Tuesday, March 13, 2018


There are evocative smells. Your elderly aunty's hidden lingerie drawer, for instance, or fermenting apples in a neighbor's yard. Both have an autumnal fragrance -- the first because of long forgotten maidenly fruitings, the latter due to late-stage vegetal sugars -- and, remarkably, whatever connotations they might have to dispassionate adults, to your childhood self they meant something much more innocent, and more 'other'.

Aunty used to be flirtatious! Who knew?

A completely fictional aunty, of course, and you'll just have to imagine the sultry perfume of French soap, a bar of which would always be there to chase away the moths, and a young lady's delicate perspiration when the military officer asked her to dance. He was just ever so dashing!
She blushed. And spilled some sherry down her cleavage.
Please do NOT imagine the cleavage.
Modesty, you know.

In the same way I enjoy my fictional aunty's wild side, I enjoy the products of McClelland Tobacco Company. Meaning mostly as an intellectual exercise. Especially that infamous whiff of vinegar (a natural fermentational effect), which some have likened to a ketchup reek, or barbecue sauce.
I found their flakes excellent, but often too dense to smoke.
Splendid products, marvelously well made.
And I shall miss them.

[One anomaly that I like entirely despite myself is the tobacco that Hello Kitty would smoke.
But an earlier phase of profound McClelland enjoyment produced dead camels.]

All credit is due Mike and Mary McNeal for keeping fine tobacco alive during a generation of dross. Their example undoubtedly inspired others, who have gained stature in their footsteps.

That said, I also enjoy other tobaccos as much, and probably more. It will take me many years to smoke the nearly twenty five pounds of various McClelland tobaccos I've stashed over the previous decade.
Sealed tins. I cannot enjoy the smell.
Not until I open them.

If you liked their Virginias, try Samuel Gawith's Full Virginia Flake, St. James, or Golden Glow. For the lovers of Latakia blends, Greg Pease has damned fine stuff, as do Gawith and Germain. And the Germans and Danes are making some very interesting blends, under several names.
Rattrays, McConnell, Zechbauer, Dan; all German.
Though mostly made in Denmark.
Orlik, as well as HH.
Et autres.

Even today there is still good tobacco.

POST SCRIPTUM: at present I am smoking an English flake in an old and very Londonian Canadian. It is very nice. I shall have to air out this place before my apartment mate returns in several hours, as she is not fond of the smell of pipe tobacco, though she seemingly doesn't mind the old fossils who smoke it. She has her own room. The door is closed.
A very stern Teddy Bear is behind that door.


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