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Why does Shapley's smell like rancid bacon grease?

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  • Why does Shapley's smell like rancid bacon grease?

    I think the title is self-explanatory

    I love the stuff but not a fan of the smell. There must be some strange ingredient that causes that "rendered fat from wood smoked bacon" smell. Anyone know?

  • #2
    The high sulfur content probably has something to do w/ it, at least the smokiness part. I don't know what causes the bacon-y tinge to it; I know exactly what part of the smell you're referring to with that adjective, and it goes beyond merely smoky.
    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


    • #3
      I got that stuff on my horse exactly once. He hated it enough to turn his back on me the second he sees the bottle- if I want to keep putting it on I'll have to cross-tie him!


      • #4
        Not Breakfast but Hell!

        Yes, it is the sulfur in Shapley's M-T-G that gives it the smokey smell. I'm sure this is what Hades smells like-- hot humid, intense, 24/7.

        But the sulfur does have help with itching and perhaps killing nasty microscopic things.

        Note that the sulfur can he hard on skin. Horses with sensitive skin can lose hair if you use too much for too long. When I use it on itchy tails in the summer, I don't do it more than once very couple of weeks. The horse swishing his tail will rub off the thin/fine hair on either side of his butt cheeks at the top. The tail hair stays in just fine.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat


        • #5
          Really? I love the stuff (not the smell!) and the horses have never minded at all. I have used it on probably 20 different horses..
          I try to put it on with gloves because the bacony grease smell does not come off!!!


          • #6
            A pregnant friend told me recently that she loved the smell of the stuff, and was thinking of putting it on her stretch marks!
            I've found that horses who have a reaction to it seem to react worse if they are turned out in the daytime. The sunlight combined with the chemicals must exacerbate skin reactions.
            Amateur rider, professional braider.
            Save a life, adopt a pet.


            • #7
              One of the ingredients is lanolin, I believe. That plus the sulfur might give the bacony smell. Personally, I love it.
              "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
              Thread killer Extraordinaire


              • #8
                vile vile stuff, but then again I worked for a trainer in the early 80's that used the old time remedy of cod liver oil + sulfur to damn near every part of a horse that was unhealthy or even healthy. Every day I left the barn with the smell of that stuff in my clothes, hands, you name it. Blech! CLO + Sulfur IS MTG for all intents and purposes - I'm certain it was an old time tracker that just dolled up this fairly common recipe and repackaged it. About 12 years ago I kept hearing people rave about MTG so I finally ordered a bottle and laughed my head off when I saw what it was - talk about everything old is new again! Of course then I opened it up and smelled it... Blech all over again!
                Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                  One of the ingredients is lanolin, I believe. That plus the sulfur might give the bacony smell. Personally, I love it.
                  Then shouldn't it smell muttony instead of bacony? Maybe the smoke smell plus animal fat = bacony?

                  Add cod liver oil to that and woo boy.

                  The horse that gets MTG in his itchy tail also gets frequent applications of Koppertox. I'm amazed my family lets me back in the house after night chores.


                  • #10
                    because otherwise it wouldn't be MTG

                    It grew back a huge section of mane someone kindly bit off in just one summer, so you can't even tell where the new hair is!

                    I'd love to know if it worked on stretch marks, but I have a feeling my dogs would be all over me...
                    "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                    Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                    Need You Now Equine


                    • #11
                      I used it for awhile with success, but my mare had a reaction to it one day. After putting it on one day, she wouldn't put her tail down. So I washed it out.

                      Another time, the skin between her back legs became quite pink and the skin started peeling.

                      Ended up throwing it in the trash.
                      MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

                      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mozart View Post
                        Add cod liver oil to that and woo boy.
                        actually I think they use some other type of oil in MTG - I'm guessing that was the "make it look just a wee bit different" than the DIY recipe that every old tracker knew about (in SFL at least, and I'm sure it was not limited to there). Years and years ago someone posted what the main ingredients were (this is about the 4,875th thread discussing the odor of MTG ) and it was some variation on CLO. Just enough that it smells "differently bad" to those of us that thought the original smelled awful.

                        It always reminds me of the old basics we got by with:

                        epsom salts + bowie mud + vinegar/water = poultice
                        alum, saltpeter andmaybesomethingelseI'mforgetting + vinegar = tightening brace
                        captan powder (rose fungicide) in rinse water - prevent ringworm and every other fungus that sweeps through training facilities

                        and of course CLO+sulfur for everything else that ails you
                        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                          One of the ingredients is lanolin, I believe. That plus the sulfur might give the bacony smell. Personally, I love it.
                          You might "believe" that but don't know for sure. There is NO list of ingredients on the bottle and requests to the manufacturer go unanswered.

                          For all anyone knows it IS rancid bacon grease. Disgusting stuff.


                          • #14
                            Mystery solved! The smell is CADE OIL!

                            Originally posted by rcloisonne View Post
                            You might "believe" that but don't know for sure. There is NO list of ingredients on the bottle and requests to the manufacturer go unanswered.
                            Google is our friend. Ingredient list for MTG from a site that sells the stuff:

                            Ingredients: Petroleum distillates, sulfur (4%), zinc stearate, glycerin, cade oil (rectified).

                            (Acquired from this link, http://gettyequinenutrition.biz/Products/mtg.htm)

                            And now that we have the ingredient list, we know what's making that smell. It's the cade oil. From Wikipedia:

                            "Cade oil is the essential oil obtained through destructive distillation of the wood of this shrub [Juniperus oxycedrus]. It is a dark, aromatic oil with a strong smoky smell which is used in some cosmetics and (traditional) skin treatment drugs, as well as incense."


                            And that in turn led me to this link to a British pharmacopoeia journal from 1918 regarding cade oil's usage:

                            "Uses.—Oil of cade has been used locally, by the peasantry, in the treatment of the cutaneous diseases of domestic animals almost from time immemorial. More recently it has been largely employed in the treatment of chronic eczema, psoriasis, and other skin diseases of man, and has also been found to be an efficient parasiticide in psora and favus. It is applied, sometimes of full strength, sometimes diluted with a bland oil, well rubbed into the affected parts with the fingers, or with a cloth, and is also made into ointments, and especially into soaps. A glycerite is also prepared. It is very rarely, if ever, used internally, but probably resembles oil of tar in its physiological action."
                            (From http://www.henriettesherbal.com/ecle...oxyc_oleu.html)
                            Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                            • #15
                              OK, that deserves a sticky! (probably won't get one, but great info!)


                              • #16
                                juniper oil, that's it - I kept thinking pine oil which I knew was wrong, but I knew it was in the coniferous family

                                Like I said above, someone once posted the ingredients which they did get from the company, but this was a long, long time ago.
                                Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Wow Ask and ye shall receive!

                                  But while the top note is obviously the cade oil, I still think there is a middle note of animal fat somewhere, but no animal fat is listed in those ingredients. Hmm..

                                  There is a shop downtown here that specializes in hard to find perfumes. The woman who owns it prides herself on her nose. I should bring her a whiff of Shapley's and see what she says.


                                  • #18
                                    because rancid bacon grease (lard) is used by a lot of oldtimers on old scars to grow hair on horses?


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Ambrey View Post
                                      OK, that deserves a sticky! (probably won't get one, but great info!)
                                      Agreed! I'll admit I hadn't looked into this since 2003 when a lady at our boarding barn was using MGT to try and treat her horse's rain rot (half the horses on this farm broke out with it in a very short time).

                                      The stuff stunk and didn't do a thing for the rainrot but it did give the poor more sores and bleached his coat where it was applied. I was stunned there was no list of ingredients on the bottle and wrote to the manufacturer inquiring. I even emailed them. No response to either. They didn't have a website at the time, or I couldn't find one.

                                      Thanks for the info, jn4jenny. Another mystery solved.

                                      Really though, why don't they list the ingredients on the bottle? Seems rather odd (and suspicious) to me.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Foxhound View Post
                                        A pregnant friend told me recently that she loved the smell of the stuff, and was thinking of putting it on her stretch marks!
                                        I've found that horses who have a reaction to it seem to react worse if they are turned out in the daytime. The sunlight combined with the chemicals must exacerbate skin reactions.
                                        No, it is the sun combined with the oil that causes the burning. I feel like on the MTG bottle itself it warns you of use and the sun. Perhaps I made that up, but it is for sure the oil and the sun that cause irretation.