I'll bet they smelled something awful. If they oiled them regularly, where do you think the oil came from? Rendered animal fat. That's all they had. It goes rancid and smells. Bad.tx river rat said:I doubt the hides had much smell at all , they were continually being smoked, these hides were tanned hair gone and the indians oiled them just like you do a pair of boats , bet they were pretty water tight.