Wednesday, March 06, 2013


Back in the seventies many manufacturers started producing tobacco mixtures with what can only be described as whore-house scents.
At that time it was virtually unthinkable that a well-bred woman would smoke a pipe in public, and such people were clearly not the intended audience for these noxious concoctions.
Their dissolute older brothers were.
There is something very unnatural about a cavendish that reeks of strawberries and coconut. It's Frankenleaf.

Unsurprisingly, such things appealed to men of questionable tastes.
As well as highly individualistic clothing choices.

Back then such people did not have tattoos or piercings, and the poor dears had to express themselves in a different vulgar fashion.

One of the selling points of these perfumed monstrosities was that they would not offend the gentler sex. It is more than likely that they offended so well that the anti-smoking movement was given a boost beyond all reason.
Even pipe-smokers like this blogger were almighty upset.
For years, whenever I smelled burnt cherries or chocolate vanilla and boiled nicotine exudate bubbling in the unclean brier of some macho degenerate half a block away, I was outraged, and resolved to give the hairy savage a piece of my mind. Of course my youthful indignation was tempered by the realization that it is useless to lecture such people, as it only makes them more convinced of their own irresistible sex appeal. They will puff up, and think to themselves "dang I must be studly....... because of this wonderful aroma of tropical fruits and nuts!"
It was usually a balding dweeb with a beer gut.
Pathetic, but let the man be.
He's got issues.

If a man shouldn't smoke crap, then a woman should not either.


In the early eighties I knew a woman whose taste in pipes and tobacco was beyond compare. One of her prizes was a Sasieni sandblast that made men swivel their heads when she entered the room. To my knowledge, she never ever smoked an aromatic therein, solamente full Latakia mixtures (Drucquer & Sons Blend 805 -- now no longer made). The fragrance was heady and sensual, and added more to her attraction than she could possible realize.
Because of her, all over Berkeley there are middle-aged men who still associate the smell of certain tobaccos with likable lovable women. Especially bespectacled brainiacs with a ready wit and impeccable taste.
She didn't drink, by the way. That wasn't her thing.
Good books, fine pipes, excellent tobaccos.
Absolutely ladylike. Well-bred.

Nice women should smoke nice tobacco. Leave the questionable fruity stuff for questionably fruity boys.

Go for smoky Latakia blends and good pressed Virginias. Perhaps something full and dark, or a robust British flake. Even a Burley mixture for solitude, and also if you have a fondness for corncobs.
In fact, there is nothing wrong with a corncob; properly cared-for these will last for years and yield an excellent smoke, especially if you stuff air-cured leaves in them. Burley and a cob are miraculous.

But under most circumstances, the well-bred young lady should probably tend toward fine tinned tobacco with a noticeable Latakia content, up to nearly half of the mixture. These inspire thoughtfulness and vibrancy, and abundantly reward the woman of good taste. Nothing adds to a good book as much as a nice long smoke, quietly by oneself, while any relatives or roommates who lack understanding are off gallivanting about elsewhere.
If you were to have a spot of sherry or a cup of oolong tea while thus engaged, that would be excellent too.

Looking around my own rather crowded living quarters, I can spot several tobaccos that would be utterly perfect.
Wilderness, Legends, Three Oaks - made by McClelland.
These are well-balanced full Latakia mixtures.
Over two hundred tins of G.L.Pease tobaccos, mostly somewhere in the Oriental spectrum, ranging from mild Latakia and Turkish content all the way up to Westminster, which is a lovely full mixture with a profoundly old-fashioned character, splendid with a strong cuppa.
Samuel Gawith and Germains are well-represented - again, full Orientals, additionally various lovely Virginia compounds.
A three year supply of Rattrays, mostly the Virginias, but also Accountants, Black Mallory, and Red Rapparee.
Several boxes filled with tins by Cornell & Diehl in Morganton; full Latakia, exotics, and Burley blends.
More boxes, containing various Dunhill tobaccos, nicely matured.
And of course numerous jars with my own blending experiments, the majority of which range from 20% Latakia to 42.5 percent. Given that I do not have access to the range of raw leaf that commercial blenders can command, I seldom go beyond the low forty range in my Oriental mixes.
My best blends are around one third Latakia or slightly more, and one of which I'm particularly fond is only in the low twenties. In all cases I rely on a good solid Virginia flake to give spirit to the blend; that is key.

After you've had one or two bowls, and before your housemates come home, air the place out a bit, and wash your face. If necessary, fry up some bacon to confuse their sense of smell.
Yes, you will still have an echo of a dark perfume.
But it will be mysterious and alluring.
Quite complimentary.

A few good pipes, a selection of tobaccos, a favourite tea-cup, and a private place to smoke. That, and a book you cannot put down. Can you imagine anything nicer?

If your room overlooks a garden, open the window one summer evening and enjoy a bowl of flake in the twilight. It will be magical.


Of course it is not a good idea to drink tea late at night, and while sherry or singlemalt are nice, you might not have them on hand.
And perhaps you do not drink alcohol.
In that case, I recommend a glass filled with equal measures of ginger ale and cold water, pepped-up with a squeeze of lime. The slight sweetness and the acid will prevent dry-mouth or minor discomfort on the tongue, and will also help bring out the flavours of the tobacco.


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

No comments:

Search This Blog


It was rather cold in the city yesterday. As you would expect. Kind of March/April-ish. Which reminded me of the time I came down with a hor...