ambergris :

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am ber gris

  • n  waxy substance secreted by the sperm whale and found floating at sea or washed ashore; used in perfume

  • To "fix" the perfume by uniting other ingredients, perfumers use such sour or fetid-smelling substances as musk, castoreum (made from beavers' testicles), ambergris (a secretion .
  • Zheng He himself loaded his ships with ambergris, elephant tusk and rhino horn.
  • When Marco Polo wrote about it, still centuries before Zanzibar's golden age, local merchants were already bartering "elephant teeth and ambergris" with the "many trading ships .

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