Rare Whale Puke Ends Up In Perfume

Grace Higgins | February 10th, 2019

Known as ambergris, you may be forgiven for thinking it is a rare flower or natural element that smells beautiful – especially when you learn it is sought out heavily by perfumeries. In fact, reading any bottle of perfume you may see ambergris listed on the ingredients. It is used as a binding agent in numerous popular perfumes. When you learn exactly what ambergris is, however, you may jump up in surprise.

allthatsinteresting.com

No, it is not an exotic flower, a rare wood or a citrus fruit. It is nothing luxurious at all, it is, in fact, whale puke! Months before the ambergris reaches hundreds of bottles of Chanel No. 5, you will find it in its natural form, attached to the intestinal walls of a sperm whale. Ambergris is rare as it only forms in sperm whales and does not appear in any other species. Though scientists still have no idea why that is, the theory is that the substance will cover objects that are harder to digest such as squid beaks.

However, more commonly it is just seen as whale vomit, and it is estimated that only one percent of sperm whales actually produce the ambergris that perfumeries chase down. Once expelled the ambergris is a dullish grey or black color which floats to the surface of the ocean. Often it is found years after it comes out of a sperm whale and in its pure form it often simply smells like the sea.

But the magic happens when you take it out of the sea and it starts to harden. Here over time, it starts to harden and then it takes on a sweeter and earthier smell. Of course, ambergris tends to be very rare and is notoriously hard to find, looking like rocks on the shore and impossible to find floating. In fact, due to its rarity, the price for ambergris can reach in the thousands of dollars for a single ounce.

Even before modern times it has been reported to be used as a fragrance, ancient Egyptians were noted to use it as an incense and medieval Europeans reportedly used it to cover the smell of death.

Next Article
  • Ronald McNair The Astronaut Who Dreamed Big

    Ronald McNair was one of the astronauts that were tragically killed when the Challenger spaceship exploded on Tuesday, January 28, 1986. It was a tragedy of the NASA space program that will never be forgotten. McNair though battled his way through life, always dreaming big and was always exceeding the boundaries he found in front...

    Read More
  • The Woman Crowned King Of Poland

    In 1384, Jadwiga of Poland who was just 10 years old at the time was crowned King of Poland. One thing though was the daughter of Louis I of Hungary and Elizabeth of Bosnia. So why was she not crowned Queen of Poland? Well, that is a whole story of political disputes and royal family...

    Read More
  • The History Of The Burned House Horizon

    During the archaeology of Neolithic Europe, researchers discovered an area of Europe where it appears there was a widespread phenomenon of intentionally burning settlements. This section of land is known as the burned house horizon. No one knows why this a tradition but it was widespread and was a long-lasting tradition around now Southeastern and...

    Read More
  • Myrtle The Story Of The Four-Legged Girl

    Mrs. Josephine Myrtle Bicknell died just one week away from her sixtieth birthday and she was buried not far from her home in Cleburne, Texas in 1928. It was a strange burial because her husband along with other close family members watched the grave filled with a thick layer of cement. They then waited for...

    Read More