The treasure of the sea has a name: ambergris. This word comes from French ”ambre gris” which literally means grey amber.
But what is it? Keep reading to find out…
Ambergris is a solid substance produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. According to scientists, an ambergris mass is too large to pass through the intestines and so is expelled by the mouth; that’s why it is said ambergris is coming from whale vomit.
Its origin was a mystery for many years but when it became known, industry prospered and millions of whales were hunted, not only for the ambergris but also for their oil used to make soap and fuel lamps.
They are now protected worldwide and ambergris is considered as a waste substance of sperm whales that occurs naturally, so it is absolutely legal to collect it when you find some ambergris floating on the sea or washed up on the coast excepted in a few countries such as United States.
Ambergris is rare, it can float on the ocean for years and can be found in the Atlantic Ocean, on the coasts of South Africa, Brazil, Madagascar, The Maldives, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, etc…
I have even read that someone has found some ambergris on Morecambe beach in England.
Ambergris is precious, this treasure is sold up to $22000 per kg depending quality. And you will different ones, the lowest one is black, then you have a standard which is brown to grey, and finally the best one which is white to grey. Its color changes with oxidation, which happens when exposed to the sea, air and sun for a long time.
Ambergris has a strong faecal smell but exposure to the sun and salt water transform it to a compact rock with a more pleasant smell. It has a very unique complex scent, to describe it I would say it is ambery, musky, warm and oceanic, and with a tobacco note.
Ambergris is an expensive ingredient and nowadays a part of ambergris has been replaced by synthetic products in the perfume industry. But because we want to provide the best with our fragrances, you will find some perfumes with real authentic ambergris inside the Amber (R)evolution Collection, among them the famous Sheikh Al Faransi, FBI: Fabulous Blend from India and Amber Al Quds.