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  1. #1
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    Default Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Hi there, I'm wondering if anyone know of fragrances for men containing real ambergris (the whale byproduct, not amber, the resin). I'd like to try one.

    Thanks,
    Fragmeister

  2. #2
    Super Member chopwet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    I've been reading Moby Dick and was wondering the exact same thing.


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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Ambergris is so expensive (and even forbidden in the US) that no regular modern perfume contains it, if not in infinitesimal and imperceptible amounts just to be able to say it is there.

    La via del profumo sells it, if I'm not wrong. Also, Amouage Molook (an attar) supposedly contains it; it is indeed a very intense perfume. And an Italian perfumer, L'Oprofumo, told me that they used it in their Kalos. I have not smelled real ambergris per se, so I wouldn't be able to say, but both Molook (much more intensely) and Kalos (light) do smell as if they could, with a mix of clean, bright, salty, and animalic.

    cacio

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Hi Cacio,

    Thanks for your reply. I found a place that sells ambergris pieces, not a tincture: http://www.ambergris.co.nz/buy.htm
    I also found a tincture recipe here: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/223...in-carrier-oil

    I'm sure the fragrance houses know how to produce something that smells decent though.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    In Chapter 91 of Moby Dick, Stubb, one of the mates of the Pequod (captained by Ahab), cons the captain of a French whaler (Rose-bud) into abandoning the corpse of a sperm whale found floating in the sea. His plan is to recover the corpse himself in hopes that it contains ambergris. His hope proves well-founded, and the Pequod's crew recovers a valuable quantity of the substance.

    Melville devotes the following chapter to a discussion of ambergris, with special attention to the irony that "fine ladies and gentlemen should regale themselves with an essence found in the inglorious bowels of a sick whale."

  6. #6
    Prince Barry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    I know that Creed's Ambre Cannelle used to have it in.

    Why on earth is it banned in the US? It isn't as if any animals are killed to procure it.
    Fine fragrance is alive; it breathes, unfolds and unravels with each passing hour....

    Roja Dove

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    I completely agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Barry View Post
    I know that Creed's Ambre Cannelle used to have it in.

    Why on earth is it banned in the US? It isn't as if any animals are killed to procure it.

  8. #8
    Dependent Birdboy48's Avatar
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Ambergris frags may be expensive, but this book is not. Absolutely everything you ever wanted to know about the stuff, it's natural history (it's often the only thing that survives, decades later,
    from a dead whale) and usages (people eat it) the lives of contemporary gatherers, etc. Be the first on your block to be an expert on Ambergris !

    http://www.amazon.com/Floating-Gold-.../dp/0226430367

  9. #9
    Super Member chopwet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Barry View Post
    I know that Creed's Ambre Cannelle used to have it in.

    Why on earth is it banned in the US? It isn't as if any animals are killed to procure it.
    From the very little I know many, many Sperm Whales were killed when it was in high demand (amongst the other things obtained from the whales). I'd assume that banning it is one way to reduce the demand, that and the fact that whale hunting is severely restricted thanks to the wholesale commercial slaughter of the animals in Herman Melville's days leaving most species near extinction.

    I'm also assuming that the demand waned as other products came to replace ambergris in certain domains (candles etc.) and its popularity decreased.

    A lot of assumptions then.

  10. #10
    Basenotes Junkie rbaker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Some of the early vintage Creeds were said to have it as an ingredient.

  11. #11
    Prince Barry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    rbaker, see my post earlier in the thread.

    - - - Updated - - -

    rbaker, see my post earlier in the thread.
    Fine fragrance is alive; it breathes, unfolds and unravels with each passing hour....

    Roja Dove

  12. #12
    Basenotes Junkie Grungevig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Smell Bent, a niche firm based in LA and to my knowledge founded by a basenotes member, currently sells a fragrance called "Spiced Ambergris." The web site reflects that this fragrance contains real ambergris. I am on a bit of an amber kick lately and was going to pull the trigger on it, but I purchased a different amber-based fragrance, "Ambra Grisea" by I Profumi di Firenze, instead.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    To be verified -Gianfranco Ferre's "Bergamotto Marino", created by Pierre Bourdon, has been reported containing Amber Gris - Repeat: To be verified

  14. #14
    Dependent forfreddie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Aftelier uses a very high dose of real ambergris in her super expensive Parfum Prive

  15. #15
    Super Member andregooren's Avatar
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by chopwet View Post
    From the very little I know many, many Sperm Whales were killed when it was in high demand (amongst the other things obtained from the whales). I'd assume that banning it is one way to reduce the demand, that and the fact that whale hunting is severely restricted thanks to the wholesale commercial slaughter of the animals in Herman Melville's days leaving most species near extinction.

    I'm also assuming that the demand waned as other products came to replace ambergris in certain domains (candles etc.) and its popularity decreased.

    A lot of assumptions then.
    Fairly certain that killing a whale for ambergris would be a futile venture. It's my understanding that the whole, floating in the ocean for decades is what "cures" it and makes ambergris, well, ambergris. I was under the impression that the majority of ambergris was found washed ashore or by fishing boats. It's just a scarce natural resource, hence the price. I'm sure whaling didn't help the situation (less whales means less ambergris floating in the sea and hence less chance that some of it may be found) but it is still very desirable and continues to be used in perfumery to this day, although the prohibitive cost keeps it out of all but the most expensive compositions.

  16. #16
    Super Member chopwet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by andregooren View Post
    Fairly certain that killing a whale for ambergris would be a futile venture. It's my understanding that the whole, floating in the ocean for decades is what "cures" it and makes ambergris, well, ambergris. I was under the impression that the majority of ambergris was found washed ashore or by fishing boats. It's just a scarce natural resource, hence the price. I'm sure whaling didn't help the situation (less whales means less ambergris floating in the sea and hence less chance that some of it may be found) but it is still very desirable and continues to be used in perfumery to this day, although the prohibitive cost keeps it out of all but the most expensive compositions.
    AFAIK ambergris was not the main product whalers sought to obtain from Sperm Whales, rather one of the lesser products, oil and spermaceti being more important, nevertheless ambergris was to be had too. From the little I've read, whalers did obtain ambergris from the Sperm Whales they killed.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Im the be$t @ thi$

  18. #18

    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    The current status of Ambergris, at least in the US, is shrouded in misinformation. As best as I can tell (and I've done a fair amount of reading on it, though I am no expert), it is likely, but not certain, that a the use of Ambergris by a company in the United States is against the law. There are some sources that opine that it isn't -- but no one wants to test this theory because (1) it's very, very expensive to fight the government, and (2) it would be a public relations problem ("you're killing Free Willy for your cologne!"), even though Ambergris is currently "harvested" from materials expelled naturally from whales. From what I can see, there has not been a prosecution for Ambergris use in the U.S. in over twenty years, but that's largely because companies have backed off from its use.

    Some sources say it's illegal in Australia. Others say it's illegal elsewhere, but again, there are conflicting sources of information, and I'm not an expert.

    I suspect, as has been said before, that no large-scale commercial perfume contains Ambergris. Given the availability of synthetic alternatives, it wouldn't make financial sense.
    Current Top Ten:

    1. Creed Millesime Imperial
    2. Serge Lutens Chergui
    3. Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte
    4. Creed Virgin Island Water
    5. Chanel Eau de Cologne
    6. Thierry Mugler Pure Havane
    7. Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme
    8. Bulgari Blu
    9. Bond No. 9 New Haarlem
    10. YSL Kouros

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    The excellent book Floating Gold by Christopher Kemp tells a lot about ambergris. The author participated in this forum as cjkemp and there is a thread on the book:

    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/294...y-of-Ambergris

    As barclay mentions, ambergris was occasionally found in the whales killed by whalers, though the whales weren't killed for that. Very few whales have ambergris in their intestine. The quality is a different matter and as andre was saying, ambergris that floated for a long time in the ocean acquired more value.

    I am not familiar with the US law, but, as barclay was saying, it must be related to restriction selling products made of endangered species, even if such species aren't harmed. There was a recent case involving a famous painting which contained a bald eagle and which technically cannot be sold.

    cacio

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Grungevig View Post
    Smell Bent, a niche firm based in LA and to my knowledge founded by a basenotes member, currently sells a fragrance called "Spiced Ambergris." The web site reflects that this fragrance contains real ambergris. I am on a bit of an amber kick lately and was going to pull the trigger on it, but I purchased a different amber-based fragrance, "Ambra Grisea" by I Profumi di Firenze, instead.
    Amber and ambergris are completely different things - amber is the petrified sap of a tree, and ambergris is a kind of vomit from sperm whales - it contains cuttlefish beaks, which the whale can't digest. You may be in for a shock if you order ambergris thinking it is amber

  21. #21

    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    The excellent book Floating Gold by Christopher Kemp tells a lot about ambergris. The author participated in this forum as cjkemp and there is a thread on the book:

    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/294...y-of-Ambergris

    As barclay mentions, ambergris was occasionally found in the whales killed by whalers, though the whales weren't killed for that. Very few whales have ambergris in their intestine. The quality is a different matter and as andre was saying, ambergris that floated for a long time in the ocean acquired more value.

    I am not familiar with the US law, but, as barclay was saying, it must be related to restriction selling products made of endangered species, even if such species aren't harmed. There was a recent case involving a famous painting which contained a bald eagle and which technically cannot be sold.

    cacio
    From what I remember, and it's been a while since I looked at this, the problem is that U.S. law criminalizes using any part of a protected species. I vaguely remember some attorneys saying that since Ambergris is a natural waste product that's harvested after the whale naturally expels it, it isn't covered by the law. But it's the same old story -- the government pretty clearly thinks Ambergris is covered, and no one wants to be the test case to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting the government.

    And now I think I'm ordering that book!
    Current Top Ten:

    1. Creed Millesime Imperial
    2. Serge Lutens Chergui
    3. Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte
    4. Creed Virgin Island Water
    5. Chanel Eau de Cologne
    6. Thierry Mugler Pure Havane
    7. Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme
    8. Bulgari Blu
    9. Bond No. 9 New Haarlem
    10. YSL Kouros

  22. #22

    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Barry View Post
    I know that Creed's Ambre Cannelle used to have it in.
    Interesting. Didn't know that.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Genuine Amergris fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Grungevig View Post
    Smell Bent, a niche firm based in LA and to my knowledge founded by a basenotes member, currently sells a fragrance called "Spiced Ambergris." The web site reflects that this fragrance contains real ambergris. I am on a bit of an amber kick lately and was going to pull the trigger on it, but I purchased a different amber-based fragrance, "Ambra Grisea" by I Profumi di Firenze, instead.
    I wonder if it's in the database? I'll check.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Nope, no sign of it here or on Fragrantica.

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