Words such as nipples, panties, teenager, and curve.
This is the only time that the words above will be used in this post.
There are NO nipples, panties, teenagers, or curves of any type at all here, for which I apologize - I really do believe in added value and customer satisfaction, but I could think of no reason to include those words.
This post is not about nipples, panties, teenagers, or curves.
It's about tobacco.
You may have noticed by now that pipes and tobacco appeal to me in exactly the same way that women do - for me there is something sensuous and almost sexual about fine pipe tobaccos. An appealing innocence in some, versus a shy yet knowing glance in others. And, in the case of perfumed blends, something deliciously sinful, or even all-out strumpet-like.
This may have something to do with when I first started smoking a pipe, that being my teenage years, and with the frustrations that all young males experience at that time of their life.
But more likely is the supposition that I am much the pervert, albeit one in nearly complete control of his vices.
I'll leave it to you to figure out which it is, and what that sentence actually means.
THE BLUSH OF YOUTH
Several months ago I worked on a blend that included a fair measure of Latakia and Turkish, along with a spectrum of flue-cured tobaccos. Among the latter were Lakeland Virginias, that being the term for certain pressed flakes that have been mildly flavoured with old-fashioned fragrances.
The general note of such a Virginia is like an elderly aunt who unbeknownst to the family steps out with the local curate, having seduced the young divine within the first week of his arrival in the village. Reclusive femininity meets a strapping young thing. Optimism, and private decadence.
I think they may have a room on permanent lease above the stables of the Old Bell Inn, in the hamlet five miles down the road.
But I digress.
The point is that despite whiffing much like a classic medium Balkan blend, it has a suggestion of gentle depravity, that being the faint perfume - rather like the smell of her hair, remaining on the pillow long after she herself has quietly gotten dressed and hurried back before dark, so that her family does not notice how long she has been gone. Press the nose into it, and inhale deeply, drinking in the floral notes and in your mind's eye reliving the touch of her warm silken skin......
But I digress.
It was, at the time, a pleasant smoke. But something was missing. So on a whim I upped the Virginia content, and added a fair measure of Perique. Virginia has sweetness but can bite, whereas Perique tones down bite and functions like some ingredients in the perfume industry - fixatives like musk, vetyver, and sandal wood. These are too strong by themselves, but in dilute state they are incomparable and heady, powerful yet subtle.
Now the blend is delicate, refined, and haunting. Much like the smell of a younger woman, fresh from the bath, moisture still pearling the back of her neck, her bathrobe damp and radiating warmth, alluring in its effect, tempting by proximity .....
But I digress.
I have on my desk at present some Latakia, and Toasted Cavendish. Both of these tobaccos are cured over smoky fires, and have a woodsy character, and both make a blend a cooler smoke.
Latakia used to be Shek El Bint tobacco from Syria suspended over smouldering scrub-oak, but today's Latakia is Smyrna-type leaf fumed with juniper and pine. Toasted Cavendish is Kentucky broad-leaf, aircured before being sootified.
Latakia is spicy and resinous, Toasted Cavendish has a note of herbs.
Too much Virginia can make a mixture seem bitchy, like an English woman arguing with her husband. Add a modicum of Latakia or Toasted Cavendish, and she becomes gentler and more exotic, like a teenager from the tropics, fragrant with expensive oils delicately applied.
Her hair may be darker too - no longer wheatish blonde, more like a cloud of velvet-matte chocolate floss, contrasting with the golden honey of her soft soft skin, radiating sweet young freshness .....
The blend is by no means finalized. I am still working on it, but I have pretty much decided upon the name.
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Labels: Pipes and tobacco