Whale Vomit Won’t Be In Your Perfume Much Longer

Whale vomit is not just the name of my terrible new band. It’s also an ingredient in high-end perfumes that could soon be going extinct. Ambergris, or whale vomit, is expelled from the mouths of sperm* whales to keep sharp objects out of their tummies; the ambergris interacts with saltwater and eventually washes ashore looking like rocks. It is then sold for around $10K, making it a factor in whale hunting; fragrance companies use ambergris in their perfumes to prevent scents from dissipating.

But whale vomit’s days could be numbered: scientists are fiddling with components of sage and fir trees, which they will use to grow on yeast and mass produce. The price will go down — which is good for fragrance costs — and no whales will be harmed.  It’s news good enough to make Moby Dick barf with joy! [New York Daily News]

*I know this is a picture of a killer whale, not a sperm whale. He had his mouth open like he was barfing. And also he is cute.

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