Everyone knows it's best not to let an unfamiliar odor fester. The only thing that stinks more is not answering a client's question head-on about why our plant paintings may arrive with a very specific smell.
Mosses can retain an earthy odor within the first few months after the stabilization process, during which we replace the natural moisture of a plant with a vegetable glycerin. The glycerin is a safe, non-toxic agent that allows our plants to retain their natural colors and textures without the need for sun, water or pruning. As a result, you may experience the scent of dried plant materials which is normal when you step outside, but can seem out of place upon entering a living space. You may also be smelling high-quality dirt. Yes, the smell of good dirt comes from the rich microorganisms living in it, while flowers emit their own odor compounds and herbs produce essential oils. Our best guess is that part of the odor is from microorganisms working on whatever remains of the unpreserved matter, like the pine needles and bark the moss grew on, and a few other things that only plant-super-nerds like us care about.
The good news is that there is action to take if you have a particularly sensitive nose, and we recommend two natural deodorizers for the job. Our team uses Zero Odor around the studio. Zero Odor treats the source, without harming the plants. Not only is it safe for our products, but it can be used for any household, pet, or general odor caused by a fun, active life.
We also love us some Mrs. Meyer's Room Freshener. Mrs. Meyer's products are available at essentially every grocery retailer and come in many lovely scents. We prefer to use lavender as it works quickly and pairs well with other natural scents in our work space. If you are only catching a small whiff, or want to act preventatively, place a scent-free deodorizer ball in the corner of the room just to be safe.
It is best to use deodorizers by spraying two to three feet away from the moss wall and never directly on the wall. We have experienced removal of the odor after the first or second spray, but just as the smell of fresh flowers in your home fades within a week or two, our preserved mosses do the same. If you continue to notice the smell, consider the general ventilation and air flow in the space. Opening a few windows to air out the area can help. Always reach out to us if things do not improve, as our products are meant to enrich the senses and bring only the best of the outdoors in.