Ambergris is a hardened excretion from the digestive systems of endangered sperm whales. It is highly sought after in perfumery for its naturally occurring terpenoids, what essentially gives ambergris its incredible smell.
Ambergris is terribly hard to find and exorbitantly expensive. Because it is so prized for its smell and ability to "fix" a fragrance to the skin much like musk, chemists have synthesised the compound in a fragrance molecule known as ambroxan. It is synthesised from clary sage, making it more accessible to perfumers, with the added advantage of being much more diffusive and nuanced. It's airiness and transparency expands and amplifies other notes, anchoring more volatile ingredients like citrus, giving fragrance a clean, crisp, almost crystalline depth.
Scent Profile: Ambroxan has more of an effect than an aroma; mineral and oceanic, sometimes salty and slightly sweet, with a skin-like woodsiness.
Made Famous In: Escentric Molecules, Molecule 02 (1998).