Perfume Article: Amazing Discovery of Ambergris

Ambergris_27

A fascinating article about an Australian couple who picked up a fatty lump from a beach on the West Coast. The South Australian West Coast ambergris weighs around 14.75 kilograms. The current price for a gram of ambergris is approximately $20, and even this seems like a low estimate. As ABC West Coast article states, “It has been a welcome relief to the West Coast family who found it, as they are one of a number of professional fishers without their livelihood owing to the closure of the garfish fishery at the western end of Venus Bay.” Also see this story reported on BBC. Thank you for the link, M!

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5 Comments

  • Evan: Someone sent me this article this morning, and it made me green with envy. Oh how I would love to stumble upon some, especially 14.75 kilos! My God! The article didn’t mention the quality of their find, but if it is good, that’s a fortune. Aren’t they lucky they went back for it?

    I examined a large lump in a scientific collection quite some time ago. It certainly would appear non-appealing to someone who didn’t know what it was. And I must reaffirm that the smell of tinctured ambergris is divine. The BBC asserts that it’s banned in the US, but I don’t know what that means. I used to have a very small piece of ambergris, and I know that certain companies like Chanel probably still use small amounts of it in their extraits. I’ll have to look into the laws here. It seems silly to ban it out of concern for whales because it’s worthless unless it has been floating around for years. Anyway, I wonder who will snag this lump? January 25, 2006 at 2:30am Reply

  • Anya: Their pricing is ridiculous. Maybe $20/gm retail, way down the line. I recently helped vet a 7kg lump found in NC. Convinced the seller/finder via my link to her that it would best be divvied up amongst a number of buyers, since several French houses were trying to snag the entire lump. I wanted the “little people” (me included) to get a chance at some at a reasonable price.

    They originally wanted $15/gm, got them down to $10 for quantity. Second-tier seller has it for $12.50/gm through the end of this month before she tinctures the remainder.

    There is NO law prohibiting the sale or posession, according to the US. Fish and Wildlife reps. The BBC needs to get their facts straight. You need a permit to import civet or castoreum, but none for ambergris. I tagged that onto a permit/license my attorney is handling for me, but even he said it was not necessary.

    That said, today a hyperbolic Aussie news agency is claiming the lump will fetch “millions”. Gotta love the confusion.

    Mine is happily tincturing in alcohol, some infusing in oil. Had to grate it on a microplane, very tedious, but rewarding work. Got some from the outer part, and some of the interior. The interior is softer to work with. All smells wonderful. January 25, 2006 at 9:27am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Evan, I am sure that the article did not get the facts straight. I also do not think that there is much use for ambergris in fresh form.

    Yes, can you imagine finding a lump like that? I have a little bit, and even that small amount never fails to sweep me off my feet. January 25, 2006 at 6:23pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Anya, 7kg lump found in NC! I need to start spending more time on the beach. 🙂 January 25, 2006 at 6:26pm Reply

  • stan: I have a 30Kilo piece August 30, 2007 at 3:51pm Reply

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