Ambergris is an excretion from the Sperm Whale. It is found floating on the oceans or collected from the shores of many countries around the world. Ambergris is formed in the intestines of the sperm whale in response, it is thought, to irritation caused to the stomach lining of the whale from the sharp,indigestible, parrot-like beaks of squid. The squid is a staple part of the sperm whale diet. Even today, much of the life and times of the sperm whale remains a mystery as they live and feed in the deepest depths of the ocean.

Ambergris is a valuable commodity, in part due to its rarity and the uncertainty of supply. There are lucky finds resulting in the purchase of a dream home or world trip. Then there are the bitter disappointments; "the close but no cigar stories" when the earnest beachcomber discovers his unusual find is just a piece of tar or other flotsam. However it pays to keep an eagle eye while walking along the beach. You just never know. It could be your lucky day.

Ambergris has been prized for centuries for its peculiar qualities. It has been used in the perfume industry as a fixative for fine perfumes, for medicinal purposes and as an aphrodisiac. Some people swear by the sensual effects created by rubbing a piece of ambergris on the skin. Ambergris releases pheromones making it a true aphrodisiac, a property which has lead to the mystery and sensuality surrounding the product. Ambergris has also been used to enhance the flavours of food and wine and for herbal and homeopathic remedies.

If you think you may have found some ambergris but you are still not sure; please visit our 'identification' page for more information.

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