1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Ambergris Tincture


Updated March 29, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Ambergris Tincture - FDA GRAS; FEMA GRAS

More commonly referred to as whale vomit, ambergris is one of the hundreds of possible additives used in cigarettes. Ambergris is a fatty, waxy substance that forms in the intestines of the sperm whale. Lumps of ambergris often have the hard beaks of squid and cuttlefish buried within, so it's suspected that it acts as a vehicle for the expulsion of undigestible bits of what these whales eat.

Fresh ambergris is foul smelling and floats on the ocean surface, but with years of exposure to the elements, it takes on a sweet, pleasant smell. Ambergris has become prized in perfume manufacturing because it has the unique ability to "fix" a fragrance, keeping it from fading too fast. It's also used as a food additive.

Used in:
  • non-alcoholic beverages
  • ice cream
  • candy
Ambergris Image


Ambergris 12 October 2006. Dept of the Environment and Water Resources, Australian Government

Also Known As: whale vomit, ambergrease, grey amber, floating gold

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.