“Ew! Gross!” said Maeve, who sometimes receives makeup samples from an aunt who works at a duty-free boutique. “I am never wearing perfume again!”
— Maeve O’Malley, a fifth grader from Dartmouth, Mass., on being told that some perfumes contain ambergris, real or synthetic. Quoted in Experimenting With Makeup: What Puts the ‘Ick’ in Lipstick? in today's New York Times, with thanks to Sondra for the link.
If they really want to be grossed out, they should learn about how little it costs to actually make most of this stuff (we're excluding marketing costs here)!
Quite so! Personally I'd be thrilled for a whiff of REAL ambergris in perfume again…
This article is adorable. And, hey, I learned something too.
I remember being told by the pharmacist in Boots, aged about 14, that the reason the lip balm made my lips itch like mad was because it had “sheep gunk” (lanolin) in. I'd never even considered it might be made of that (unfortunate considering I'm allergic to all things sheep!).
The class sounds a great idea not only for finding out about cosmetics, but potentially inspiring to get more girls interested in chemistry.
Sheep gunk! Lovely.
Well, as a vegetarian, I could see wanting to avoid civet and musk (except that it's all synthetic now) but ambergris? I mean, do you have to kill a whale to get whale puke?
The sale of ambergris was/is prohibited in several countries because it was originally obtained through whale hunting. Sometimes it washes up on the beach, and people find it & sell it, although I think I read somewhere that it's getting harder to sell since the market for it is not so large as it once was? but wouldn't swear to that — have a terrible memory.