Ambergris is a grey substance from the intestines of a sperm whale. It has the peculiar property of strengthening the odor of scents, though it is itself practically odorless. Scent-distillers pay very high prices for it-more than its weight in gold-so that the man who finds a large lump of it floating about in the sea is lucky indeed.
The indigestion of the whale can make a beautiful perfume.
Sperm whales are valued for their oil. They are also valued for the soft, smelly, black lumps of matter that they regurgitate from their insides.
This is called ambergris. When ambergris is exposed to sun, air and sea water it becomes harder, changes to a light grey color and smells pleasant It is blended with perfumes to make them keep their fragrance longer It is sometimes found inside whales that have been caught but more often it is found floating in lumps in the sea.
Ambergris is produced because of irritation in the whale's stomach caused by the horny beaks of squid and cuttlefish on which it feeds. It usually occurs in small lumps but lumps of 100 pounds or more are sometimes found.
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