Sperm whale vomit is highly sought after by the perfume industry
Back in last year's August, a schoolboy made headlines after stumbling upon a chunk of whale vomit and selling it for a not-so-small fortune.Apparently, the same kind of luck has recently hit a British man, whose dog managed to track down a rather strange-smelling rock, which later turned out to be whale vomit.
Information made available to the general public says that Ken Wilman and his pet dog were merely enjoying a quiet walk on a beach in the coastal town of Morecambe, in northwest England, when the latter started paying a tad too much attention to something which looked very much like a large stone.
Ken Wilman later explained that, as he approached the rock hoping to find out why it was exactly that his dog had taken this sudden interest in it, he noticed that it had a yellowish color and a waxy texture.
Luckily, this British man was inspired enough not to leave this peculiar rock lying on the beach. Thus, he brought it home with him and, should tests confirm that it is indeed whale vomit, odds are that Ken Wilman will be made significantly richer by it.
For those unaware, ambergris (i.e. this type of whale vomit) is highly sought after by the perfume industry.
As Bangkok Post reports, this is because its chemical makeup allows it to give perfumes that musky fragrance which most people are very much fond of, but which is rather difficult to recreate in a laboratory.
Interestingly enough, such whale vomit is very much similar to wine, in the sense that it tends to get better with age. More precisely, older chunks really do smell musky on their own accord, whereas newer ones still smell a bit unpleasant.
Despite the fact that the ambergris Ken Wilman has found belongs to the second category, rumor has it that one perfume company from France was quick in offering him €50,000 ($67,614) for it.
Just for the record, ambergris is produced by sperm whales alone, which are presently listed as a vulnerable species.
In other words, those who very much enjoy paying considerable amounts of money on perfumes manufactured with the help of this rather peculiar ingredient might wish to also keep a closer eye on environmental protection.