Shall we talk about the grim side of second hand clothes and furnishings for a moment? The Eew Factor, as my friend calls it. You know, the erm, aroma. Let’s face it most charity shops smell. Charity shops have a certain scent there is no denying it. You know that smell you get when you enter someone else’s home? It doesn’t smell bad (for the most part) but it smells distinctly of them, now imagine thousands of those scents mingled in, meshed together, unaired, sometimes for years, in a black bin bag or plastic bargain bin. De-li-cious. The smell doesn’t bother me because usually I know how to deal with it (more of that to come tomorrow) and I was brought up with wearing second hand clothes, skip pand sifting through jumble sales. If I like an item, know how to get the particular scent out and it is in a good state of repair it will becoming home with me.
I do think, however, the smell is a large factor in putting people off second hand shopping. I’ve mentioned my before, she just can’t bring herself to enter a charity shop without heaving, so reminded is she of a particularly pungent, thick scented shop that her mother used to frequent during her childhood. As much as she loves the looks I can pull together, from charity shops, for my home or wardrobe I do have to promise her that everything I wear when I go out with her, or anything she sits on has been thoroughly de-charity shopped before she can rest easy. Now that many charity shops have been and become more high street friendly, many seem to have lost the charity shop scent and in my opinion and lot of their charm too. I tend not to use frequent these types of charity shops, the ones without the smell, they tend to be the ones that stock lots of new things, -ugly candles, no thanks – and sell Primark dresses for £15. Avoid at all costs. Is the smell of charity shops something you can get over or do you just need to be made of hardier stuff?