Tuesday, February 18, 2020


When I was in my very early teens I started taking snuff, a habit common among villagers in Switzerland, where we often went on vacation. Snuff, as everybody knows, is a relatively clean method of enjoying tobacco and getting the benefits of nicotine without triggering an attack by an ethnic rags wearing Californian weatgerm freak screaming about killing children.
Unlike pipes, cigars, and cigarettes.

Snuff -- tobacco leaf finely powdered, gently snorted up a nostril, which alleviates migraines and the abhorrent odeur of unwashed vegans and organic vegetable freaks, because soap is murder -- is one of the older forms of tobacco use. With the added benefit that it does not start fires in farm country in late summer, and tides you over during long airplane journeys.

[BTW: Soap is big business, and made by giant multinationals using all kinds of chemicals that are bad for the environment. If you are "green", you should avoid it completely.]

Oh, and snuff really freaks out the little retard sitting next to you demanding to look out of the window, as well as its odious parent. An added benefit!

Fribourg & Treyer were famous for their lovely snuffs. Sadly, they are no longer in business.
Wilsons still manufacture their snuff, and the Fribourg & Treyer pipe tobaccos are now made on behalf of Kohlhase & Kopp. The famous atheist, essayist, mathematician, philosopher, and all-round bad boy Bertrand Russell is known to have smoked F&T's Golden Mixture.
Which should recommend it to you.

From Wikipedia:
Snuff use in England increased in popularity after the Great Plague of London (1665–1666) as people believed snuff had valuable medicinal properties, which added a powerful impetus to its consumption. By 1650, snuff use had spread from France to England, Scotland, and Ireland, and throughout Europe, as well as Japan, China, and Africa.

By the 17th century some prominent objectors to snuff-taking arose. Pope Urban VIII banned the use of snuff in churches and threatened to excommunicate snuff-takers. In Russia in 1643, Tsar Michael prohibited the sale of tobacco, instituted the punishment of removing the nose of those who used snuff, and declared that persistent users of tobacco would be killed.
End cite.

In the modern world, it might make a come-back.
Imagine if our military men took snuff.

To cite Robert Browning:

Or who in Moscow toward the Czar
With the demurest of footfalls
Over the Kremlin's pavement bright
With serpentine and syenite
Steps with five other generals
That simultaneously take snuff
For each to have pretext enough
And kerchiefwise unfold his sash
Which, softness' self, is yet the stuff
To hold fast where a steel chain snaps
And leave the grand white neck no gash?

To put it differently, they "snuffed" the monarch and left no evidence.
Assassinating one's leader used to be more common.
It was a kinder, gentler time.

That's actually a scrap of poetry I fondly remember from my childhood. Points to the reader who guesses what brought it to my attention.
Hint: it was another English poet.

Because snuff is usually flavoured, often with very old-school fragrances, it has been banned in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, and unicorporated Marin County, to keep the little hordes of kiddie-winkies from getting their hands on it, along with very many pipe tobaccos, all menthol cigarettes, infused cigars, chewing tobacco, and most vapes.

What a miserable world.

On the other hand, pitchforks, torches, and guillotines also work, and are much more engaging.


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All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


Phillip Minden said...

Very briefly:

1. Within a very short time, some five or ten years ago, the rich sources of decent snuff in Covent Garden, St. James's and Manhattan were gone. The 17-year old nose-pickers there didn't even know what I was talking about.

2. I'm not sure they're still making the nice tins, because there's not enough space for the very large incorrect health warnings that apply to burnt cigarettes.

3. At any rate, with stupid Brexit, that restriction may be obsolete.

(picture on FB messenger)

The back of the hill said...

I still have a few tins of snuff which I sample occasionally, mostly when there's a stench I need to plug.

But I don't know where to replenish my supply locally, if and when I will run out of it.

Might have to make my own.

Dark tobacco and a few fragrant oils in a grinder, I suppose.

The back of the hill said...

Rose oil, bergamot, clove. Perhaps.

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