I have just wasted a not unreasonable sum of money on a personalised, laser cut card for a friend's 60th birthday.
It arrived this morning reeking of fag ends* and bearing indelible scorch marks on the reverse of the laser cut message and is, imo, completely unusable.
I bought it via NotOnTheHighStreet from a fairly newly qualified arts graduate who has "put her heart and soul" into developing her business. Shame she didn't apply any common sense to it and realise that people don't want burnt offerings.
*I'm in the bedroom and it is on my desk beside an open window and I can smell it from here - imagine what it would be like this time next week after languishing at HM Royal Mail's pleasure.
The burning is a consequence of the laser cutting, Nellie, and is usually considered part of its charm. I confess that I have only bought wooden products not cards though. It probably accounts for the smell too - some of my wood pieces really smell strongly. You could try lightly dusting it with talc to see if the smell goes or just leave it in the open for a bit - if you have the time.
I presume a lot of cards are die cut - haven't bought a card for about 17 years though so I can't say for sure. We nearly bought a laser cutter about 10-12 years ago but they were very expensive then and we weren't sure about the market at the time.
It might be wise for the lady you bought your card from to put a note on her sales page - you can't be the only person floored by the smell when opening the package! Perhaps she thinks it will affect her sales but surely reviews or word of mouth would get round eventually!