I went camping with the bones in a humid area this summer. Now they stink. It's one of those instances where I'd like a supernatural explanation but a mundane fix. They don't smell of mildew or rotted meat or musk either, they smell like feces.
First I thought that, like milk, perhaps small bones absorb scent.
1) I tried the supernatural thing: put them in sea salt. After a week the bones still stank and the sea salt (which I had thought very non-reactive and not prone to absorbing odor) stank too!
2) I boiled them for an hour with a couple of tablespoons of parsley. All I know is that the Greeks used it at funerals and thought of it as a plant of the underworld. The bones still stank.
3) I mixed bleach with water and soaked the bones in that overnight. After a couple minutes of smelling of bleach they resumed stinking.
4) Listerine. Ahh, minty green stink. Then normal stink. And my bones were tinged blue until I boiled them.
5) My latest attempt is to bury the bones in a bowl of mud. I figure, hey, dogs do it. Besides, I'm absolutely certain when I was a kid I'd find bones in the forest and they wouldn't stink. I even remember one bone I kept in my garden (a deer bone) that gave off a sweet smell. That was a hoof. I had actually buried the skull of the deer with a lot of roses...I was a strange kid, ok?
Ideas, anyone? This certainly brings up issues about respect for the dead! Anybody had a similar experience?