Ambergris

[Middle English, from Old French ambre gris : ambre, amber; see amber + gris, gray; see grisaille.]

A substance of the consistence of wax, found floating in the Indian Ocean and other parts of the tropics, and also as a morbid secretion in the intestines of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), which is believed to be in all cases its true origin. In color it is white, ash-gray, yellow, or black, and often variegated like marble. The floating masses are sometimes from sixty to two hundred and twenty-five pounds in weight. It is wholly volatilized as a white vapor at 212[deg] Fahrenheit, and is highly valued in perfumery. It is added to perfumes to slow down the rate of evaporation.

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