Remember this Faigen clutch from this post? I did'nt realise until it reeked up my clothes, how musty it was. It was gross and the smell sticks to anything it touches!
Wanted to throw it out but tried an experiment first.
With anything vintage, if it's washable (or disposable!), try washing it in hot water. Chances are the smell is caused by mildew. If the item is not washable, try sunning or airing out the item. You could use baking soda to absorb the smells or as the last resort, Fabreeze.
I washed the clutch in hot soapy water but noticed the smell was still there. So I soaked it in a white vinegar and hot water solution for an hour to kill any mildew spores. I rinsed with cold water and propped it up in a sunny spot. The residual vinegar smell disappears once it was dry.
And the result? The smell is gone! Hooray!