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Whale Ambergris Is Sick, Literally.

Updated on February 1, 2013

Expensive vomit.

Whale Ambergris, better known to you and I as vomit has long been used by the perfume industry and today is a high value commodity on the open market, so when I say that Whale Ambergris is sick, literally, I mean it. My gosh, when you start out as a freelance writer you never know where the next article is coming from. I never thought in a million years when I started that I would be describing the contents of the intestines of a Whale.

For many this will be the first time that they have ever heard of this, I know it was me and they maybe quite surprised that this so called grey amber is used to make perfumes. Hard to believe I know that something which will obviously smell vile could ever go to produce some of the nicest products ever invented.

I know what you are thinking, only his second article in a series of fashion and beauty articles and he is making us feel sick already. Apologies it wasn't my intention. It was just a news story which amazed me so I felt that I just had to research it and write to inform those who have never heard about it. Providing a public service is what I would call it and definitely a newsworthy topic. Talking of my first article in this niche, now I come to mention it, make sure you take a look at the first one called

Because You're Worth It. Hair Colouring Advice That Works.


Who's idea was it to use Whale vomit in perfumes ?

There are so many questions to be answered. The first one being, who on earth decided that Whale sick would be a good thing to use in perfumes ?

It would seem that records of Ambergris go back to the Egyptians. Nevertheless there has been countless recorded evidence regarding this interesting if smelly matter. Do a Google search and you see that Eggs and Ambergris were King Charles II's favourite dish. What ! And you thought that using it in perfume was bad enough, but to eat it, ugh.

Further reference is made to it in the book Moby Dick, well of course it would. A quote in the book says that "fine ladies and gentlemen should regale themselves with an essence found in the inglorious bowels of a sick whale."

It also get's a mention in the film Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street. Beedle Branford admits that his favourite exotic aroma "is a touch of ambergris."

Does anyone think they are missing out on this pleasure in their lives ? Maybe not.

Thinking about it, it can't be any worse than Musk really. After all this is derived from the glands of a Musk Deer. Although synthetic Musk has been developed called Muscone due to the pressure placed on manufacturers and the animal rights brigade. Not such a bad thing then.

What's it worth ?

The pile in the picture which the man is HOLDING is reported to be worth £100,000. This is not the largest find of recent times. The sick in the picture weighs a little over 6lb so in comparison to some it is quite small. Search for images on Google and you will see some giant boulder like lumps of the stuff.

Taking a walk along a beach will never be the same for many people. I know it will for me. Imagine finding a pile on the beach and your financial future could be secure. The man from Morecambe's life will certainly be changed for the better.

I am continuously amazed at the things which money can be made from in the world. How many people around the world have passed up an opportunity to make the find of their life? It must be the equivalent of buying a lottery ticket then losing it, the money lost forever.

You have to admit that we live in a weird world in so much that there are so many things from 1000's of years ago where traditions start and are carried on into the modern day. So much for us to understand and some things that we will never understand.

Where is it found ?

Found mainly in the Atlantic Ocean and the coast of Brazil it seems though that it can turn up in other locations as recent news stories would prove. Morecambe beach in the North West of England it would seem. Other more exotic places where it is often found is The Bahamas and the Caribbean Islands. Notable finds have been reported in Japan, China not surprisingly as well as Madagascar, East Indies along with New Zealand and Australia.

Often found just floating on the sea more significant finds can be seen washed up on beaches and indeed in the intestines of dead Whales.

Question for the ladies.

Has this put you off using perfumes ?

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© poshcoffeeco ( Steve Mitchell )

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Submit a Comment

  • poshcoffeeco profile image

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Hi valleypoet. I know I had never heard about this until a few says ago. You would think with the technology of today that some bright spark would have worked out a way to track it, you are quite right. The next gold rush possibly ?

  • profile image

    Valleypoet 5 years ago

    When I read about this I found it difficult to believe that whale sick could be so valuable....perhaps whale sick detectors could be the next big thing LOL:-))

  • poshcoffeeco profile image

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    I get the feeling that you won't pass one again tobusiness. Thanks for reading and being the first to comment on this. Have a fan weekend.

  • tobusiness profile image

    Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

    My husband and myself have only just finished discussing this, I dread to think how many times I may have walked pass such a pile on the beach without realizing it. Isn't life strange? Great write.


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