Whale Vomit (Ambergris)

Whale vomit also known as Ambergris is a dead gray, solid, wax like material that is created in the intestines and digestive system of sperm whales.

Because of the large mass in which ambergris can be found scientists and marine biologist believe it is expelled through the sperm whales mouth along with other chemicals and/or materials found in the whales digestive system that are either too large to pass through the intestines or are rejected by the whale’s digestive system before it can make its way into the anal tract.

When first expelled whale vomit assumes a very unattractive pungent odor similar to fecal matter.

As it ages however the ambergris takes on a very musky sweet earthy scent.

During the aging process ambergris absorbs, combines and oxidizes with various elements of sunlight, sand, air, sea salt and ocean minerals and water to create a sweet earthy scent, which is considered highly desirable by many fragrance experts.

Ambergris can often be found floating in the sea, on the sand near the coastline or in the intestines of some sperm whales.

Historically Ambergris (whale vomit) has been adopted for a number of uses including being used as incense, as an ingredient in cigars to improve their odor, in medicine to help with colds, headaches and other medical conditions, to protect individuals from a plague (the scent of whale vomit was believed to prevent the plague by eliminating the plagues odor which was believed to be the way the plague transferred from person to person) and as an aphrodisiac among other purposes.

Today we can discount some of the mythological uses of whale vomit such as its ability to prevent the plague, however in the past it provided many people with many physical, mental and/or psychological uses for improving their lives.

The most common and popular use for whale vomit has been its use in perfumes and cologne.

In recent times (as well as ancient) whale vomit has been used to improve the scent of certain perfumes which could be purchased at local stores.

Those who purchased some of these products containing whale vomit have characterized it as having an amazingly sweet, musky scent that is very difficult to describe by words.

In addition to perfumes whale vomit has also been used as an ingredient in certain make up cosmetics.

Ambergris is a rare material that is considered highly desirable by companies often related to the cosmetics and perfume industry.

In fact a single gram of ambergris can be worth several thousand dollars.

While Ambergris can still be found sold around the world it is considered illegal to hunt and/or track sperm whales for the purpose of collecting Ambergris.

Sperm whales are an endangered and protected species so hunting them is considered illegal in most countries and if found illegally hunting and/or tracking sperm whales individuals could be faced with steep fines or worse legal action.

Because of the high price individuals and companies are willing to pay for ambergris it is commonly referred to as liquid gold, because those who acquire this material have figuratively on a financial level struck gold.