I had seen the deal for the VDH Badger brush at Target, so I figured for $10, why not. I took the brush out while at the store, it felt soft, put in back in box, grabbed a bottle of Gillette Cool Wave splash, and checked out. After getting home, I took out the brush, and I noticed that it smelled awful. So I started the cleaning, conditioning routine. Applied some Dawn dish soap to hair, ran hot tap water over it, washed, rinse in cold water. Brought a kettle of water to a boil, added that to some hot tap water mixed with Dawn in the sink, washed out and allowed to soak. About 30 minutes passes, I go back to sink and see that the water has a brownish tint...WTF. So I rinse well, do 20 swirls in VDH soap, the add almond size squeeze of Bigelow, a little water, build up a nice lather, and set the brush in my mug to sit overnight. The next morning I grab mug and brush to rinse out and see a brown fluid at bottom of the mug, just nasty. After rinsing out the brush, it still had that dead badger smell. Used it, and it worked just fine, but I could smell that dead badger smell in my lather!!! After the shave I repeated the whole cleaning/conditioning process. Now three days later, the thing still smells. I feel like my face reeks of a bad taxidermy shop that no amount of after shave can cover. How long until this dead badger smell goes away? Up until ths time I have been using vintage badger hair brushes, and a VDH boar bristle, I have never experienced this smell...it is NASTY.