Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Creating Ambergris Tincture

Where does Ambergris come from?Ambergris is ethically beach-harvested, being found washed up on the beach or floating on the ocean. It is sometimes called flotsam (natural debris that floats on the ocean) and it is lighter than water. The colour is gray (gris), black, and tan, and it is very lightweight, a fact that surprized me. It is a substance that is created by a sperm whale likely due to an irritation within. It is released and floats upon the ocean for eons being washed and cured by sea, salt, time, and wind. It is commercially quite expensive and just a couple of grams will cost about a hundred dollars.

Weights and MeasuresI weighed out 5 grams of the Ambergris stone and set it aside. I used a blue bottle and filled it with 95 grams of perfumers’ alcohol. This gave me an end-product at a 5% dilution rate. This product is not edible.

ProcessI used a clean (and dedicated for this use) coffee-bean grinder and ground the stone to a powder. The aroma was divine and very unexpected. I thought it may smell rank and over-animalic but it was sweet and delicate, though very tenacious. This powder was carefully over-turned onto a wax paper and then gently sent through a funnel and into the bottle of alcohol. All the items used in the process were swirled and washed with 5 ml of alcohol and that was saved in a dropper bottle.

MaturationThe aging process required is 6-12 months. My precious bottle of Ambergris Tincture was labeled and place in the top cupboard to mature. I look forward to using it in late fall.

What does it do for perfumes?Ambergris acts as a fixative adding brilliance and lift to a perfume formulation. I have just been generously gifted some Ambergris Tincture by a new friend and I am so very grateful that I can begin to use it now while mine is maturing. It has been suggested to me to use a couple of drops in an ounce to get the desired effect. I will experiment, as usual.

This beautiful tincture has been aging since May 2007 and I am now selling it from my website at
10 ml bottle at a high and lovely 5% strength for $85.00 plus shipping to your location. Please supply your full address when inquiring, so I can get a shipping rate for you.


  1. I am interesting about on this perfume formulation. Anyway,it is a grateful to me that I found your blog so informative.


  2. Hi, Cletsey
    I'm happy you find these posts useful.
    Warmly, Lyn