At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


A few weeks ago when I wandered into the tobacconists, a young lady was purchasing a pipe for herself, and some cavendish. It was her first foray into the ultra-masculine, butch, and ever so freakin' macho you could scream world of pipes.
Which, when you really think about it, is not butch at all. Or macho.

The ability to appreciate a fine briar, or the smoke arising from burning vegetation, is universal. How could any form of leaf-destruction be limited in its appeal?
The fairer sex are as aesthetically gifted as men, so it is baffling that more women do not smoke pipes.
There is something incredibly ladylike about a woman with a piece of polished wood in her mouth.

Years ago I worked with someone who had a very nice pipe collection. She possessed several fine Dunhills and Charatans, and a Sasieni apple-shape natural sandblast that was, in a word, to kill for. It was probably the very best sandblast I have ever seen. Apparently it smoked very nicely too.
The fragrances of Latakia and Djubec wafted around her wherever she went, as if there was always incense in her presence.


Actually, it doesn't. Good tobaccos have no particular gender. Some of the most popular mixtures actually reek like Hello-Kitty Candy or a French massage-parlour, so the word 'manly' is not quite the operative concept for smokers of those products.
Perhaps the words 'froo-froo' or 'utterly degenerate' are more applicable.

A real lady does not smoke perfumed dreck.


The idea of a petite demoiselle with a taste for fine English mixtures (Latakia and Turkish on a base of flue-cured tobacco) or Virginia flakes is incredibly charming. Could anything at all evoke better taste, and a sound upbringing, than good sense and a cultured palate? And pipe-smoking is such a thoughtful habit, so far from the affected sleaziness of cigarettes!

The only cautionary note for the girl pipesmoker would be that she should probably not fume around her parents, and must let some time pass before rejoining the company of her family after indulging, as otherwise she might receive considerable comment from folks who feel entitled to carp.

This is especially true if she is a teenage Cantonese-American. Chinese parents, generally speaking, disapprove of their daughters lighting up.
Secrecy and plausible deniability must at all times be maintained.

For any young ladies needing pointers on pipes and tobacco, please note the clickable labels 'BLEND REVIEW', and 'Pipes and tobacco', which are appended under this post.

There is worthwhile advice on pipe-smoking HERE.
And a brief discursus on Drucquer & Sons blends HERE, along with a basic description of types of tobacco. A good backgrounder on blends, even if Drucquers is long gone.
Also, in the side-bar, you will notice links to to several tobacco sites as well as posts about the holy grail of pipe blends (Balkan Sobranie).
Please explore these at your leisure.

If you have any questions, feel free to pose them in the comments field.
[Or contact me via the letterbox at the end of this post.]

--- --- --- --- ---

Now, apropos of nothing in particular, mention of a recently acquired tobacco.

A product of the House of Samuel Gawith & Co. Ltd
Kendal, Cumbria, England.
Manufacturers of Fine Tobaccos since 1792.

The tin aroma, upon first cracking the seal, is richly reminiscent of dark fruits - fig, plum, raisin, with a slight note of sweet grassy herbs. There is no casing or dressing that I am aware of, the fragrance is the natural result of aging and pressing.

This dark-hued flake, like all Samuel Gawith products, is packed with far more moisture than allows for immediate enjoyment, so it requires some serious drying time.
The thin-cut irregular slices rub out and load up easily. Once lit, the tobacco burns steadily down to a medium grey ash without fuss, yielding a very pleasant medium-bodied smoke that packs a fair wallop of nicotine.

St. James Flake is appealingly complex. The Perique is noticeable but by no means overwhelming - it is tangy and loveable in a ladylike kind of way, rather than having the brash sock you in the jaw Perique overload of some other products.
The nearest comparison would probably be to the old Escudo, but this is a nicer tobacco by far.
I do not frequently smoke flakes, but this is a product that I will stock up on.

Let me know how it works for you.


NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

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