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How To Remove Stink Perfume Smell From Vintage Fountain Pen?

smell pen vintage odor nasty parker vacumatic ebay clean cleaning

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43 replies to this topic

#21 Honeybadgers

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 19:53

I am not a biochemistry student so honeybadger can step in if I get anything in this wrong.  I do have severe perfume allergies and this is what the doctors have told me.  Most modern perfumes use scents derived from fossil fuel derivatives like coal tar and such.  They are supposed to be volatile (they evaporate) because if they weren't they would have no odor and scentless perfumes are an oxymoron.  They can't be too volatile because then the scent wouldn't linger and the wearer would lose his or her allure too soon.  Eventually these aromatic hydrocarbons will go away if allowed to vaporize into the air whether on skin or clothing or celluloid.

 

I bought a Sheaffer's Balance a few years ago.  It was a great pen, a size and color I had been seeking for years.  It also reeked of Obsession which is one of those scents that can put me in the emergency room.  It spent six weeks on a pedestal made of old film canisters on my screened in back porch before I could bring it back in the house again.  If you really like your Vac you may have to do something similar.  The key is air flow over time. 

 

Good Luck.  Vacs are nice pens well worth saving.

 

 

You got things mostly right. Odors can cling to objects longer than human skin, but like you said, several weeks can eliminate even the most intense odors because in order for you to smell anything, they have to have a high enough vapor pressure to evaporate, which means the odor causing compounds are leaving the pen. Stagnant air is what keeps them on the pen, you need lots of airflow.


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#22 WalterC

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 00:31

 

 

Kestrel "I am not a biochemistry student so honeybadger can step in if I get anything in this wrong.  I do have severe perfume allergies and this is what the doctors have told me.  Most modern perfumes use scents derived from fossil fuel derivatives like coal tar and such.  They are supposed to be volatile (they evaporate) because if they weren't they would have no odor and scentless perfumes are an oxymoron.  They can't be too volatile because then the scent wouldn't linger and the wearer would lose his or her allure too soon.  Eventually these aromatic hydrocarbons will go away if allowed to vaporize into the air whether on skin or clothing or celluloid."

 

 

AlohaJim "Unfortunately, I have a "wolf" nose due to chemical sensitivities.  This smell is on the level of the "Axe" bodyspray cologne sold in stores. It's pretty fragrant."

I have the same kind of problem with asthma. It is amazing how long some odors take to dissipate. For clothing bought at a Salvation Army store impregnated with whatever detergent they wash things with, I've left a shirt hanging outside for months before the odor was gone. It was hanging  so long the colors bleached out from the sun. For plastic items, it has taken days to weeks for the odor to be gone, and those were odors from manufacturing not perfumes.

 

Others are correct that the chemicals are volatile and will eventually leave. Perhaps running a small fan at it will help. On the other hand, fragrances are designed to have a persistent smell, so it can last a long time.



#23 kestrel

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 01:41

 

"Obsession", wow. You even know the names of the scents. That's advanced.

Obsession and Happy both cause my eyes to water and swell shut and my throat to swell enough to restrict breathing.  I know those because, having a keen urge for self preservation, I took the risk of asking a person wearing them what their scent was.  No problem until the Happy wearer asked if I liked it and I told her it was making it very hard to breathe.  She took offense and slapped me hard enough to raise a bruise.  I have my wife ask for me, now.

 

I am sorry about your pen. 


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#24 AlohaJim

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 01:53

Obsession and Happy both cause my eyes to water and swell shut and my throat to swell enough to restrict breathing.  I know those because, having a keen urge for self preservation, I took the risk of asking a person wearing them what their scent was.  No problem until the Happy wearer asked if I liked it and I told her it was making it very hard to breathe.  She took offense and slapped me hard enough to raise a bruise.  I have my wife ask for me, now.

 

I am sorry about your pen. 

 

Funny one.

Thanks.

I return a lot of things because of smells.

Recently bought a "new" heating pad from Amazon.com. I could tell the heating pad was new but previously unwrapped and rewrapped. And, it stank of cologne or nasty body lotion. Obviously it was tried then rewrapped then returned as "new". I exchanged it for another and it turned out okay.

This happens occasionally.

aloha

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#25 Honeybadgers

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 04:51

the biggest mistake people make in general for de-odorizing is not enough airflow. A pen in a drawer or a shirt in a closet will take for-freaking-ever to air out because the vapor pressure of the stanky substance just kinda stagnates around the object and if it's never wicked away, will prevent more stank from escaping. Putting something outside but in the shade or in a room with a fan will speed the de-stinkifying an almost exponential degree. It's also why just leaving something in a space with a deodorizing compound like baking soda or activated carbon won't do as well as good old fashioned airflow because the smelly particles need to make their way over to the deodorizer, whereas the wind or a fan will immediately and constantly wick it away. 

 

Another example would be defrosting meat. If you put an ice cube in a bowl of cold water, the cold from the ice will keep the water immediately surrounding it cold, insulating it and slowing the melting. If you put an ice cube in hot water, the same thing happens, even boiling water doesn't really circulate. But put an ice cube under cold running water and that sucker will melt FAST, faster even than boiling water. So if you want to defrost meat the fastest, put it under a constant low flow of cold water.

 

When we evaporate things in the lab, oftentimes we need to use a fan to increase the rate if the substance is temperature sensitive.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 18 June 2019 - 04:55.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#26 Intensity

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 09:30

I once bought a Fuji X100s camera on online classifieds, and it was very strongly cologned over time in previous owners bag and hands. I almost returned it, but instead just waiting a few weeks with periodic use and keeping the camera on open desk surface when not in use were entirely sufficient to get rid of even traces of the scent. As others have said: unless the odor Originates with the pen plastic, just airing out the pen parts for a few weeks is enough. I would partially disassemble the pen and place the parts on a surface with good airflow for a good while.

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#27 AlohaJim

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 17:09

OP here with a Follow Up.

 

1. Thanks everyone for your wonderful help.

 

2. The ebay seller finally came through and had Ebay send me a postage paid return mailing label for full refund including shipping. He had a bit of an "attitude" at first but I persisted and it turned out okay. I shipped the pen back in his original packaging.

 

I'm glad to be absolved of this fiasco.

So I'm back to only 2 vintage pens, both Skyline Eversharps, both bought on ebay, no smells.

 

Thanks again everyone for your help.

Aloha

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#28 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 18:29

 
Funny one.
Thanks.
I return a lot of things because of smells.
Recently bought a "new" heating pad from Amazon.com. I could tell the heating pad was new but previously unwrapped and rewrapped. And, it stank of cologne or nasty body lotion. Obviously it was tried then rewrapped then returned as "new". I exchanged it for another and it turned out okay.
This happens occasionally.
aloha
jim


Happens to me, too. Ick.

Even with NEW FOOD ITEMS bought from the supermarket. We have to re-bag them immediately due to the stink. Sometimes it's so bad, the item has to be returned. Once, it was a hunk of cheese we had bought for a party. It actually tasted of perfume. Good thing we did QC before people showed up.

#29 WalterC

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 19:00

Happens to me, too. Ick.

Even with NEW FOOD ITEMS bought from the supermarket. We have to re-bag them immediately due to the stink. Sometimes it's so bad, the item has to be returned. Once, it was a hunk of cheese we had bought for a party. It actually tasted of perfume. Good thing we did QC before people showed up.

For me, the worst is buying sugar at convenience stores where the clerks smoke. There is nothing like drinking tea that tastes like an ashtray!



#30 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 21:35

For me, the worst is buying sugar at convenience stores where the clerks smoke. There is nothing like drinking tea that tastes like an ashtray!


Gunpowder tea the hard way? ;)

#31 kestrel

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 02:13

Gunpowder tea the hard way? ;)

Or Lapsang Souchong.


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#32 WalterC

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 03:13

Gunpowder tea the hard way? ;)

 

:lticaptd:

Or Lapsang Souchong.

It smells more like Lapsang Souchong, but that has pleasant associations with the smell of the tar we used to use for a base prep on cross country skis. :lticaptd:

 

Smoke smell on pens would be annoying, but the worst is when pens are made of a smelly material. It takes a loooong time for it to fade (I have one Noodler pen that was like that).



#33 Bibliophage

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 04:40

Oh, just as an FYI.   If the item can withstand mild heat and humidity, keeping it outside in a Houston summer, in the shade, boils off odours a treat.



#34 eharriett

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 06:28

Couple months ago I had a similar issue I posted here, but instead of perfume it was a moldy cheese smell. Basically, the way the pen was stored the plastic was beginning to break down. A waterman Taperite. A really great pen. One of my most used and beloved, actually.

Anyone, someone suggested I keep it in a container of coffee for a bit. I left it in a sealed jar of coffee for about a month (tape up the nib for protection, if you need to be told this). After about a month, I pulled it out. For a couple days, it smelled like coffee. Then for a week, it smelled like coffee and moldy cheese. And then after that both smells went away. I was actually thinking about that yesterday. The pen smell is completely gone.

Did my coffee treatment help? Did the pen just need a great deal of time as a workhorse pen (over a year as an EDC)? Is it a combination?

I dunno. But that’s my pen smell story and how I fixed it. I never thought this one Taperite would be a most used pen, but there you go. I have two others not nearly as heavily used as this one. This particular pen just has the right everything for me.

#35 sidthecat

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 15:27

I like Lapsang Souchong, but last week I mistook a spray bottle of Liquid Smoke for catnip spray and made a scratching post smell like barbecue.
The cats were not pleased.

#36 eharriett

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 16:26

I like Lapsang Souchong, but last week I mistook a spray bottle of Liquid Smoke for catnip spray and made a scratching post smell like barbecue.
The cats were not pleased.

 

I once sprayed myself with the catnip spray like a cologne just to see what would happen.  The cats were very confused.



#37 sidthecat

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 17:04

There’s a certain look of astonishment mixed with contempt that they give you.

#38 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 17:43

I like Lapsang Souchong, but last week I mistook a spray bottle of Liquid Smoke for catnip spray and made a scratching post smell like barbecue.
The cats were not pleased.

 

Wonder how they'd have taken it if you made the barbecue smell like catnip...



#39 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 17:51

I once sprayed myself with the catnip spray like a cologne just to see what would happen.  The cats were very confused.


Mine would've eaten me alive.

#40 Honeybadgers

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:49

OP here with a Follow Up.

 

1. Thanks everyone for your wonderful help.

 

2. The ebay seller finally came through and had Ebay send me a postage paid return mailing label for full refund including shipping. He had a bit of an "attitude" at first but I persisted and it turned out okay. I shipped the pen back in his original packaging.

 

I'm glad to be absolved of this fiasco.

So I'm back to only 2 vintage pens, both Skyline Eversharps, both bought on ebay, no smells.

 

Thanks again everyone for your help.

Aloha

jim

 

I hope this doesn't ward you off of vintage pens. I honestly have never run into a pen that smelled at all, myself. It's definitely a rare thing to find one that smells at all, let alone so egregiously.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: smell, pen, vintage, odor, nasty, parker, vacumatic, ebay, clean, cleaning



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