Ambergris Heart Stone Tincture 3% (5 Years Aged)

Due to the extreme preciousness and scarcity of this material and of this batch in particular, if you are not familiar with natural ambergris and are not sure if you might enjoy its scent or not, we strongly encourage you to purchase the smallest size available first.

Eleonora Scalseggi has this to say “For this Christmas special, we have a very special ambergris new release: it is a 5-year-old white ambergris heartstone 3 % tincture from the wind-swept beaches of Ireland. Its scent has matured beautifully with no rush, and its aroma profile is very mellow, sweet, ocean-salty with light animalic, white musky-clean notes, making this a very enjoyable ambergris tincture material.

As many people might already know, ambergris is a hard-waxy substance that results from sperm whales’ occasional intestinal irritation caused by their cuttlefish diet. This irritation causes some big lumps, our ambergris, forming in their digestive system. How these are then expelled is still not certain, even though apparently most of them are never really expelled. It is only after the sperm whale has passed away, after sharks and other fishes have eaten its remains that the ambergris -discarded by sea inhabitants – starts getting lighter in weight until it gets light enough to properly float. At this point the real journey of ambergris begins: the combined action of ocean salted waters, wind and sun will mellow it. It will take even several decades of floating for ambergris to lose the foul, rough smell of intestines and instead acquire the saltiness of the ocean storms, with its animalic notes now mellowed and sweet, beautifully transformed.

It is at some point of these transformations that our ambergris is eventually washed ashore and found, often by the so-called beach-combers (professional ambergris searchers) and sometimes -albeit very rarely- found by pure chance by the lucky occasional beach stroller.

Many colours and grades of ambergris exist based on how mellowed they are (more on this below), but also depending on which part of the ambergris piece has been found. The inner core of the ambergris lump that first originated in the sperm whale usually differs in colour, consistency and scent from the rest of the very same ambergris piece. It is what some ambergris beach-combers call the “heart stone”.

What we offer here is a 3% ethanol tincture of a beach combed piece of white ambergris Heart Stone from Ireland.

Quite unobtrusive, if used in a perfume it can prolong its life without dragging the composition down and it is ideal when used with the most delicate floral materials or more generally when you are looking for a natural base note capable of enhancing a perfume’s tenacity whilst leaving its luminousness intact. Perfumes aside this is a material is a gorgeous addition for all naturals enthusiasts and for all those hopelessly spellbound by ambergris.

Like all our ambergris tinctures, no Aroma-Chemical “boosters” are added, this is just pure white ambergris and 96° alcohol, and lots of ageing time.

Please note that with pure ambergris tinctures and specially with the white grades, it is not uncommon to find the material faint smelling, especially for those who have never experienced ambergris before.  Indeed, smelling it straight from the bottle you might initially pick up the smell of alcohol better than you do that of ambergris. Should this occur, try and place one drop or two directly onto the skin or a smelling strip, let the alcohol evaporate, then evaluate again and enjoy the ocean salty – clean musky sweetness of this very precious material.

Other grades of ambergris exist, based on colour, some stronger smelling than others. There is black, brown, golden, grey, silver and white, where white is the most prized and sought-after material for the exquisite delicacy of its scent profile. Dark ambergris grades (like black and brown) are the cheapest and dirtiest/roughest but also strongest smelling. Although their aromatic profile could still be of interest for the perfumer for wild animalic effects in compositions, we have decided to stay away from these cheaper, lower grades. The reason is easily explained: the best grades of ambergris (which are light in colour) have floated in the ocean for many years before being found ashore. They are indeed “beach combed” material, very rare to come by, hence expensive.

The low grades of ambergris, however, are much easier to come by. Every time that a sperm whale is found dead on a beach (or is killed by man), there is a chance that ambergris will be found in its bowels. In this case the material can be also softer in consistency and not as dry and brittle as the aged, mellowed ambergris, and it will be available in rather abundant amounts, thus making it a significantly cheaper proposition. We ourselves have been offered this type of ambergris on several occasions, but since it is ultimately impossible to know for sure if the whale died of natural causes or if it has been killed on purpose, we prefer to err on the side of caution and just stay away from these low grades of ambergris altogether.

Origin: Ireland

Alcohol Soluble: Yes

Oil Soluble: No