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  1. #1

    Default Ambergris and maturing in oil

    I have a really bad smelling Ambergris oil. It smells so very awful that I feel sure it must be genuine but perhaps just immature, as surely no-one would bottle this if it wasn't. I just wondered if I left it on a sunny windowsill whether it may eventually mature like the solid and become pleasant one day. It really is so fecal and foul as it is, that I haven't bothered even trying to mix it with anything. I don't even like taking the lid off. I suppose it could make a good skank if I was very sparing with it and wearing a gas mask....

    Is it even possible that it could mature at all, now that it is in an oil?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Ambergris and maturing in oil

    What color is it? Are you 100% sure it's ambergris? Unless it's the inferior black grade, it shouldn't smell foul.

    All ambergris needs to be ground up to a fine powder and tinctured (in 190 proof ethanol) or infused (in oil) for a minimum of six months to age and under an alchemical change. The typical dilution is 3-10% by weight. The mixture should be shaken daily, and after that you'll have an extract that is a modifier in perfumes. It's not meant as a stand-alone scent. Used at small rates in perfume, about 3%, it will help the other aromatics "marry" and improve the quality of the perfume.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Ambergris and maturing in oil

    Hi, it is a perfume attar oil from Al Haramain. It smells like rotten poo actually, so I'm not convinced that I haven't been sold the black stuff (or maybe the brown stuff). Luckily I didn't buy much, nor was it expensive, so goodness knows. The supplier on e-bay is a legitimate vendor with a 99.9% good rating, so I can't think it isn't real. They wouldn't dare sell a fake for sale in such a public arena, surely. If it was a fake, then I would imagine they would have made it smell a bit nicer.

    I have smelt the real thing long ago, I think I know what I should be smelling, and this one is another matter altogether. I'm surprised anyone would even think to bottle this one. I feel sorry for the perfumier whose job it was to do so. I realise it isn't a stand alone matter in perfume. I suppose I should try mixing some of this stink to see what happens anyway. The funny thing was, when I first got it, I put some on my wrists to see how it would behave through to drydown. I had to go and have a bath in case someone thought I had done something nasty. It wouldn't wash off me easily either...... A good indication of it's tenacity anyway.

    I think I will have to buy some solids from the Aussie source recommended somewhere on the other Ambergris thread on this forum and tincture it. I read that someone had good results from those suppliers. I don't need much. Just some to play with.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ambergris and maturing in oil

    I think what you have isn't ambergris at all but probably a cheap blend of synthetic replacements like indole, skatole and the likes.
    The only genuine source for true ambergris that I know of is this one:
    http://shop.perfumersapprentice.com/c-62-ambergris.aspx

    I really love it!
    You could also try the amber resin from Eden Botanicals, that is a blend of resins and just a few synthetics:
    http://www.edenbotanicals.com/amber-...d-perfume.html

    As you can see neither are cheap.
    Imo and ime Ebay is the worst place where you can buy fragrance materials.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ambergris and maturing in oil

    I'm pretty sure the Al Haramain attars are blends, not pure oils. Blends of what, who knows! I have the sandalwood, and it too is horrendous. I've been considering sending it to my parents to deter rabbits from the garden, but I'm too scared of it breaking and what that would do to the poor postman.
    Last edited by Petra Ichor; 5th May 2010 at 10:09 AM.
    Out here we are running for the wide open spaces, the road-smell after the rain.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ambergris and maturing in oil

    I'll second what everyone else has said - what you have is almost certainly not ambergris, which would not be labeled a "perfume attar". An attar, by definition, contains sandalwood, so even it it were ambergris it would not be the pure stuff. As Irina says, the only source for real ambergris tincture appears to be Perfumers Apprentice and possibly Il Profumo. Eden sells two different products that might be confused with ambergris, but neither are anything remotely like it. "Amber" is not ambergris. There is no such thing as "amber essential oil", even though some companies would like to sell it to you. "Amber", in the usual perfumery sense of the term, is an accord made with various natural or synthetic materials that vary widely depending on whose amber it is. It can contain benzoin, labdanum (cistus), vanilla, musk, patchouli, and other things. It could also contain ambergris, but usually does not. Eden's fossilized amber resin is a smoky resin derived from fossilized tree sap, and has nothing to do with the "amber" note in perfumery or with ambergris. It is, however, closely related to the amber used in jewelry. I know the terminology is confusing, but that's how it is.

    Sorry to hear that you got something that was not what you were looking for (we all have, at some point), but you have to be careful in purchasing perfume materials.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ambergris and maturing in oil

    Doc, great job explaining the differences between amber, ambergris and fossilized amber resin. I wish it could be made a sticky since it's a topic that pops up time and time again. As others mentioned, it doesn't sound like mumsy was sold the real deal. In my experience, ambergris is not all that tenacious. I find that it washes off easily with a little soap and water.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Ambergris and maturing in oil

    I tried on and endured this matter yesterday just to iron out any lingering doubt. On one hand I had the Houbigant Ambergris which I know is probably a blend of some sort, but is the nearest thing I have, and on the other hand I put the mearest smear of the stinko oil. I endured the whiff all day to determine what would happen on drydown. The fecal smell remained throughout unfortunately, but I must admit there definitely was a salty, briny seaside whiff about it too. Not dissimilar to the briny note of the other hand dispite not being pleasant. So who knows? I may quiz my source out of sheer curiosity, but I don't care to repeat the experiment again, as I didn't want to accidentally meet anyone smelling like that. However if anyone else fancies sniffing poo.... you know where to ask.

    My next quest, upon having any money, will be gradually amassing all the Amber and Ambergris synthetics and reals as far as I can get. Then I may be able to have a better opinion on the matter.

    If anyone can be bothered to list them, their differences, the synthetics, any similar things to use instead, and a smell description of each, as a sticky or a post, then that would be a very useful thing indeed. I'm sure we would all be really grateful.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ambergris and maturing in oil

    Only just noticed this thread, so apologies for my tardiness :P .

    Mumsy, I have the Al Haramain ambergris oil. Do I think it's real? Probably not as it is simply too cheap. What I can say, however, is that it smells like the real thing, at least in my limited experience. I have tried and/or bought a handful of real ambergris products from sources I trusted like profumo.it . They were all straight ambergris tinctures aside from one which was an ambergris/sandalwood attar oil.

    The ambergris in these products all smelled eerily similar to to Al Haramain's ambergris oil. They all possessed what I would describe as a slightly stanky, animalic, scent which was initially a little earthy but which rapidly developed a "marine" overtone. I've found the Al Haramain oil has the same progression, but it is intensely powerful, which, along with the fact it is so cheap, makes me think it is synthetic. You really need to only use very small amounts of this oil as daubing it on with abandon will leave you in an overpowering, stanky haze.

    I've read that some high quality synthetic ambergris products mimic the scent of the real stuff remarkably well. I can only think this is the case with the Al Haramain stuff as it smells "real", but the price is so low that I find it hard to believe that it could possibly be. Also, as someone already mentioned, ambergris is not really meant to be worn on its own. Rather, it is used in perfumery as a fixative, and to improve the scent of other notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    I tried on and endured this matter yesterday just to iron out any lingering doubt. On one hand I had the Houbigant Ambergris which I know is probably a blend of some sort, but is the nearest thing I have, and on the other hand I put the mearest smear of the stinko oil. I endured the whiff all day to determine what would happen on drydown. The fecal smell remained throughout unfortunately, but I must admit there definitely was a salty, briny seaside whiff about it too. Not dissimilar to the briny note of the other hand dispite not being pleasant. So who knows? I may quiz my source out of sheer curiosity, but I don't care to repeat the experiment again, as I didn't want to accidentally meet anyone smelling like that. However if anyone else fancies sniffing poo.... you know where to ask.

    My next quest, upon having any money, will be gradually amassing all the Amber and Ambergris synthetics and reals as far as I can get. Then I may be able to have a better opinion on the matter.

    If anyone can be bothered to list them, their differences, the synthetics, any similar things to use instead, and a smell description of each, as a sticky or a post, then that would be a very useful thing indeed. I'm sure we would all be really grateful.
    Last edited by Abdul_Qa'im; 12th June 2010 at 09:19 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Ambergris and maturing in oil

    The only thing that makes me think it is probably real, is that if anyone was going to bother to mimic ambergris with synthetics for sale purposes, then surely they would bother to make it smell a bit nicer than this one does. What I haven't done with this one is dilute it to 10% or even 1% and sniff it again, because quite honestly. Who would want to?

    I have the profumo di firenze one, Ambra Grisea which smells very smoky to me, so I would imagine it is a blend.
    My most beautiful and pure ambergris oil was a mixed one from a mystic trader. She said it was real. This smells strong, soft, musky and marine.
    I have the Houbigant one, which I have always adored. This is extremely delicate and feminine, but naughty animalic marine underneath.
    Plus this the Al-Haramain one. Rank, but does have a marine note amongst the strong fecal.

    There is the the Aussi source. Apparently that is a reliable place to get it from, but an 80 gamble to find out. There is an e-bay source selling brown ambergris for 14 a gram... Not sure about that, white/grey is meant to be better. I want to use some solid because I have found a 17th century recipe for a tincture with all sorts of interesting things in it. I also want to buy the ambergris synthetics myself to compare, but it is a bit expensive doing all these things at once.

    Nice to keep comparing notes. If anyone tries any others of any kind, please report.

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