Ambergris: A Perfume Ingredient with an Unusual Origin


Ambergris is a valuable substance that originates in a sperm whale’s digestive system. (Photo credit: Michael Freeman/Corbis)

When a strange and mysterious object washed ashore on a public beach in Wellington, New Zealand, rumors began to spread that it was ambergris. Soon after, fortune hunters arrived and tore the mysterious substance apart with shovels, collecting pieces in plastic bags. At $10-$20 per gram, even a small portion could reap a large reward. However, not long after its discovery, it was found that the mysterious object was actually just a large block of lard. [Read more…]