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#3171398 11/17/21 11:57 AM
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This topic - “does your piano have an aroma” was introduced delightfully to the forum 16 years ago. As holiday season approaches with all its lovely aromas - I thought I’d introduce it again! In 2005 people wrote about everything from mice who had departed this mortal coil (under the key bed) and provided a not so wonderful olfactory experience … to descriptions worthy of a 1945 Bordeaux - complex combinations of felt, and wood, and hammer aromas that thrilled the owners! So what’s your experience? And technically - I wonder if a lingering smell of wood - spruce - in a piano 20 years old is a sign of good maintenance or too much humidity? Old British cars - with original interiors - also tend to maintain their indescribable leather aroma many decades later. Whats everyone’s aroma experience with their pianos?

Gregnfc #3171420 11/17/21 01:19 PM
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We get a lot of pianos on trade, to repair, or to restore that have, err, some interesting aromas.

If someone's piano lived near their kitchen ( or believe it or not in their kitchen ), and they cooked often with fragrant oils and flavorings like sesame oil and garlic, you can really smell it.

Pianos that come from smokers bring that fragrance with. Sometimes it can be so powerful that it makes people sick.

And, sometimes, we get pianos that were damaged by smoke from a fire. Those can be quite intense.

The natural materials in pianos, unfinished wood, leather, felt etc can really absorb smells and often need to be completely replaced with new parts in order to fully make them smell neutral.

Sadly, I have never gotten a piano that lived in a bakery and brought those smells along with it. That would be nice smile


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Gregnfc #3171433 11/17/21 02:04 PM
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My piano inside smells a bit like lacquer/varnish, with maybe a slight stale odor or something. It has gotten less intense over the years. Part of the smell might indeed be the previous owner. Maybe the piano sat in dust for many years before it got restored.


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Gregnfc #3171547 11/18/21 01:32 AM
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I smoke very heavily. I do so only in my office or the snooker room. |Each room has a piano but they are covered. I hope that will prevent them from starting to pong.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Gregnfc #3171665 11/18/21 01:52 PM
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I owned a Petrof upright for a few years that I bought used. It was made in 1989-1990. The person who was selling it was not the owner, he was someone who sold pianos "as a hobby" so to speak. He would find piano, purchase them, get them tuned up and in good condition and sell them at a pretty reasonable price.

But the point is, I went to see the piano when it was at in his climate-controlled piano shop, not in the home of the owner. I didn't notice any odor when I played it.

But after it was in my living room for a few days (maybe a week, I don't remember) I started to notice that it smelled like the inside of a cigar box. Not cigar smoke smell or cigarette smell, but that vaguely sweet smell that I always guessed was from the leaves?

Anyway, it was pretty subtle and not at all unpleasant. When I took the front panel off, I noticed it even more, but as soon as you replaced the panel, the aroma reduced to the point where you'd wonder if it was your imagination.

I actually wondered if the smell was from some material in the piano, glue or felt or some kind of wood.

Eventually I stopped noticing it, whether because the smell faded or my nose just got bored with the odor. But every now and then, say when the weather changed, I would notice the smell again. I kind of liked it.

I no longer have that piano. My new (to me) piano had only one owner before I got it. He was a signer and did not smoke. He had a dog, but I don't think he allowed the dog in his piano room.

This piano does not, to my knowledge, have a smell. Although I'll go check later (and probably get caught by my spouse with my head stuck in the piano sniffing, adding further fuel to his belief that I'm totally piano crazy! whome


Started piano June 1999.
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Gregnfc #3171778 11/18/21 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Gregnfc
... complex combinations of felt, and wood, and hammer aromas that thrilled the owners!
Old British cars - with original interiors - also tend to maintain their indescribable leather aroma many decades later. Whats everyone’s aroma experience with their pianos?
I have a 33-year-old British car with leather seats, a 100-year-old piano and a 7-year-old piano.
The 'new' piano has never smelt like anything, the British car smells as you'd expect, and what amazes me is that the old piano still has a faint but distinctive aroma after a century. It's a musty old wood / leather smell, not anything the piano has absorbed from its environment. It's not unpleasant, just part of the instrument's character. Because of the history I have with the piano, I like the fact I can still detect its smell when I open the lid.


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Gregnfc #3171837 11/19/21 05:28 AM
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My project piano, from about 1910, had quite a distinct smell, mostly of hide glue, but also wool/felt/wood. I've encountered this aroma, not unpleasant at all, in many other pianos from that era.


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
Gregnfc #3172049 11/19/21 07:19 PM
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It's a darn good thing we have this forum to discuss such things, because the rest of the world would think we were bonkers! crazy

I crawled around sniffing (assisted by my 2 cats, who are generally in charge of sniffing things) and can report:

1. that my piano doesn't really have much scent. Just a slight musty, old-wood, comforting, piano-y smell, and

2. doing this research made me sneeze. grin

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I love the description of you sniffing around! - and also think the rest of the world is quite bonkers with what THEY discuss on line! Pianos / music both rule in this crazy world for any of us lucky enough to play ;-)

Gregnfc #3172257 11/20/21 06:41 PM
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No interesting smells to record on the old Feurich .....but I shall keep sniffing, 😌


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