Please take care - if it's a nitro or other super finicky finish on the body and/or neck exercise extreme caution.
Take the neck off or at least cover the body if using thinners or cleaners on the neck.
My guess with a funny smell is it could be a finish on top of the factory finish - and / or some polish or cleaner residue - if it's on the strings this theory seems plausible - people usually take the strings off to refinish!
EDIT: if you examine the neck heel (if it's a bolt on!) you might get clues as to what's refinished / aged or covered with residues.
Lighter fluid is great on sealed poly finishes - but won't cut off a coat of varnish in all likelihood.