Mohan Singh owns the second branch of Gulab Singh Johrimal, which is situated nearby, and is managed by his son Naveen, and Praful's son Jagmohan.