Hermès, the Paris-based design house known for its pricey Kelly and Birkin bags, is making headlines, as customers are returning recent orders, complaining they smell of marijuana. American customers — some of whom have paid $20,000 or more for the exclusive bags — have been told by staff at the luxury goods stores that the issue is being caused by a “badly tanned” batch of leather from an Hermès supplier tannery.
According to sources, returning customers have been told by Hermès associates that the tanning process used for its leather bags is causing the material to smell like marijuana whenever it heats up in warm temperatures, such as in direct sunlight or in a hot car.
“Owners are returning the Hermès bags back to boutiques across the US, including the Madison Avenue store, saying they smell of skunk. The bags are being sent back to Paris as nobody knows quite how to deal with this embarrassing situation,” a source told Page Six.
It is not believed the problem affects the Hermès crocodile skin bags, which can sell for more than $60,000. Customers are reporting that Hermès staff are informing them that the bags have to go back to Paris, where the foul-smelling leather panels will be removed and the entire bag is rebuilt.