I finally got around to finding an online source for Clea's Crochet Thread at Paraguay Threads. I bought a stash when I was in Cape Breton in 2008 and somehow failed to not buy orange. Paraguay Threads solved that problem and it arrived last night.
Oddly, it smelled very "fragrant."
Was this the exotic and tropical natural perfume of Paraguay?
Unfortunately, I realized that it was swathed in USPS plastic printed with an apologetic text about damage incurred to my package during delivery. The original paper wrapping was stained with an oil that smelled, sickeningly, of lavender or some synthetic cousin. All that can be definitively said is that whatever it is, it reeks and needs twenty handwashings to almost remove it. The yarn was wrapped in plastic but it has the smell on one end of the skein. I immediately removed it to the balcony and sealed the stinky packaging in a ziplock bag. But the odor still lingered in the kitchen!
The next problem is how to get the stink off of the yarn. Ravelry members have plenty of suggestions for musty yarn (e.g., charcoal, kitty litter, coffee beans) but not so many for perfumed yarn. The best suggestion, without too much scientific data to back it up, seems to be a vinegar steam or vinegar bath. I will give this a try STAT!
UPDATE: The vinegar steaming worked! I thought I had traded one bad smell for another since it reeked of vinegar afterward. A few days of airing in the outdoors cured that and now it is definately unscented. However, the whole episode made me miss the Hallowe'en season on Etsy. And now I have orange yarn, when I really need green and red.