Over the years I have purchased vintage decks via auctions, private sellers or from used book stores. The prices vary. At one time these decks could be picked up for a few dollars but now some carry a hefty price. Even if you find a less expensive deck the shipping cost is quite high. And then there is the money exchange difference.
I had half a dozen decks that emitted an obvious odour. I tried several techniques under the sun to air the cards out and to pull some of the odour with little luck. When I purchased a bag of wooden cedar rings/blocks I decided to experiment with them. This not only removed the stench but in the end the cards smelled like cedar trees. 🙂
If you don’t mind having a deck that reminds you of a forest try this method. The dollar or two stores carry little bags of these chips or blocks. It worked for me and I hope you have some success too. Make sure you separate the chips/blocks with a light tissue before inserting in a container or bag so that there is no staining on your cards. Sometimes you can find a mixture of lavender and cedar combined like I did.
Another idea is to place the cedar ring/block into a wooden container for a few days. The container will absorb the scent and when you place the cards inside it will freshen them off. This only works if the odour on the cards is minimal.
Image: vintage Dexter Playing cards Great Mogul. By Royal Letters Patent.