View Full Version : Black clothes/dye smell

11-14-09, 02:14 PM
I was just reading through posts in this section and I thought about something that I am very sensitive too, but never would have thought why until now. I love to wear Black clothing, but I've frequently noticed a different odor when I wear these clothes... Almost every pair of Black Jeans I wore had an odor to them only I seemed to smell it and I would be self conscious about it. Nobody else would notice it, but It would bother the H-e-c-k outta me. It could be fresh outta the store, and I could wash the offensive clothes over and over and the smell is always there. Now there are some black clothes (Like my sweats) I don't smell, so maybe it is a certain dye mixed with certain material? I don't know, but I now know why I was the only one smelling it and know that I wasn't crazy!

11-14-09, 04:43 PM
Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is a chemical substance that is widely used as a permanent hair dye. It may also been found in textile or fur dyes, dark coloured cosmetics, temporary tattoos, photographic developer and lithography plates, photocopying and printing inks, black rubber, oils, greases and gasoline.

It's likely you are sensitive to this particular dye. I wouldn't be going and getting a tattoo any time soon. Some say it smells like hay.

In any case it might be worth looking into so you can avoid it.

11-16-09, 01:55 PM
uh ohh...I have more than a couple tat's already.
Thanks for the info I'm going to check this Paraphenylenediamine stuff out.

11-16-09, 06:34 PM
Well, if smell is your only symptom then it's probably ok, but it would be a cautionary sign not to go and play with fire. Maybe a nix on more black tats and just be a bit careful.

12-11-09, 03:23 PM
I Exeprience a similar kinship to dyed cotton, the dyes have to be "muted" hues for me to wear them.

This is how I deal with it.

To "break" a garment, it has to be washed once, regular washing machine, with absolutely no fabric softener (difference story) and dried in any way you see fit.

Soak it in a large tub over night, then hang to dry in the breeze (preferably lots of sunshine too), do this twice and then it'll be ready to wear.

A lot of the "comfort" I feel in clothes has much to do with the colour and perceived scent, "bad smelling" clothes are ones that have been ironed; especially evident for me with black dyes.

02-21-10, 07:41 PM
Always noticed the black dye smell in all black clothes especially heavier threads like denims. I don't like or dislike, just noticed but especially if wet or damp.

03-25-10, 09:30 AM
I'm very sensitive to fabric smells, and I have found dark colored jeans (even burgundy) give off a weird smell. I have to use scented detergent and scented liquid softener to "buffer" the smell enough for me to wear it. (Which is probably bad for the members who cannot stand scents, but they help me out.)

I also find some polys and poly blends have to be washed in just the right combo of fraganced cleansers/softeners -- or their natural order smells like urine or wet dog to me.

I'd just wear cotton or linen, but some of the new poly blends are so satiny-soft and so wrinkle-free that it's worth the extra effort to 'mask' their natural order.

I also found some fabrics absorb cigaretts-smoke smell differently from others, resulting in a smell something akin to manure. So gross that I avoid cigaretts smokers at all costs.

06-10-10, 10:50 PM
That's so weird! I have a pair of black jeans that just do not smell like the rest of my clothes. They are about a year old so they've been washed many times. The smell isn't bad buts its not pleasant either. And when I asked my boyfriend to smell them because they don't "smell like me" he said he kindof understood but it wasn't that drastic. Whenever I wear them though I notice it even when I'm just sitting there. Oh well :/