Yesterday we were on our way out and found ourselves confronted by a neighbor ranting because she had bought a high-dollar silicone sex toy based on our recommendations, which she wound up returning because it wasn't really silicone. How did she know? Because it smelled very faintly like “something” when she stuck her nose on it, and she read “somewhere” that silicone was completely odorless. We might have given her the benefit of the doubt had the toy come from a lesser manufacturer, but this was a Tantus brand toy. Oh boy… time for a Silicone 101 class.
As most of us know, there are different types of silicones. There are different things that a company can use to cure/harden silicone and many non-silicone ingredients that can be mixed in with it to make semi-silicone compounds. Some of the resulting products stink (think of silicone caulking) and aren't suitable for human touch let alone for full-on boinking. Unscrupulous sex toy companies can, and often do, LIE and label a sex toy as being pure silicone when in truth it contains only a small percentage of actual silicone and a whole lot of who the hell knows what. The American government doesn't regulate such things because, frankly Scarlett, they don't give a damn what sex toy manufacturers use. But what they DO care about is platinum cured silicone that is labeled as “medical grade.” Now on a side note, not all platinum cured silicone is medical grade, but whether it makes it to earning a full long-term implantable medical grade certification or winds up being used to make muffin pans or baby toys, it's already been established that it's pure. As in, it's not leaking any nasty cancer-causing chemicals and is non-toxic to the human body. It is inert. It is safe.
Tantus uses medical grade silicone to make their sex toys. Don't believe us? Cruise around their website a little and you'll see it mentioned many times in various product descriptions. Even their Careers webpage states; “Our products are created using medical grade, ultra premium platinum silicone.”
Ok, so let's get back to the smell issue. We have had many sex toys from Tantus and other reputable companies who are using platinum cured silicone (remember… that's the good stuff) and yes, with many of them we have noticed a slight scent right out of the box. Sometimes it's so slight that we've had practically snort the toy like a bad drug, and other times it's been noticeable as soon as the package seal was broken. These scents seem to vary by company and range anywhere from an earthy clay-like smell to a sweet lotion scent. Those scents also diminish after a few washings in most cases.
So what gives? Why the smell? Well, we aren't scientists, but we've noticed that silicone can and often does pick up and hold scents from things around it. Our Bootie butt plug took a road trip hidden in a box of deodorant pads and smelled like it was going to have a happy period for weeks afterwards. Our Harmonia vibe always smells like the factory foam packaging it rests in, even after we wash it, and most of our silicone anal toys have a very faint aroma of the cleaner we use on them no matter how many times we rinse them.
Our theory then, on the high-grade silicone masturbators that come to us with a scent, is that they are carrying the smell of either the cleaner that the manufacturer used during final processing or of the packaging that they're in. That doesn't mean that the toy is unsafe or that a world-renown reputable company has all of a sudden decided to change their formulas and lie about their product. It just means that silicone *can* smell a little sometimes.