Last year, I bought two pairs of jeans in the States, of slightly different cuts. The most comfortable pair was both flattering and a lovely shade. I wore them on the plane from here to Montreal.
Half way across the country I noted sort of a burnt plastic smell. An odd smell, a complex smell for my over-inquisitive nose: a hint of burnt plastic, a little sulfur; a touch of garlic, cilantro, and a tang of ammonia. Sharp smells. I had Tate on my lap: was this a particularly alarming pee?
Arriving in Montreal, let into the heat, it became clear it was me. My jeans. I didn’t wear them again; the heat and humidity jacked the chemical stink and I didn’t like it. the “I’m wearing burnt plastic stink” paranoia gets to be a bit much.
So, when I came back I tried baking soda, multiple (20+) washes, soaking.
Smelly smelly smelly.
I then learned this is a “known defect” in “random” jeans by that company. Pah! So, the other pair became my go-to jeans, but I don’t like them very much. The waist band hits in the wrong place and by the end of the day they’re not terribly comfortable.
So, now it’s a year later. ‘”Screw it,” thinks I, “I want a pair of jeans I am not afraid to wear and that look good and I want them now.”
So off I take my Whole Family on a Skytrain to The Mall.
And I put on a pair of jeans that challenges me. They’re those Capri Jeans (pedal pushers? clam diggers? floods? I have no idea. above the ankle) that I’ve been avoiding since I was 15 and read in Cosmo that if you’re 5’4″ and under you should avoid these like the plague.
However, I have recently learned (yes, recently), that things you read in Cosmo at 15 are not, actually, gospel bits of wisdom that you should carry around your whole life. I know, I know. The thing is, if you’re me, you forget you learned this in Cosmo. You think you learned it somewhere like… Uh… University? You don’t really think about it.
But the woman SELLING me the jeans was a) shaped like me and b) my height, and they were great on her. And suddenly I was in love with the capri-flood-pedal pushing-clam digging jeans.
Since I loved them, I had to wear them right now. So I changed at the mall, and on the Skytrain home….
With Tate on my lap….
I began to wonder where the smell was coming from. The cilantro/garlic/sulfur/burning plastic smell. See? It’s HEAT activated. You can’t smell them in the store. Wear ’em around awhile and then smell ’em.
I’m not making it back out to the mall anytime soon, note. Also, I’ve already lost the receipt, and also, *I WANT THESE JEANS*.
So I’ve tried Oxyclean, vinegar, and hand washing.
They still smell. (You gotta catch ’em coming out of the dryer to know before wearing. This is what I’ve learned.)
If you search the internet for “stinky jeans”, you will learn that there are lots of brands of jeans out there suffering this stinky fate, but it appears a fairly new phenomenon.
Jean manufacturers – you’re biting my pie, here.