"Who would think, then, that such fine ladies and gentlemen should regale themselves with an essence found in the inglorious bowels of a sick whale! Yet so it is. "
Musing: What a thing to contemplate. Ambergris, used as the base of perfume to this day, is found in the bowels of a whale and stinks to high heaven. According to Smithsonian magazine, ambergris "also known as 'whale vomit,' is the putrid substance produced by sperm whales, Physeter macrocephalus, and has been prized for centuries, still commanding big money from perfume makers." Before it was a thing, Melville wrote about the value of knowing where your ingredients come from! I do like the fact that Moby-Dick is, in part, an excellence source of historical knowledge.