Ambergris sperm whale
However, our sense of smell usually works by association.
Ambergris releases pheromones making it a true aphrodisiac, a quality which has added to the mystery surrounding the product.
This ageing process is suspected to have two chemical effects:
Although they are no longer hunted commercially, their populations are still considered to be in a fragile state.
Ambrein is made by sperm whales only to glue together squid beaks.
Johnna Rizzo is a Departments editor for National Geographic magazi ne and the author of the nonfiction children's book Oceans.
While illegal in US marketsthe gastric goo is still used in Europe and can fetch thousands of dollars per ounce at auction.
Due to its rarity, the selling price for ambergris can reach thousands of dollars for a single ounce.
If still in doubt, send me a sample.
Most perfumeries switched to synthetic ambergris, which is just as effective, and encouraged for wide use.
Ambergris was also thought to be an aphrodisiac and a study found found that it acted as a sexual stimulant in rats.
While the sperm whale may be a much less exotic source for ambergris than dragons; the aura surrounding ambergris remains.
Most wet objects burned give off white smoke, similar to what you might think of coal-fired power stations.
Throughout history; strange and even mythical origins, such as dragons drool, were proposed as the possible source of this odd yet precious raw material.
Walking along the beach in Dorset with his dad, the boy found what looked to be a very odd rock.