Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Gold, Ambergris and all the Jewels of Araby!
Well, interestingly enough, is regurgitated material from sperm whales! Ehwwww, you say!
Once the whale has rid itself of the ambergris, it floats on the sea, or can be found in the sand at the shoreline. It can be found in lumps from a half ounce in size to incredibly, 100 pounds! One chuck found in the Dutch East Indies weighed over 1,000 lbs! they say that whales develops this as a way to cover pieces of sharp and harmful objects that they ingest, so that pieces like bone, shell, tusks, etc don't tear their insides as they are expelled.
Today, with the conservation efforts to restore endangered species like the whale, it is no longer appropriate to use. Synthetics are substituted, but they are not quite the same.
As a point of interest, ambergris is still used in Chanel No. 5, not everybody's favorite, but you can see why it is lasting and enduring. It has a little something different and unusual to offer!