Rebottled strawberry issue – heavy nail polish remover smell and taste

Not sure how common issue this is and i hope for some help.

I ordered another 50+ flavors two months ago at 3 different UK vendors (since noone carries all those desperately needed flavors). All flavors seem to be good except two strawberries, which both are disgusting slightly strawberry flavored nail polish removers.

Problem flavors are:

  • Strawberry SC RF (bought at Vendor 1)
  • Shisha Strawberry (bought at Vendor 2)

Both flavors are horrible and totally unvapable. All i can taste is a nail polisher; there is a faint hint of artificial strawberry with a heavy stinking chemical undertaste. The bottles smell heavily of nail polisher and the finger testing proved a disgusting alcohol/acetone; no sweetness and a serious lack of strawberry taste (it tastes more like a very artificial strawberry candy powder; something you would never put into your mouth even if there was no acetone).

This definitely isn’t the flavor that i ordered. I had an original Shisha Strawberry before and that is one of my top3 flavors overall; it smells fantastic and it tastes amazing. I bought it from Inawera directly at that time, so i have an idea what to expect. The re-bottled Shisha from September is NOT Shisha; it doesn’t taste like Shisha, it doesn’t smell like Shisha and i bet that even chemical analyses would show that is not Shisha. It’s completely unvapable and it ruined about 300ml of my mixes; the only reason i still have it is because i might send it to Inawera in case they want to check it out.

The same stands for Strawberry RF. This is a new flavor for me and i ordered it based on veteran opinions (@Ken_O_Where and some others really like it). SB RF reviewer here says: This is a fresh, ripe, sweet strawberry; tastes like strasberry. This is what i was hoping for and what i received and named as Strawberry RF is something totally opposite.

Fortunately i have ordered two strawberries at two different vendors and i know exactly how one of them tastes (If i ordered only Strawberry RF which i never had before, then i would just pour it away and be convinced and talk around that SB RF is the most disgusting strawberry you can find on the market; something that obviously isn’t true). So, what could the problem be? I hope @Walt_RealFlavors could help here.

Note: i don’t have difficulty tasting strawberries; i had strawberry one-shots, Strawberry inw, Strawberry ripe tfa and Shisha and all were great (all these were in original bottles).

I would assume that vendor somehow messed my order and sold me a strawberry of some dirty cheap manufacturer, but that is highly unlikely since i ordered two different strawberries at two different vendors. What is interesting is that both flavors taste almost the same and they smell almost the same (Shisha is slightly sharper than RF = slightly more nail remover present in smell and taste, but otherwise it’s the same disgusting shit).

Since i know the flavor of original Shisha, i believe something went terribly wrong during re-bottling process and that isn’t in manufacturer’s best interest (it’s pretty sure that these two flavors wouldn’t be selling well if this was the taste/smell in their original bottles). Should be blamed manufacturer (bad batch?) or vendor (re-bottling process) for this contamination?

Do vendors make their own liquids or do they just pour the right amounts from barrels into smaller bottles? Are vendors using /adding their own PG when re-bottling (PG sometimes smells like acetone, but this probably isn’t the reason here since there shouldn’t be any PG in RF flavors)? Could it be that they didn’t mix the barrel enough before taking my 10ml out (just took it from the top maybe where there is more Ethyl Alcohol or PG)?

(i didn’t notice this issue in any of my other 50+ flavors ordered neither in any of my other close to 100 original bottles. *the only other flavor that has some taste/smell of acetone is Vienna Cream FA, original bottle, but it is very mild and it is completely unrecognizable after steeping for me; i like that flavor)?

One thing is sure, vendors sent me a disgusting garbage instead of SB RF and Shisha which i ordered. Did anyone else had the same experience with re-bottled strawberries bought at UK vendors lately?

Sounds like there is something wrong with the Shisha, but Real Flavors Strawberry contain alcohol which could be the issue with that. Try to let the Real flavors breath, that is might gonna help, not sure though, never vaped it straight away because i read that it contains alcohol so havent felt the need to try :smiley:

Some of my RF SC bottles state that they contain PG, flavoring and water (but rebottled at Chefs).

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I can say to you that rf sb and shisha straight out of the bottle are horrid (they dont smell much like sb either) but mixed they are both very good. I know know if you have mixed them or are just relying on the smell and taste of the concentrate.

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Which Real Flavor Super Concentrate are you referring to? Because I buy directly from Real Flavors and have never seen this?

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It is as an example written on my Rice Pudding RF SC, but as i wrote it is rebottled by Chefs.

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Assuming that you are using & mixing both these flavorings at the appropriate % in mix. It would appear you may have a Vender/rebottler issue.
Have you tried making a SFM for each?
What was your opinion of the flavoring-s when you placed a single drop in a half full shot glass of water.


Thx to all for your help.
@Ronni I will leave the bottles opened over the night at the balcony and i’ll report if that works (although this was never needed for my original Shisha and this is never needed for any flavors in original bottles).
@woftam My original Shisha was smelling amazingly. When opened that bottle my room was smelling like a strawberry field in a minute. Now there is a smell of acetone (i never finger tested my original shisha bottle) with almost no strawberry present. Same was my vaping experience: The original was extremely useful and delicious strawberry; i usually mixed it with SB inw and/or father’s milk (twisted flavors). This shisha is just horrible and nothing i made tastes vapable; it ruined every single mix i have made (snv and after 4-6 weeks of steeping), same as RF. All have gone down the drain.

Appropriate percents are not a problem. I used shisha in some of my favorite recipes from the past (using the same percents and same other ingredients) and it’s just not working.

Mark, what do i have to check with this drop in a glass of water? At first it smells of acetone and almost no strawberry, after awhile all that smell disappears (or my smell gets used on it, don’t know); liquid is not recognizable in a water and it is fully water soluble. Taste is not pleasant, a hint of strawberry is there, but not something i would want to drink. What should i check here?

It sounds like you have a Vender issue. Reading thru your response. You have pretty much eliminated any end user issues. I think you should contact the companies you acquired these flavor concentrates from. Particularly because you are already familiar with Strawberry Shisha. And I can tell from experience that RF SC Strawberry is a delightful concentrate to work with at .5%~2% in mix.


Thx @Mark_Turner. What do you think is the reason for so large amounts of acetone in these two strawberries?

note 1: Acetone issue happened only in strawberries. It’s probable this is strawberry flavor related (especially since it happened with two different vendors).
note 2: I never had an issue with any SB in original bottles and now it happened in my both re-bottled strawberries. It must be re-bottling issue. Are vendors adding PG or anything extra in SB flavors during re-bottling? Could it be that they didn’t mix the barrel before taking my 10ml of SB flavor from the top of the barrel?
note 3: both SB taste / smell very similar (since i know Shisha, one option would be that they sold me SB RF instead of Shisha = that i have two bottles of SB RF now). But this is unlikely since noone is recognizing this heavy acetone that just doesn’t go away after weeks of with steeping. Do you smell heavy acetone in your SB RF bottle (is it original or re-bottled). Can you use it SnV? Does it disappear later somehow?

I hope Walt or someone from the industry will give some more insight, because this is a real issue for a manufacturer and quite damaging for the brand. (if i haven’t had Shisha before, i would just conclude that these are the worst flavors one can buy and ofc i would never buy them again; i may even think the same might happen with other flavors of this same manufacturer and i would never buy it again. Hopefully since i know how shisha tastes i have some answers, but this may not be the same for many other customers)

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Interesting issues.

Did the reseller put the lot number on the bottle at all? My first thought would be that the flavor may have expired or was not properly stored / bottled.

Also what type of bottle was it sold in? Some cheap bottles can leech in to strawberry flavors causing issues. Literally the plastic melts.


I really have no insight as to what the underlying issue may. I really hope they aren’t using a cutting agent to dilute the Concentrate for resale.
I have had no issues with either product. In fact RF SC Strawberry is one of my favorite Strawberries to mix with.
You could jump on the Real Flavors thread in this forum and tag @Walt_RealFlavors he is busy. But he definitely will have some great input and insight.


Thx for your reply Walt. The bottle has no lot number; it says best before Oct 2018. I will send you a pic in a PM.

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I have to agree with Mark on this. I think ‘most’ vendors want happy, repeat customers. I don’t know what type of equipment re-bottlers use, but I suspect it needs a flush or cleaning on a frequent basis (we all hope). Mistakes happen. Perhaps all the cleaning agent wasn’t flushed from the equipment. Maybe a careless or new employee, etc. At this point, I think the best you can hope for is a replacement bottle, at their expense. Give them the chance to make it right.

I’m not trying to be an ass, with the 2nd part of this reply, but something else stands out to me. I don’t know about anyone else, but every time I open a new bottle of flavoring, I give it the sniff test. I don’t care if it’s a flavor I’ve used 100 times, or if it’s from a trusted vendor. Shake it, and put a drop on my finger or paper towel and give it a sniff test. Does it smell right? If the solvent presence was as potent as what was described, one would think it should have been immediately detected. I think a 10 second step of taking a sniff before committing this nasty stuff to 300 ml of juice is just being prudent.

Again, not trying to be an ass, and I hope the vendors do the right thing, and at least replace the flavorings.

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Well, you got my attention. I put a watch on the tread hoping that you will contact the vendor(s) and hopefully post what they have to say. I getting a strong sense you’re sniffin airplane glue in essence from your report. Not something I would care to do.