Customers of high-end leather goods peddler Hermès are returning their expensive leather bags because they have a distinct skunk or marijuana smell.
Iconic bags such as the Birkin and Kelly — which can cost up to $US20,000 and have numerous celebrity admirers like Kim Kardashian and Victoria Beckham — are supposedly emitting the smell whenever exposed to warmer temperatures or direct sunlight, The New York Post’s Page Six is reporting.
The smelly problem seems to stem from a large batch of poorly tanned leather supplied to Hermès, a source told Page Six. It doesn’t affect all Hermés bags and colours or specialty leathers like crocodile.
Hermès only offers its bags in limited quantities and the painstaking process to acquire one often calls for a wait time of months to years, so the stinky defect must be widespread.
Unhappy customers are taking to the messaging boards of websites like PurseBlog.com to voice their frustrations with claims of what they call the “Skunk Stinky Syndrome” stretching all the way back to late last year.
Other purse-buyers are using Yelp to vent, leaving bad reviews on the company’s ritzy individual boutique locations.
Customers report that Hermès is taking steps to remedy the situation by taking the bags back and sending them off to Paris to be rebuilt and have the offensive leather panels removed.
Considering how expensive these handbags are, hopefully the problem will be solved soon.