The smell factor in leather is attributed to 2 main factors. First, it is the fatliquoring or softening process in leather making, specifically in Moroccan old fashioned vegetable tanning ,which produces stiff leather. So tanners rely on a variety of natural agents such as neat's foot or cod oil. This can be a subjective issue ,but most people seem to like that smell. Artificial softeners can have little or no smell at all, but they are more expensive. The other factor, which I think is what most of you here are suffering from, is caused when the hide or skin is poorly preserved and started to putrefy before it reaches the tanning process. And thats where u get the distinctive bad smell. So to hide it, tanners would add a fatliquor with a strong smell, and a couple of washes later, it's gone. Unfortunately that only works for a while, as soon as the item gets damp or humid, the stench comes right back. There are available chemicals that can mask it, and any solution would basically be a Tailor-suited process depending on the tannage, and you might also have to take the article apart before treatment. I'm afraid washing the leather or treating it with chemicals that would change the ph, might ruin it completely unless you know what your doing. Dry cleaners or furniture outlets usually have basic training on treating leather but the article has to be visibly checked first.
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I also purchased a camel leather satchel/lap top bag from India, and beyond the god awful smell, there seems to be this strange sheen of moisture on the bag every few days. I have moved it to different areas, to confirm it is not the result of anything leaking on to it, and that is definitely not the case.
I actually have to wipe it down every few days, as I have noticed small spores forming from the moisture. There was nothing stored in it to generate this, and I even had to remove two hard cover books from inside it, for concern their binding would be affected. This bag literally gets wet on it's own. Any thoughts you have, would be greatly received.
Purchasing anything from a Third World country is a real gamble. Even more so if the purchase is not through a large company that carefully controls the product manufacturing process. No idea what the problem may be for your bag and who knows what was used in the process. If it were my bag, I would wrap it carefully in plastic and take it to a hazmat collection site. Immediately!
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My new camel leather hand bag smells, how can I get rid of smell?