Sunday, February 10, 2008

I Love Ice Cream and I Love Perfume...

but never knew this.

Have you ever heard a word, that sounded beautiful? Well, I heard this word, it sounded beautiful and even looked beautiful.


Of course I had no idea, what it meant or what it was. Boy was I in for a surprise. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Ambergris is a waxlike substance originating in the intestine of the sperm whale. Lighter than water, it is found floating on tropical seas or cast up on the shore in yellow, gray, black, or variegated masses, usually a few ounces in weight, though pieces weighing several hundred pounds have been found. Ambergris has been greatly valued from earliest times. It is now used as a fixative in perfumes. It has the unique ability to absorb and “set” certain odors which makes it of particular value in the perfume industry.

Ambergris has a very typical scent, animally but of great sweetness that seduces particularly feminine noses, who instinctively recognize the odour that will attract males. In fact, Ambergris, like all aromatic substances of animal origin, is a pheromone and acts directly on the hormonal system through the sense of smell, without physical contact.

In the past Ambergris was eaten and burnt like incense. Ambergris burns making a pleasant smell. During the Black Death in Europe, the people believed that carrying a ball of ambergris could help prevent them from getting the plague. This was because the fragrance covered the smell of the air which was believed to be the cause of plague.

Through inhalation, the body absorbs the aromatic molecule of Ambergris carried by the smoke, and they penetrate in the blood circuit reaching all the organs. In fumigations as well as by ingestion, the medical effect of these Ambergris pheromones is comparable to a modern estrogen cure.

More commonly referred to as whale vomit, ambergris is one of the hundreds of possible additives used in cigarettes. Ambergris is a fatty, waxy substance that forms in the intestines of the sperm whale. Lumps of ambergris often have the hard beaks of squid and cuttlefish buried within, so it's suspected that it acts as a vehicle for the expulsion of undigestible bits of what these whales eat.
Fresh ambergris is foul smelling and floats on the ocean surface, but with years of exposure to the elements, it takes on a sweet, pleasant smell. Ambergris has become prized in perfume manufacturing because it has the unique ability to "fix" a fragrance, keeping it from fading too fast. It's also used as a food additive.This substance has also been used historically as a flavouring for food. The favourite dish of King Charles II of England is said to have been eggs and ambergris. Middle Easterners have also used it as a spice for food and drinks.
It is used in non-alcoholic beverages, ice cream and candy.

Ambergris has also been used as a form of medical supplement. Middle Easterners have used it to increase strength and virility and to treat heart and brain disease. In some cases, people consider ambergris as an aphrodisiac. Also, during the Middle Ages, Europeans used ambergris as a medication for headaches, colds, epilepsy, and other ailments.
Ambergris was also moulded, dried, decorated and worn as jewelery, particularly during the European Renaissance. It was often formed into beads.


yellowdog granny said...

i like to read books on the middle ages and this is where i learned about ambergris...and way way back when, when whaling was a big industry besides the oil from the whale the ambergris is one of the reason why they were hunted down and killed..i have only wore one perfume my entire life..tabu by dana..its' strong, musky and no other perfume smells anything like it...if they could make an ice cream that smelled like tabu, i'd get it by the gallons..ha

Hope said...

Well, Christie, this info is interesting, scary and nauseating all at the same time! LOL I'd never heard of these facts. Where did you search for this.. under Whale Vomit??


pheromone cologne said...

Since Ambergris has a very typical scent I am interested on this. Anyway, I am looking forward to your next post.