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