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Thread: Case Perfume

  1. #1
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    Default Case Perfume

    yes, hey everyone ! here's my dilemonah, I purchased a mandolin a couple of years back and as soon as I opened the case a strong perfume smell hit me in the face. I wasn't sure if it was the finish on the mandolin or the case itself. When I play it seems like the smell is in the soundhole. I had others tell me it was most likely the finish on the instrument creating the smell as of a new instrument...But,...two years later I still have the perfume smell,....I,m really bummed , it's like it takes away any joy I have in playing! I've wiped the instrument down and have put cat litter in the case [unused] I've also lit matches and closed the lid of the case hoping this might cure the smell since it works well in the bathroom.., I've also left the instrument out of the case and put case in backyard hoping the fresh outdoor air might help. I've thinking of selling but don't want anyone else to go through what i'm going thru. Can anyone dig what I'm laying down??

  2. #2

    Default Re: Case Perfume

    Ha, I can dig it! I have a late 70s Gibson that smells like men’s cologne and...here’s a whole discussion on this very topic...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...en%92s+cologne
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

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  4. #3
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    Dilemonah by Gucci? So expensive?

    If there is real perfume on the inside of the instrument (real perfume, not a faint dilution like eau de toilette), the chances of getting rid of the smell are remote at best.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Case Perfume

    A lot of old instruments can smell perfume-ish. If it's kind of a "grandma's attic" smell, then it's probably here to stay. Most people end up associating the smell with a good old instrument and appreciate it for what it is, part of the experience of playing a vintage instrument.

    You can try keeping the instrument out of the case on a wall hanger or something if your house (and its human or other inhabitants) make it appropriate for that. In a few months or years the smell will decrease for sure if you do that. Playing it frequently also helps, but it's going to take time.

    If there's actually a perfume or something, it will probably take even longer to dissipate.

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  8. #5
    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    I'll take it off your hands if it will help you 😉

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  10. #6
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    Maybe try activated charcoal inside the sound Hole? In a bag so you can retrieve it?
    Living’ in the Mitten

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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    an ozone generator and the case in a closet?
    I'd probably get another case and let that one sit open in the garage until it aired out. sounds like it would take months

  12. #8

    Default Re: Case Perfume

    What brand mandolin?
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    When I bought my Weber it's last owner had done a lot of playing in bars, etc., so as a result the interior of the case and the mandolin itself reeked of cigarettes.

    Wiping down the mando with a damp-ish rag helped, but the case was still stinky. I ended up going to the grocery store and picking up one of those baking soda "stick 'em" plastic housings....pried open the housing and removed the soft, baking soda filled pouch. I stuck that pouch in the case with the mandolin and while it did take a couple of weeks the cigarette smell completely dissipated.

    Might be worth trying. Good luck!
    Tammy

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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    Is it the instrument that smells or the case that's making it smell? My GBOM doesn't smell at the moment 'cos its been out of the case for a month or so. Many smells are down to the glue used in case manufacture - step forward Cedar Creek and Colings/TKL?

  16. #11
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    ...kind of a "grandma's attic" smell
    Lavender? Moth balls?
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  17. #12
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    is it tobacco and pachouli? If so, leave it alone!

    f-d
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  18. #13
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    Quote Originally Posted by bigskygirl View Post
    Ha, I can dig it! I have a late 70s Gibson that smells like men’s cologne and...here’s a whole discussion on this very topic...

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...en%92s+cologne
    I like the Febreze idea.

    https://www.febreze.com/en-us

    I don't think I'd use the spray type,but they make a "small space" deodorizer that might work. You could leave it in the case (minus mandolin) for a few days to see if it helps. To deodorize the instrument you could put it in a somewhat oversized box along with the small space deodorizer.
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  19. #14

    Default Re: Case Perfume

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    ...kind of a "grandma's attic" smell
    Lavender? Moth balls?

    Gin?
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

  20. #15
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    We need a sample to deal with this scientifically.

    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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  22. #16

    Default Re: Case Perfume

    +1 its the case. Often they put a perfume in the hide glue to hide the hide glue smell, and if the case gets overheated it can get out of hand. I have a cedar creek case for my mandola in such a state. Cedar creek told me for $300 they can reline the case, but I just keep the mandola on the wall and only put it in the case if I have to travel somewhere. The smell on the instrument itself fades after a while. You can speed it up by wiping with a damp cloth. It may take a month or two to fade from the sound hole. I have a mandolin case that has a petroleum smell. Not sure what it is, but again, it seems there to stay. That mandolin stays on the wall as well. Other cases have had some hostile chemical smell from untold foreign glues. Procuring a neutral smelling case has become almost impossible. Air is you friend. Keeping instruments inside the case is overrated, IMO.

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  24. #17
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    1. Leave the mandolin out of the case for an extended period of time (› a week -- make sure it's in a safe place). See if it still has the odor. Most likely the odor's in the case lining; although wood can definitely absorb odoriferous materials, fabric's the most obvious culprit. And, you've already tried treating the case, so you agree that's probably the culprit.

    2. If "detoxing" the mandolin removes the odor, consider getting a new case. I'm assuming you like the mandolin, and the reason you're considering selling it is that the odor bothers you. IMHO better to keep an instrument you like, and get rid of the offending case.
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  26. #18

    Default Re: Case Perfume

    About five years ago, I bought a custom Martin 00 15 12 fret guitar, and to this day it has the most amazing mahogany aroma. I hope it never goes away. I relish popping open the case. I can imaging what a bummer the opposite effect would be. Have you tried Ozium? That has worked wonders on smoky car interiors for me.
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  27. #19
    Registered User rockies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    Old Gibsons I believe used bass wood as the kerfing and it can give off it's odor for ever, smell oval hole on a teens A-1 etc ?Personally I like it ? Modern d Martin Dreadnaughts use Spanish cedar kerfing and also give the odor forever it seems. The perfume smell in modern mandolin cases seems to be the glue and a masking agent. I found what worked for me was to put the open case out on sunny days. At night put a humidifier in the case (empty) with a weak solution of water and vinegar. Next day put it out open in the sunlight, repeat for at least a week. Most of the smell went away. I was also told that a small porous bag of a little coffee grounds in with the vinegar humidifier works but I never tried it.
    Dave
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  28. #20
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    About five years ago, I bought a custom Martin 00 15 12 fret guitar, and to this day it has the most amazing mahogany aroma. I hope it never goes away. I relish popping open the case.
    I had a MidMo M-11 that was like that - sold it, unfortunately. But it may, or may not, be the mahogany. Neither the mahogany Big Muddy mandola nor my two mahogany ukuleles have that (or any) smell, alas.

    As for the case problems, I'd try the baking soda. It does wonders on refrigerator smells, after all... And Febreze makes me sneeze. (hey, that rhymes!)

    bratsche
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  29. #21
    Registered User THart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Case Perfume

    Quote Originally Posted by bratsche View Post
    I had a MidMo M-11 that was like that - sold it, unfortunately. But it may, or may not, be the mahogany. Neither the mahogany Big Muddy mandola nor my two mahogany ukuleles have that (or any) smell, alas...

    bratsche
    I have a 000-15sm, same thing & love the aroma! I recently got a Weber archtop with mahogany back & sides. First thing I did was take a sniff but it didn't have the same aroma, at least not so noticeably so what is it about those Martins? As for adding scent to hide glue, what is that about? Several people seem to have mentioned that. I use hide glue but had never heard (or smelt) of that. Seems like an additive would be likely to degrade the glues performance. Kind of touchy stuff, at least for what I use it for (gilding, not instrument building) Good luck deodorizing your mandolin!

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