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Ambergris Found On UK Beach

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Old August 12th, 2006, 08:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ambergris Found On UK Beach

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006370298,00.html

A GIRL aged ten is set to be £3,500 richer after finding this lump of WHALE SICK. Melissa Cathcart picked up the rare ambergris while beachcombing on holiday.
The waxy substance known as “floating gold” is produced by sperm whalesand used in perfume production to slow evaporation. It is worth £10 a gram.
----
Today that price converts to $6633 USD.
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Old November 18th, 2006, 04:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambergris Found On UK Beach

I wondered about that story when I first saw it, because that stuff doesn't look at all like ambergris. When it's fresh, it's blackish and very stinky. After a few years floating on the ocean it turns paler, powder-waxy rocklike and very softly fragrant. I bought a small piece of it last year for tincturing; cool stuff. Here are some photos of ambergris:

http://www.ambergris.co.nz/

this woman looks like she's enjoying the aroma, no?
http://neveryetmelted.com/wp-images/Ambergris.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/wvphoto/image/37569744
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Old November 18th, 2006, 07:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambergris Found On UK Beach

Thanks for those links Carrie. The last article is particularly interesting. I recently bought a small bottle of pure ambergris oil on Ebay, and I am not quite sure of how I feel about it as of yet. When I first smelled it, I kind of felt like the lady in that photo. It certainly wasn't what I expected... but then again, it IS whale barf. I wasn't feeling very well on the day that I got it in the mail, so maybe I'll cautiously get it out again and take another whiff now that I am feeling better.
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Old November 18th, 2006, 07:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambergris Found On UK Beach

I just found this article on Ambergris.
http://www.profumo.it/perfume/aromat...mbergris_1.htm
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Old November 19th, 2006, 06:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambergris Found On UK Beach

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilsa View Post
I just found this article on Ambergris.
http://www.profumo.it/perfume/aromat...mbergris_1.htm
That website is a real gem, as is the perfumer behind it, who goes by Abdes Salam Attar. He belongs to several of the perfumery groups I post on; he always has wonderful info and insights to share. He has a great interest in the animal pheromones and in the deep effects of natural scents on the human being. His perfumes are also carried in the U.S. (don't know if you are in the U.S.?) by The Perfumer's Apprentice, a great little company that I've ordered from several times.

http://www.perfumersapprentice.com/

I'll be interested to hear what you think of your ambergris; it's a fascinatingly complex scent, though very mild. Its real magic lies in its effects on other scents. Try layering a little bit of it under a perfume or EO you're already familiar with and see what it does.
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Old November 19th, 2006, 08:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambergris Found On UK Beach

Thanks for all of those great links Carrie. I have been obsessed with perfumes lately. Go figure. I guess the love of perfumery and the draw of pheromones goes hand in hand.

I'll try layering the ambergris with another scent, maybe black musk. Do you think that would work? I received a sample of real black musk with the ambergris. It is strong stuff, no doubt about it. I also bought a bottle of natural gazelle musk from another seller, and I can't wait to get that. Have you ever tried gazelle musk?

I would be interested in joining those Yahoo groups that you mentioned. PM me with the links to the group pages so I can check them out. Have you tried out any of the perfumes by Abdes Salam Attar? Arabia looks interesting.
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Old November 19th, 2006, 08:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambergris Found On UK Beach

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilsa View Post
Thanks for all of those great links Carrie. I have been obsessed with perfumes lately. Go figure. I guess the love of perfumery and the draw of pheromones goes hand in hand.

I'll try layering the ambergris with another scent, maybe black musk. Do you think that would work?
Hi Ilsa! Ambergris is kind of delicate so you might find it easier to discern what it adds if you combine it with something lighter like a light musk or a floral.

Quote:
I received a sample of real black musk with the ambergris. It is strong stuff, no doubt about it. I also bought a bottle of natural gazelle musk from another seller, and I can't wait to get that. Have you ever tried gazelle musk?

I would be interested in joining those Yahoo groups that you mentioned. PM me with the links to the group pages so I can check them out. Have you tried out any of the perfumes by Abdes Salam Attar? Arabia looks interesting.
I PM'd you about the groups. I haven't tried any of Abdes Salam's perfumes yet, but I love his writing on the subject! I was going to get some of his ambergris but then found someone in the U.S. who had a small amount of beachcombed ambergris from North Carolina, so I got that instead and prepared it according to Abdes Salam's instructions.

Re: black musk and musk gazelle, I've encountered those names in commercial perfumery, typically from companies of Arabic background like Nemat International and Madini/Talisman. I have a sample of Musk Pierre from Madini but haven't tried their Musk Gazelle - I hear it's really potent and good, though the name is not meant to imply that it comes from an actual gazelle. It's a term kind of like "white musk" or "egyptian musk" - it describes a certain coloration the perfumer has given to it, like the soft floral quality in a white musk, for example. Nemat has many, many musks ... if you do a search on Makeupalley's fragrance board you can read about how they differ.

I take Madini's claims of naturality with a large grain of salt ... for example, they claim their Ambar-Gris is natural ambergris from the ocean - it smells nothing like real ambergris, more like choya nakh (distilled toasted seashells); it's intense and wonderful but it ain't ambergris, no way no how. The fact that they sell all their frags for $15 is another giveaway. I really like their scents and they are a great bargain, but natural? I think they are using the word very loosely.
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