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Some high-end perfumes may contain whale vomit.
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Many high-end perfumes use a special ingredient called ambergris. It adds a scent note of its own, but also helps other scents last longer in the air. This elusive ingredient is expensive, costing as much as $7,000 per pound.
What is ambergris? It’s whale vomit. Or more specifically, it’s whale vomit that happens to be expelled through sperm whales' butts.
Ambergris is what’s left over when a whale eats a lot of squids. The squids' beaks--along with fatty substances that the whale’s stomach secretes to protect it from those pointy beaks--form a giant clump inside the whale’s body, which the whale eventually expels. Some call it whale poop.
Ambergris floats to the surface, where lucky hunters scoop it up and sell it to perfumers. Only about 1% of sperm whales produce it, thus the rarity and high price tag.
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Ambergris looks exactly how you’d expect whale vomit to look. It’s a blackish mass of goo and bones. Apparently, it has a fecal smell when the whale first produces it, but this fades to a musky, rubbing alcohol smell as a wad of ambergris ages. Perfumers value extracts of ambergris as a musky base note for their perfumes, as well as for the extracts’ ability to modulate and enhance other scents.
Ambergris has been used for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 1800s that people discovered it comes from whales. Because whales basically poop/vomit ambergris out, using it isn’t directly harmful to them. Still, exploiting an endangered species for any commodity is dubious. It’s possible people could kill endangered whales, mistakenly thinking they’ll find valuable ambergris within them.

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I learned of perfume and whale vomit probably 55 years ago. This new knowledge prompted me to hit the library to learn about other odd things used in every day life. 
 

Did you know the original artificial strawberry flavoring was made from bat guano? It’s true. Oh, that is no longer the case. The original was natural (I won’t say ‘all natural’) but the newer artificial strawberry is pure chemistry. 
 

Guess who stopped eating strawberry ice cream for a really long time. ;)

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I love that article.

 

First they say half a million dollars.

 

Then they say €500,000, which is half a million euros and that's more than half a million dollars ($538,556)

 

And the caption for the picture says £500,000, which is half a million British pounds and that is €582,485 or if counting in real money, $627,402.

 

Apparently they have no idea what they've got.

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