Ambergris (/ˈæmbərɡriːs/ or /ˈæmbərɡrɪs/, Latin: ambra grisea, Old French: ambre gris), ambergrease, or grey amber, is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish colour produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. Freshly produced ambergris has a marine, fecal odor. It acquires a sweet, earthy scent as it ages, commonly likened to the fragrance of rubbing alcohol without the vaporous chemical astringency.
Ambergris has been highly valued by perfumers as a fixative that allows the scent to endure much longer, although it has been mostly replaced by synthetic ambroxide.
Ambergris in Chicxulub Asteroid Missed
Gray amber was a substance from mossies. It accreted to shells and the beaks of giant squid that the mossy could not properly digest. The result was used in fragrances and perfumes, making gray amber quite valuable to mossy hunters.
- Analog, Vol. CXXXX, Nos 1 & 2, January/February, 2020, pgs. 66.