How to preserve guitar's smell?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by WineCaster, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. WineCaster

    WineCaster Supporting Member

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    Yeah, you read it right!

    I recently bought a used (5 year old) Martin 000-15M (full mahogany) acoustic. It plays so smoothly, is shaped and sized perfectly, and sounds like the heavens are shining upon every note... AND IT SMELLS SO GOOD!

    Seriously, it's my favorite thing about this guitar! I never thought the sense of smell would be integrated into my guitar playing experience. It is such an awesome feeling to be able to have every one of my senses engaged at the same time. I can't be without the smell now!

    To describe it: It's almost "chocolatey" and at the same time "vanilla beany". I can't determine if it's the wood or an element of the finish (nitrocellulose, glue, ect.) or both. I'm not sure that it leans too heavily on either side of the spectrum but I MUST know how to preserve or enhance this!

    If the smell were to disappear I would seriously consider selling it, taking a loss, and buying a brand new one just to have it back. The ultimate goal after finding out how to preserve the smell would be to have my entire apartment smelling like this... FOR-EH-VER.
     
  2. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    Sounds like that new nitro sweet smell. I love it, too. But if the guitar spends time out of the case, it'll eventually go away. Maybe someone should reproduce that smell as a guitar cologne?
     
  3. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    Ever see the movie Perfume?
     
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  4. jlb32

    jlb32 Member

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    If it's already 5 years old then the nitro smell may be coming from the case now more than the guitar. Sounds like the person who owned it previously didn't play it much. Most nitro finished guitars will usually lose that smell after a while of being out of the case and the case being opened a lot.

    If you play it a lot then I hate to say the smell will slowly go away.
     
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  5. Fockwulf

    Fockwulf Member

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    Funny, the Martin D1-R I own had a clear Pine/woody smell. It sadly lost most of it's intensity...
     
  6. TwoToneGreen

    TwoToneGreen Member

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    My Gretsch, Heritage and G&Ls all have the same smell; only one has a nitro finish. My guess is that it's the case glue or residue from the finish buffing cream they use in the factory, which is trapped in the case lining.

    I think the case is the cause one way or another!
     
  7. dreamspace

    dreamspace Member

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    Gibson cases (and new guitars) usually have a sweet oily smell. What's up with that?
     
  8. sksmith66

    sksmith66 Member

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    That smell... Delicious. It actually makes my mouth water.
     
  9. Mars Rover

    Mars Rover Member

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    I wish I knew the smell you guys are talking about. I had a cedar top 12 string acoustic that smelled OK but I didn't get into the habit of whiffing it.
     
  10. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    its the case glue
     
  11. WineCaster

    WineCaster Supporting Member

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    I have a hard time believing it's a glue smell. It definitely has a natural element to it and only comes from the sound hole, not the case.
     
  12. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    Well, the wood inside has no finish. You may be smelling the spruce if it's coming from the sound hole. It's an aromatic wood.
     
  13. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    I had a Heritage Les Paul I sold because it had an aweful chemical smell to it, possibly coming from the case (a black TKL Case made in Canada). The guitar and the original case were 15 years old but basically new. Never played.

    I also had a strat that I always kept OUTSIDE of it's custom shop brown tolex case as the case really had a bad toxic smell to it which then made the guitar stink as well.

    The rest of my guitars/cases have been pretty much normal. A guitar don't need to smell good, bad when it smells bad, it has to go.

    I've also had cases from people with pets, which had fleas. Never buy such an instrument....

    All of gibsons custom shop cases I've had, had a nice or neutral smell to them.
     
  14. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    The smell will go away.

    I've been told by a guy who finishes furniture that the smell you're referring to in the OP is actually probably something like Vanilla that was ADDED to the finish product to mask the nasty part of the smell.

    But I have to say, if you're the kind of player who would sell a guitar and get a new one because the smell went away...

    ...then...

    ...you are JUST the kind of person who belongs here... (thought I was gonna say something different, didn't ya...?)
     
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  15. jmontgomery

    jmontgomery Supporting Member

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    Buy one of those space savor vacuum bags that you pack clothes in. Put your guitar in it and vac seal it up. The smell should stay preserved forever.
     
  16. SW33THAND5

    SW33THAND5 Member

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    keep it in the case and never play it. It will always smell new.
     
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  17. Randall Rickerson

    Randall Rickerson Member

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    It would be nice if we could keep our guitar's smelling new for as long as we own them, I definitely know what you are talking about. Try to learn to love the way it sounds more than the heavenly aroma coming from the sound hole.
    With that being said I bought a bottle of 100% Brazilian rosewood essential oil that I put a small dab on a tissue and put in the case with my rosewood Martin D-35 and so far it has kept it smelling new for a couple years. I'm sure you could find it in mahogany too. Just make sure it is 100%.
     
  18. frankg11

    frankg11 Member

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  19. old goat

    old goat Member

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    I've built a lot of mahogany furniture. Not a pleasant smell IMO. I love the smell of oak (but don't care for the way it looks or works). If it's the wood I vote for the spruce top.
    I've bought 4 guitars new in my life and none of them had any smell that I noticed.
     

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