Thursday, October 29, 2015

1967 Video - Snuff Month in Oxford

The history of snuff-taking is interesting, and its fun when you stumble across some old film of snuff-takers.  This particular piece is from 1967 and was shot at Oxford, where the Society of Snuff Grinders, Blenders, and Purveyors sponsored a month of snuff sniffing sessions for experienced snuff-takers and newcomers as well.

I love the 1960's sound and feel of this video, and you get to see a couple of cool snuff boxes and plenty of snuff pinching.  This video is belongs to British Pathé, a producer of newsreels, cinemagazines, and documentaries from 1910 until 1970 in the United Kingdom.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Snuff Puts Money Back in Your Pocket

It is interesting to note the ways that snuff brings happiness.

Despite the common saying that "money does not buy happiness," it has been my experience and observation that "a lack of money definitely brings unhappiness."  It is difficult to deny that being able to pay one's bills makes one happy.  Or that being able to buy food and entertainment in its various forms can certainly make one happy.  Money pays for your children's clothes, their after-school activities, books, tablets, doctor's appointments, orthodontics, and stability and security.  How would money not naturally lead to a better chance at happiness.  In a commercialized world where money equals comfort and freedom in our capitalist culture, that old clunker of a common saying about money may be missing the point a little.

Let's get to the point.  Snuff is cheap.  Really, snuff is dirt cheap when compared to other tobacco products.  Even for the biggest snuffy sniffer, a little ground tobacco goes a long way.  I currently have about $80 invested in snuff.  Maybe as much as a $100.  I have enough snuff to last me literally 2 to 3 years of constant snuffing, even factoring in the gradual increase in consumption I'm going to experience over the next 2 to 3 years.  Even "expensive" snuff goes a long way for very little money.  There are only so many little pinches you can fit up your nose in a day, and there are a lot of pinches in a tin of snuff.

Don't get me wrong.  It is tempting, and it would be easy enough, to spend hundreds of dollars on nasal snuff in an attempt to try all the various kinds of snuff you are curious about.  It would be easy indeed to drop some serious cash on a proper snuff collection with brands and flavors from all over the world.  But, in a true comparison of cents per use, dollars per dose, snuff is immensely reasonable in price.  Someone switching from cigarettes to snuff would save piles of money in a very short amount of time.  Someone choosing snuff and vaping, would be money ahead making snuff their habit of choice.  Chew, dip, and snus are more expensive than snuff as well.

So, enjoy yourself frugal snuff-taker!  Cherish the $3 tin of snuff that you are still pinching out of a month later.  Delight in the $5 tin of snuff that begins to prove itself nearly bottomless as part of your snuff rotation.  Count your blessings and your pennies, as your snuff habit puts money back in your pocket.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hand-Carved Snuff Spoons for Sale

I've set up an shop to sell some of the hand-carved snuff spoons I've been carving.  I tend to use exotic woods, and each snuff spoon is unique and special.

The spoons are priced less than other hand-carved snuff spoons you'll find for sale, because I have no real overhead...and carve the spoons as a hobby.

Click Here to visit the shop.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Why Some Snuff Boxes are Shaped like Women's Shoes...

If you google vintage or antique snuff boxes, you find quite a few of them that are shaped like women's shoes.  And so this begs the question, why did the Victorians use shoe-shaped snuff boxes?  For those of us living in modern times, it seems like an odd choice.


When I decided to dig into this question, I was amazed at the number of different theories there were, and how diverse they were.  Here are a couple of theories that you will hear from time to time, that I believe to be incorrect.

1.  That because most of them are shaped like women's shoes, the snuff boxes must have all belonged to women, because "women seem to like shoes."  This as we will see below, is incorrect.  In actuality, men owned these shoe-shaped snuff boxes, and they were not relegated to women.

2.  One source suggests that the shoe is a symbol in Freemansonry, and that many shoe-shaped snuff-boxes are decorated with masonic symbols.  While some of these snuff boxes do have masonic symbols on them, most of them do not.  Freemasons decorate all sorts of things with their symbolism, so of course some of them decorated their snuff boxes in this way.  While the shoe is a symbol in Freemasonry, shoe-shaped snuff boxes did not originate with the Freemasons.

3.  The same source from #2, also suggested that in the Bible the shoe symbolizes the earthy in contrast with the holy, and thus the shoe-shaped snuff box was a reminder that snuff taking was an earthly vice.  There is no reference to this in any other source that I could find, and as we'll see below the shoe symbolizes many more things than the "earthly."

4.  Its been suggested that Victorians were a little obsessed with catching a glimpse of a woman's shoe and ankle, and therefore identified a woman's shoe with something a bit naughty or illicit.  And thus, what better shape for a man to offer another man a pinch form, than a somewhat illicit woman's shoe.  While this is true, there is more to it than that.

So, let's build on this last one and give as complete an answer as is possible.


The shoe is symbolic of good-luck, it has romantic connotations, and specific it has symbolic connections with weddings and travel.  So in the 18th and 19th centuries, a shoe-shaped snuff box was often given as wedding gift or as a gift to a traveler to bring them good luck.  There was a novelty aspect to making many different Victorian objects in the shape of a shoe, and the snuff-box was just one of these objects.  If you enjoy history, then you may enjoy some additional information.
Shoes are more than just a depiction of footwear here. The shoe is a romantic symbol that has been with us a long time. In the middle ages, a father would hand the bridegroom a shoe to transfer the authority he had over his daughter to her husband. Today, we tie shoes to the bumper of the honeymoon car.  Shoes and Eros are soul mates: Fetishists adore shoes as symbols of the female sex. In the Victorian age, the peek of a shoe from under the all encompassing, many layered skirts could arouse a passionate interest. Cinderella loses her shoe and it leads the prince to her, the 12 Princesses dance holes in their shoes and finally, there's Puss in Boots!

Shoe- shaped snuff boxes were commonly made throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Traditionally associated with good luck wishes, they were given as gifts for travelers and wedding couples setting off on the "journey" of marriage. (Source)
And some additional information from another source:
Shoe and boot shaped snuff boxes were made throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Shoes have long been associated with love and marriage and were often given for good luck.  (Source)
A tradition of giving a shoe-shaped snuff box as a gift at a wedding or to a traveler would explain why we see so many examples of shoe-shaped snuff boxes.  This tradition is in line with the romantic nature of shoes, especially for the Victorians.


I enjoy this sort of historical mystery, so let's go a bit deeper.  In "A History and Price Guide to
Miniature Shoes," Zita Thornton has this to say:
Modern, ornamental shoes made from porcelain or resin, have become a collectable favourite in the last few years. However, a fascination with miniature shoes goes back thousands of years. Miniature sandals have been found in Egyptian tombs and fashioned from ancient Persian pottery.
When shoemaking became a highly skilled, decorative craft in the seventeenth century, shoe makers expressed their skill in miniature too. Until the nineteenth century, miniature shoes, as exquisite in their detail as their full sized counterparts, became tokens of prosperity and love and symbolised a desire to share worldly goods, hence the tradition of hanging boots on the back of a newly wed's car.
The emergence of porcelain brought the fashion to aristocratic circles when elegant but expensive porcelain or enamel versions were exchanged. In the nineteenth century the love of novelty encouraged the manufacture of miniature shoes in a wider variety of materials such as leather, wood and brass and brought the custom within the reach of sentimental Victorians of all classes. The less sentimental looked for a function in their ornamental shoes and in this they were continuing a tradition that had its roots in ancient times. The Romans had oil lamps shaped as a foot in a sandal, and perfume containers as hob nailed boots. An ancient ancestor of the stirrup cup was a drinking vessel called a rhyton, which was sometimes made in a boot shape. Victorian gentlemen had shoes fashioned as gin flasks, umbrella handles, paper knives and ink wells, as well as all the paraphernalia associated with smoking and snuff taking such as snuff boxes, match holders, tobacco jars, ashtrays and pipe stops.
The snuff box on the right is an interesting example.  And the following information is from the webpage from which I borrowed the image for this discussion.
This snuff box was owned by the artist Talbot Hughes (1869-1942), who had a large collection of historic dress and accessories. The London department store Harrod's bought the collection and gave it to the Museum in 1913 after displaying it in the store for three weeks.
Shoe-shaped snuff boxes were made throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, probably as gifts. This boot, with its squared toe, is in the fashion of the 1860s. Shoes were traditionally associated with good luck wishes for travellers and wedding couples setting off on the 'journey' of marriage. Silver-coloured shoes are still sometimes used at weddings as good luck tokens.
So, that is definitely my longest blog post thus far.  I've been intrigued with the shoe-shaped snuff boxes since the first time I saw a picture of one.  They seem odd at first look, but with a little consideration of their symbolism and historical meaning, they tell an interesting story from the history of snuff-taking.

To see a photo album with lots of shoe-shaped snuff boxes, Click Here.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Hitsuzen Reviews Bernards Doppelt-Fermentiert

This is Hitsuzen's review of Bernards Doppelt-Fermentiert, which is part two of a four part series on Schmalzlers.  Check it out...and if you haven't subscribed to his channel yet, hit that subscribe button!

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Monday, October 26, 2015

Charles Darwin, a Monkey, and Some Snuff

Charles Darwin used snuff as a stimulant while working.  He once game up snuff for a month, and described himself as feeling “most lethargic, stupid, and melancholy.”

His moustache “slightly brown from the habit” of using snuff, Charles Darwin administered snuff to a monkey in order to study its emotions. “It closed its eyelids whilst sneezing; but not on a subsequent occasion whilst uttering loud cries,” he recorded.

Darwin's son wrote this about his father and his snuff-taking:
Our former neighbour and clergyman, Mr. Brodie Innes, tells me that at one time my father made a resolve not to take snuff except away from home, “a most satisfactory arrangement for me,” he adds, “as I kept a box in my study to which there was access from the garden without summoning servants, and I had more frequently, than might have been otherwise the case, the privilege of a few minutes’ conversation with my dear friend.”
He generally took snuff from a jar on the hall table, because having to go this distance for a pinch was a slight check; the clink of the lid of the snuff jar was a very familiar sound. Sometimes when he was in the drawing-room, it would occur to him that the study fire must be burning low, and when some of us offered to see after it, it would turn out that he also wished to get a pinch of snuff.
Charles Darwin clearly enjoyed his snuff.  :-)

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Sunday, October 25, 2015

St. Philip was a Heavy Snuff-User

A fair number of Catholic Saints were snuff-takers.

During the beatification investigation of Philip Neri, to determine if he would be made a Saint, the man's snuff use became an issue.   An examination of Philip Neri's corpse during the investigation showed that the soft tissues of his nose had gone (he was 79 when he died) and so his body was not incorruptible. It was suggested that this was due to his heavy use of snuff.  Despite this set-back, Philip Neri was canonized a Saint in 1622.

As far as Saints go, Philip's story is pretty interesting.  During an exorcism he forced a demon dog out of a woman, and when it ran at him, he threw a mace at it causing it to flee.  This was a man of action.

Another time, a boy was drowning, and Philip "bi-located" right next to the boy in the water and drug him to shore.  While praying, Philip was so filled with love that his heart expanded breaking two of his ribs!

Another time, a young prince had died without making confession.  Philip put holy water on the prince's lips, brought him back to life long enough to make his confession, and then let the boy slip away again.

Whether religion or saints are your thing, everything I read about Philip suggested he was a very good man at a time when good men were somewhat rare in the Catholic church hierarchy.  I think snuff-takers can be proud this gentleman was one of us.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hitsuzen's Review of Bernards Aecht Altbayerischer

Chris (Hitsuzen) Oldham is going to be reviewing four Schmalzler snuff reviews, and this is the first of the four reviews.

If you enjoy the review, please hit the subscribe button on Hitsuzen's YouTube Channel.


Mark Stinson

Abraham Lincoln Enjoyed Snuff

"The items in Abraham Lincoln's pockets the night of the assassination were as follows: a pocketknife, a linen handkerchief, a sleeve button, a fancy watch fob, two pairs of spectacles, a lens polisher, a tiny pencil, tiny fragments of hard red and green candy, a fine brownish powder which appeared to be snuff, and a brown leather wallet (one section was engraved "U.S. Currency" and another section was engraved "Notes"). The wallet contained a Confederate five dollar bill, and nine old newspaper clippings. Included among these clippings were two articles of praise and five others dealing with the issues that were on Lincoln's mind during his final months."

This quote is from this website, but the information is available from news stories, etc.

It is interesting to think of Lincoln, under all the stress of the Presidency and the Civil War, stopping to take a pinch of snuff.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Adding Pages to the Blog...

If you look up at the top of the blog, you'll notice that there is a link that leads to a "Snuff Articles" page.  It duplicates the Articles page at the actual Modern Snuff website.  Over time, some of the more useful or important pages at Modern Snuff will also be duplicated as a page on this blog.

Admittedly, it is a duplication, but attention spans being what they are in the world today, you can't be sure that someone who visits the blog will visit the webpage, or that people that visit the website will visit the blog.  Adding the pages to the blog is an easy thing to do, and I believe it will also give the information an additional chance to be indexed by search engines.

Was that enough inside-baseball for you?  LOL.  Anyhow, over time you'll see more page links at the top of the blog, and I wanted to explain why for those that might be curious.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Friday, October 23, 2015

George and Martha Were Snuff-Takers...

Most people in our culture know absolutely nothing about tobacco use or tobacco history prior to the Age of the Cigarette.  They hear that you sniff powdered tobacco up your nose, and think it is the oddest thing they've ever heard!  Like it is some new-fangled idea that doesn't make a bit of sense.

But, a huge number of historic figures that people relate to and know about, were avid snuff-takers.  So, perhaps some images are in order that will educate people that snuff was common-place, mainstream, and one of the most popular ways to enjoy tobacco.

I made the image on the right tonight, to sort of these out the idea.  Click on the image to see it enlarged.  If you are so inclined, feel free to re-post this image, or use it however you would like.

Martha is said to have liked the "best Violette Strasberg," and after George could not longer get his favorite English snuff (for obvious reasons), he would grind up his own snuff and flavor it himself.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Ebony Snuff Spoon - Classic Style

After carving a few spoons that were somewhat odd or original in shape, I wanted to carve a snuff spoon with a classic "spoon" style.  This is carved from ebony, and is small, and sleek, and graceful.  Click on the images to see enlarged images.

This spoon and other spoons I've carved are available at this on-line shop.  Check 'em out!

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Afzelia Burl Snuff Spoon

Well, I've been on a bit of tear with the carving of snuff spoons.  This latest one is carved from Afzelia Burl, a hard-to-get burl wood from Southeast Asia.   I wanted to carve a uniquely shaped spoon that matched the oddness of this wood and its grain, and that showed over various layers of burl in the wood.  Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

You can find this snuff spoon and other snuff spoons I've carved in my online shop.


Mark Stinson

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ebony Hand-Carved Snuff Spoon

This snuff spoon is carved from Royal Ebony, which is also known as Striped Ebony.  This is the natural color and finish of the wood.  I wanted to carve something modern and masculine in style, and I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.  Click on the images to enlarge them.

I've started an on-line shop to sell some of the snuff spoons I've been carving recently.  I did my best to set the prices lower than other hand-made snuff spoons on-line, while considering how much work I have in each spoon. Each one is one of a kind.  Click Here to visit the on-line shop.

Mark Stinson

"Snuff and Snuff-Takers" by George T. Fisher

An Etching from "Snuff and Snuff-Takers"
"Snuff and Snuff-Takers" was written anonymously, but has been attributed to George T. Fisher, who previously authored a book called "Smoking and Smokers." "Snuff and Snuff-Takers" is informative, light, funny, and can be read in one sitting. It truly is almost like a love letter to snuff, and is very clearly written with the humorous intention of setting straight those who spoken out against snuff.  The author is so charismatic in his attempt, that you come away feeling like you know him.  The book was published in 1846.

The book's full title is "Snuff and Snuff-Takers; a Pungent, Piquant, Comical, Veritable and Historical Disquisition, to Which is Added a Dissertation on the Poetry of Sneezing."  If it had not already been stated that this book has a light tone, then this full title should provide sufficient evidence.

Click Here to download a PDF of the book.  And if you are interested in seeing additional books about snuff, you can access them on the Modern Snuff Website by Clicking Here.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sycamore Snuff Spoon with a Dramatic Shape

After carving a couple of fairly simple snuff spoons out of zebrawood, I figured it was time to break out the sycamore and carve a snuff spoon with more of a dramatic shape.  I have the handle and overall shape more of a swooping feel, and gave it a graceful tapering bowl.  Of course the real star of the spoon is that sycamore wood-grain.  Sycamore is often used for inlaid wood due to its natural color and translucent appearance.  And, the shape of the spoon really shows off the grain of this particular piece of sycamore.  As usual, click on any of the photos below to enlarge it.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

My Second Zebrawood Snuff Spoon

I have a little bit of experience carving wood.  Not a professional or anything, but I enjoy it.

I have a pretty large collection of exotic woods and some tools, so I thought I'd try my hand at carving some snuff spoons.

This is the second one I've carved, and it is made from Zebrawood.  I've been keeping the profile and design of these spoons fairly simple for a couple of reasons.

First of all, I wanted to sort of highlight the wood itself.  The grain patters and just the warmth of wood.

Secondly, I'm new to snuff spoon carving, so I figured a couple of simple spoons would allow me to figure out the sizes I wanted, and figure out what works and what doesn't when carving something this small.

Over time, I'll share images of other snuff spoons I've carved.  And one of these days, I'll try my hand at carving a snuff box.  Click on the images above to see larger versions of the images.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Tube Rose Scotch Snuff

Tube Rose Scotch Snuff is a truly unique American scotch snuff.  Like other American snuffs, it is dry, and powdery fine, and gives a nice nicotine hit when you use it.  But, the scent/flavor of Tube Rose is like nothing else.

First of all, it has nothing to do with the scent of a rose flower.  A rose and a tuberose are two completely different flowers.  Feel free to google the tuberose flower, but it looks a lot like the flower on the can on the right.

The scent of a tuberose is used as a note in many perfumes and other scented products.  It is a "white floral" scent, and is consider to be carnal, creamy, and a many people hate the scent as love the scent.  Victorians forbade young girls to inhale the scent of tuberose in the fear they might have a spontaneous orgasm!  (source)  Tuberose has been called the "harlot of perfumery."

Well, back to our snuff!  Tube Rose Scotch Snuff has a sweetness to it, and I think I would classify it as an American Sweet, rather than a Plain Scotch.  But, the subtle sweetness is intertwined with a slight but unmistakable white floral scent.  It isn't overwhelming, but it is there. And the floral scent stays with you.  Rather than staying with you for a few minutes, you can expect to catch the floral
Advertisement from the 1920's.
scent in your nose 15 minutes later, if not longer.  In some reviews, people seem to mistake the floral scent for a caramel scent.  But, in my nose it is floral.

I love history.  And for no other reason, one should try Tube Rose Scotch Snuff just to experience the history of it.  Who knows how long they will continue making American Scotches.  Many have disappeared from the market already.  Another reason to try Tube Rose, is simply the fact it is unique and enjoyable.  As always, click on the images to enlarge them.

Mark Stinson

The Snuff Spoon Method

A very small spoon is a very handy tool to any snuff-taker.  It can be used to move snuff from a storage container into your daily snuff-box.  A spoon can also be used to take snuff from your snuff-box and place it on the back of your hand or into your boxcar (see below).  A snuff spoon is especially helpful with dark or oiled snuffs, because it keeps your fingers clean.

But, you can also take the snuff into your nose directly from the small snuff spoon.  Simply use the spoon to pick up enough snuff for one nostril, raise it to just below one of your nostrils, and sniff.  Then repeat this process for the other nostril.  There are even rare double-spoons that allow you to take snuff up both nostrils at once directly from the spoon.

Click Here to see enlarged image.

This is actually one of my favorite ways to take snuff.  There is less control than when taking a pinch, because you are not controlling the snuff from between your thumb and finger as you sniff from a spoon.  But, as with the other techniques, with a little practice you learn you how far away from your nose to hold the spoon and the angle that works for you.  Taking your snuff from a spoon can be a very quick and pleasent way to enjoy snuff.

Taking your snuff from a spoon can also become necessary if your hands are dirty from manual labor or you are sweating.  No one wants to pinching snuff with dirty fingers or take their snuff off the back of a sweaty hand.

There are many kinds of snuff spoons, including silver, pewter, wood, and even very fancy ones with gems or jewels.  But, many snuff-takers use non-spoon objects in a spoon-like fashion.  I've heard of snuff-takers using coffee stir sticks, the blade of a pocket knife, a broken off pencil, the tip of the handle of a large eating spoon, the tip of a key, or about anything else they have handy that can be used to pick up a small quantity of snuff and bring it to your nose.

To read more tips and techniques on snuff-taking, Click Here.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Follow the Modern Snuff Blog...

Are you interested in the content posted on the Modern Snuff blog?

Well, don't leave it to chance.  It will take you less than a minute to follow the blog, and receive updates whenever something is added to the blog.

If you scroll down, at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar there is a spot for you to enter your email address, and then click the "submit" button.  After taking this one easy step, you will then receive emails every time a post is added to the blog.

Right below this email option, is an RSS option for following the blog, if you already follow a number of blogs using RSS.

If you'd like to help spread the word about the Modern Snuff blog, at the bottom of every post is a set of buttons that allows you to share the post on various social networking platforms.  Please feel free to share anything you find interesting.

I'd like to thank everyone that has been supportive of the Modern Snuff website and blog thus far.  The work continues...


Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Monday, October 19, 2015

Modern Snuff on Facebook!

The Modern Snuff website also has a presence on Facebook.  In order to reach and provide information and resources to as many people as possible, its important to have a diverse approach to the internet.  Its for that reason that we have a traditional website, this blog, and the Facebook group.

Click Here to visit the Modern Snuff Facebook Group.

The Facebook group is a great way to meet other snuff-takers.  It also allows for great discussions, sharing images/photos, sharing documents, and since so many people are active on Facebook everyday, it can be a welcome refuge from the rest of Facebook each and every day!

Please visit our Facebook group, and join it when you get there.  Thanks!

Mark Stinson

The Back of the Hand Method

This method uses a portion of the back of your hand as a surface from which to sniff the tobacco into your nose.  There are various portions of the back of your hand that you can use, and really it comes down to what works for you.  You can put one small pile on the back of your hand, sniff it into one nostril, and then repeat this with a second pile sniffed into the other nostril.  But, it is a little quicker and easier to put two small piles on the back of your hand about nose-width apart, and sniff into both nostrils at once.

You should experiment with this yourself, but I usually start with my nostrils just a little bit away from the piles of snuff and, as I sniff, I move my nose onto the surface of my hand while taking the tobacco into my nose.  A lateral movement of your hand just as you finish off the sniff tends to clean up all the tobacco, from both your hand and your nose.

Click Here to see enlarged image.

The first of the locations you can use on the back of your hand, is what is referred to as the "anatomical snuffbox" (see Image 1 above).  This area is a depression that forms behind your thumb when you stretch your thumb out away from your hand.  It can vary in depth, and thus usefulness in snuff-taking, from person to person.  Another factor that can stand in the usefulness of this location, is hair.  If you have hairy arms, the anatomical snuffbox may feature body hair which can get in the way of a good snuff-taking.  But, so common was the use of this area of the hand for snuff-taking, that it became a part of anitomical terminology.

My personal preference, is the flat surface of the side of the hand between the thumb and the wrist (see Image 2 above).  This is a wide flat surface, usually free of body hair, and can be used with the hand in a fairly natural and comfortable position.

The last location I'll describe here is the webbing between the thumb and index finger (see Image 3 above).  If you move your thumb away from your index finger, this webbing forms a pocket that can be used to hold snuff.  Essentially your thumb goes along your face to one side of you nose with your index finger along your face on the other side of your nose.  This brings the snuff in the webbing between your thumb and index finger under your nose.  This is not a particularly common location for taking snuff off the back of your hand, but it is occasionally done.

Again, the point here is not to define a "correct" or "approved" location for snuff-taking off the back of your hand, but to instead describe some of the locations that are used.

To read more tips and techniques on snuff-taking, Click Here.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hitsuzen Review of Old Mill Bananas Foster

Hitsuzen has posted his second video, a review of Old Mill Artisan Snuff's Banana Foster.  He's doing well, and I'm looking forward to more of these.

If you enjoy his reviews, make sure you subscribe to his YouTube channel.  He's doing a free-snuff drawing with the first 30 subscribers.  Click Here to see details of that give-away.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

The Boxcar Method

The Modern Snuff website will be sharing information on snuff-taking techniques, and tips for making your snuff-taking more enjoyable.  The first technique we'll talk about here on the blog, is the "Boxcar Method."  In order to to use this method, you close your thumb up against the index finger side of your hand, and then wrap your index finger around the end of your thumb. This creates a little "box" with your thumb nail as the bottom of the box and your index finger forming the walls of the box.

Click Here to see enlarged image.

You can then put one nostril's worth or two nostril's worth of snuff on your thumbnail. If you put one nostril's worth, you'll have to do this twice obviously in order service both nostrils. If you put two nostril's worth on your thumbnail, you'll need to pull half of it in one nostril and the rest up the second nostril. Getting an even dose in each nostril from one pile of snuff in your boxcar takes a little practice. But, once you have it down, using the boxcar to hit both nostrils is very quick and a fairly inconspicuous way to take your snuff.

For some mysterious reason, you can put a lot more snuff comfortably up your nose using the boxcar method than you can with a pinch, spoon, or off the back of your hand. For whatever reason, it just works well for taking large amounts of snuff comfortably.

For more snuff-taking techniques and tips, please CLICK HERE.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Banning Safer Alternatives, Keeping Cigarettes Legal

I found an article about Snuff use in Iceland from December of 2014, and how snuff tobacco sales were way up. Click Here to see the original article.

Here's the text of the article:
The sale of nasal tobacco has risen by 36% in the past 6 months compared to the same time last year, reports RUV.
"It is very sad news because of all the positive developments Iceland has made with tobacco awareness in past few years," said Health Minister Kristjan Thor Juliusson."Especially with younger people. It's obviously very sad to face up to [these new developments]."
 Iceland has seen a significant increase in the use of snuff among young Icelandic men. In the first half of last year roughly 12 tonnes of nasal tobacco were sold in Iceland but this has risen to 16 tonnes for the same period this year.
The rise is believed to be a reaction to the ban on mouth tobacco and the Assistant Director of the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ATVR), Sigrun Osk Sigurdardottir, has estimated that 80% of snuff purchased in Iceland is currently being used as mouth tobacco.

Sigrun Osk also challenged the government to clarify their position on nasal tobacco and decide whether the ban on mouth tobacco should be lifted ? since people are using nasal tobacco as a mouth tobacco anyway ? or ban snuff as well.
So, they ban oral use of tobacco but left nasal snuff legal. And some folks in Iceland started using nasal snuff orally Well of course they did. Doesn't take a genius to figure out that with oral tobacco banned, the other form of ground up tobacco would end up in people's mouths. We need to send those folks some nice American scotches. :-)

It is hilarious to me that they banned the oral use of tobacco, but still allow cigarettes. I mean, don't ban any of it. Let people make up their own minds, and be masters of their own choices. But, if you are going to ban something...ban the form of tobacco that has a serious death-risk. Nothing against those that smoke cigarettes, but what sort of public policy bans the oral use of tobacco and leaves cigarettes legal? Who made money off of that deal?

Along the same lines, Singapore is moving to ban everything EXCEPT cigarettes and cigars. Anything else with nicotine involved (snuff, chew, vapor, etc.) would be illegal, with the form of tobacco enjoyment with the most risk would be maintained. Crazy. Click Here to read that article

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Hitsuzen Review Toque Pumpkin Pie

Hitsuzen recently started a snuff review channel on YouTube, and today he posted his first review.  It is for Toque Pumpkin Pie.  Check it out!

I really appreciate the mention of the Modern Snuff website efforts.  Truly above and beyond.

Mark Stinson

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Articles Page is Complete at Modern Snuff

Sometimes it can be a little difficult to find information on nasal snuff tobacco.  In the are of news articles it can be especially difficult because nasal snuff tobacco does not get a lot of media attention.  The Modern Snuff website now has a complete Articles Archive Page, featuring 19 interesting and somewhat obscure news stories and articles about nasal snuff tobacco from 1981 to the present.

All of the articles are available by links at their original sources, but also archived on our site in PDF form so that a broken link will never lose our access to an article's information.

We've added images to the page to break it up a little, and at this point the page is complete.  We will add additional articles as we stumble across them or as they are suggested to us.  If you know of any articles about nasal snuff tobacco not included on the page, please let us know.

Click Here to visit the new Articles Archive page.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Honey Bee - An American Scotch Sweet from Swisher

I like American scotch snuffs quite a bit, and I'm fond of the sweet scotches. I like W.E. Garrett Sweet, but I've been working my way through various American sweet scotches because I'm curious about their differences.

Earlier today, I received some Honey Bee Sweet snuff from Swisher, and I've been giving it a tryout all evening.

I've heard from various reviews by other people that Honey Bee has a unique honey scent and flavor to it, but I really wanted to experience it for myself. Man, is it delicious. Its got that American scotch warm burn, the nice rush of nicotine that makes your head swim, and that honey scent is there. Really there.

 It is definitely a sweet scotch, but its clearly a honey sweetness. And the honey scent stays there in your nose a good while. This will be giving W.E. Garrett Sweet a run for its money in my daily rotation of snuffs.

American scotches and scotch sweets can be a little difficult to snuff. They are literally an extremely fine dry power. It takes some care and practice to not hit the back of your throat, and put yourself in some discomfort. I like a variety of snuff types from all over the world, but I don't think a snuff rotation is complete without an American scotch or scotch sweet in your snoot now and again. If you like nicotine and you like honey, then you'll love Honey Bee.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Snuff Spoon

A very small spoon is a very handy tool to any snuff-taker.  It can be used to move snuff from a storage container into your daily snuff-box.  A spoon can also be used to take snuff from your snuff-box and place it on the back of your hand or into your boxcar.  A snuff spoon is especially helpful with dark or oiled snuffs, because it keeps your fingers clean.

But, you can also take the snuff into your nose directly from the small snuff spoon.  Simply use the spoon to pick up enough snuff for one nostril, raise it to just below one of your nostrils, and sniff.  Then use the spoon in the same way for the other nostril.  There are even rare double-spoons that allow you to take snuff up both nostrils at once directly from the spoon.

This is actually one of my favorite ways to take snuff.  There is less control than taking a pinch, because you are not releasing the snuff from between your thumb and finger as you sniff.  But, as with the other techniques, with a little practice learn you how far away from your nose to hold the spoon, the angle that works for you, and this can be a very quick and pleasent way to enjoy snuff.

There are many kinds of snuff spoons, including silver, pewter, wood, and even very fancy ones with gems or jewels.  But, many snuff-takers use non-spoon objects in a spoon-like fashion.  I've heard of snuff-takers using coffee stir sticks, the blade of a pocket knife, a broken off pencil, the tip of the handle of a large eating spoon, the tip of a key, or about anything else they have handy that can be used to pick up a small quantity of snuff.

For more tips about snuff-taking techniques, click here.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Sniff, Not a Snort

We'll be sharing a series of tips about snuff-taking here on the blog, and this is our first.  To read more about snuff-taking techniques, visit THIS PAGE on the Modern Snuff website.

First of all, every technique for taking snuff involves sniffing the powdered tobacco into the front portions of you nose.  This usually takes just a light sniff.  If you snort the snuff, and pull it too deep into your nose, it will hit the back of your sinuses and throat and cause a very unpleasant burning feeling and sometimes an unpleasent "drip" in your throat.  Pulling the snuff in too deeply will burn, cause coughing, watering eyes, and just an all-around unpleasant experience.

It can take some practice to know how hard to sniff.  So, start with the lightest sniff that still pulls the snuff into your nose, and work your way up from there.  It is a lot easier to start with the lightest sniff and slowing increase how hard you draw the snuff into your nose.  Very fine snuffs go into your nose with the lightest sniff, while courser snuffs take a little more drawing power with your sniff.  When in doubt, sniff lightly.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Videos of Sir Guy Wallace Taking and Discussing Snuff

These two videos feature Sir Guy Wallace.  He is an interesting character, and a gentleman from the old school.  There is a lot of "noise" in the first video, but it is worth watching none-the-less.  You can see a whole collection of YouTube channels dedicated to snuff and snuff reviews, as well as additional embedded videos on the Modern Snuff Video Page.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Monday, October 12, 2015

I Like Nicotine

I like nicotine.  I admit it.  I very purposely use nicotine.  I've quit using it before.  And I've chosen to take up its use again.  The common thought would be that I am a helpless addict, unable to shake a dangerous addictive substance.  But, I am here to tell you that I have quit using nicotine in times of peace and rest in my life, and I've returned to nicotine in times of stress and hardship.  I've come to enjoy the effect it has on me, and I believe I will continue using it moving forward.  I enjoy it.  I enjoy who I am when I use it.

Nicotine is unique.  At least in my experience.  There are times it acts as a stimulant and times it acts to relax me.  It brings me a feeling of peace.  Things can be going wrong, but then I enjoy a little tobacco, and things feel better.  The problem is still there, and I still need to deal with it, but I'm calm and focused.  Big problems seem smaller.  Anger turns to mild irritation.  Massive disappointment turns to more circumspect attitude about the nature of life.

Specifically, I really enjoy snuff.  It is that simple.  I just really like it.  It makes me happy.  It calms me.  It brings me into focus.  It feels good.  It smells good.  I love the history, the culture, and just the experience that is nasal snuff tobacco.  And it doesn't hurt that snuff is one of the safest ways to enjoy tobacco...

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Snuff Reviews Blog

While snuff is one of the least expensive ways to enjoy tobacco, it can still be an act of faith to spend you hard earned money on a snuff you haven't tried before.  It helps in those situations. to have the input of other snuff-takers.  Did they enjoy the snuff?  What about the flavor did they like?  Was it difficult to snuff?  Did it arrive in good condition?  What was its moisture level?  Having some answers to these questions allows you to order a new snuff with some confidence.

Step in the Snuff Reviews Blog.  Imagine a blog with a blog post for every snuff brand and flavor in existence.  Imagine the ability for anyone to go to the blog, and post reviews as comments on any of the blog posts.  Imagine being able to access one, four, or ten or more reviews of a snuff by fellow snuff-takers much like you.  What you are imagining right now is the Snuff Reviews Blog.

While there are snuff  "experts" that post reviews, it is also a place where the "common man" is welcome to post reviews.  And, when you work up a little confidence, you can post your own reviews of the snuffs you have tried.  The site is a great project, updated frequently, and if you haven't been there yet...get over there, look around, and bookmark it for future use.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Coffin Shaped Snuff Boxes

Snuff boxes were and are a big part of the use of snuff.  During 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries a snuff-taker would spend a pretty penny on acquiring a snuff box or boxes that would represent their social standing.  When you met new people or greeted old friends, you would bring forth your snuff box and offer a pinch of snuff.  This was an ice-breaker, a way of bonding, an important part of social interaction.

For the modern snuff-taker, a snuff box represents in a very practical way, a method of carrying your snuff.  But modern snuff-takers still take great pride in owning unique and amazing snuff boxes.  Many people collect vintage snuff boxes, and the more beautiful and unique -- the better.

Snuff-boxes were often made in odd shapes, and one of the shapes that seems the most macabre, is the coffin shape.  On the Modern Snuff website, we've collected 18 photos of coffin shaped snuff boxes.  CLICK HERE to look through them.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Old Mill Artisan Snuff

The number of choices a snuff-taker has when purchasing snuff tobacco is pretty over-whelming.  The fact you can order online from scores of different companies from all over the world, means there are hundreds of snuffs one could choose.  There are even alternatives to buying commercial snuff, in the form of artisan snuff-makers.  One such snuff-maker here in the United States is Chef Daniel Richards of Old Mill Artisan Snuff.

As the word "artisan" suggests, artisan snuff are normally hand-made snuffs, created in small batches, and with an inordinate amount of care and artistry.  For example, here is a description from Chef's website:  
"The scenting and flavoring recipes take up to a year to reach their peak, and after application to the leaf the maturing process can take up to two years.  I use toasted oak barrels, Spanish cedar crates and a variety of woods such as cherry, alder, birch, walnut, apple, pecan and maple to apply pressure and scent to several of the leaf blends.  I also use Himalayan Pink Salt slabs to subtly season many of the more exotic snuff tobaccos."
Daniel is a certified chef, and brings four decades of culinary experience in professional kitchens to his passion for snuff-making, and his discipline and creativity show in the artisan products he creates.  Another benefit of the artisan approach, is that you can't order from Old Mill on their website.  You want their snuff, you email Chef Dan personally, order what you want in the email, and arrange the rest of the transaction by email.  There is a personal touch to this approach that is somewhat old-fashioned, but also comforting.  You aren't ordering from a company or a website.  You are ordering from the snuff-maker himself.

Thus far, my personal favorite from Daniel's creations is his Pure Virginia Toast.  Here is his description of this amazing snuff:
"A combination of Flue Cured Piedmont Red, Eastern Carolina Gold, Canadian, Middle Belt Orange and Lemon Virginias steamed then gently toasted to bring out the natural sweetness, milled to a fine grind for easy use, aged for one year in Virgin Oak Barrels allowing all of the delicious layers of flavors and scents of pure,  aged Virginia leaf to harmonize into the ultimate Toast.  Due to the inevitable variations in crop years, the 2015 vintage is slightly darker than the 2014 batch but maintains the sweet, grassy and hay like aromas that only perfect flue curing, long aging and gentle toasting can create.  A wonderful expression of flue cured tobacco."
If you haven't tried one of Chef Daniel's snuffs yet, or you are simply looking for some amazing hand-crafted snuff tobacco, go to the Old Mill website and treat yourself.

Mark Stinson

Saturday, October 10, 2015

New Photo Album Page on Our Website

We've added a new feature to the Modern Snuff website that will allow us to share with you amazing photos and images of snuff-boxes, snuff-bottles, snuff-spoons, and snuff-brands from across history.  Reading about tobacco snuff is interesting, but sometimes a picture tells a story better.  A picture can take us back in time and give us a feeling of being in another time, and another place.

The new photo albums use a great thumbnail system, so that you can preview the images and decide what you want to look at.  But, as you click deeper into the photo albums you have access to the full-sized original image.

Over time, we'll be adding more and more photos.  We have a whole collection of vintage photos of snuff manufacturing and old snuff shops that we'll be adding to the photo album page soon.  To visit the new Photo Albums feature, CLICK HERE.

If you have any snuff-related photos, images, etchings, or cartoons, please share them with us by sending them to

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website

Why I Created the Modern Snuff Webiste

First and foremost - I really enjoy snuff.  It is that simple.  I just really like it.  It makes me happy.  It calms me.  It brings me into focus.

Secondly, I wanted to build a website that would help other people who enjoy snuff learn more about it.  A place I could archive books, videos, and other materials on the topic of snuff tobacco.  I enjoy building websites about topics in which I'm interested, and the topic of tobacco and snuff tobacco are interesting to me.

I'm fairly new to snuff.  While snuff was at one time the most common way of enjoying tobacco, today it is somewhat obscure.  It exists and thrives as an odd sub-culture on the frige of popular culture.  For those that might be interested, I thought I would share how I became a snuff-taker.

Back in the early 1980's on my school bus, a kid named Chad had somehow come into possession of a box of snuff tobacco.

It was a strange container, and I don't see anything like it on the market today.  The snuff was in a tall thin yellow plastic box with printing on the outside.  Chad was pretty excited that he had this forbidden material, and without any idea of how to use it, he snorted huge amounts of the stuff up his nose.  His face turned red, his eyes watered and blinked, and he was clearly in pain.  He put so much of it up his nose, that brown liquid ran out his nose.  Watching him misuse the snuff was a horrifying experience actually, and I have to image that Chad never used snuff again!

Back in 2008, I first tried snuff.  I was at a German restaurant in Minneapolis, MN...and after your meal every guest was given a shot of apple schnapps and offered a pinch of Pöschl snuff.  If I remember correctly, it was their Ozona cherry or raspberry snuff.  They fired two little piles of snuff up my nose using a snapping snuff-board contraption, and I remember the cool of the menthol mixed with the rich fruity flavor.  It was great.  I went to the restaurant manager and asked to buy a little tin of snuff, and he was happy to sell me a tin of Pöschl cherry snuff.

I didn't become a regular snuff user that night though.  Over the years, I would indulge some snuff after a beer or while camping.  But, it wasn't a daily or even a weekly activity for me.  It was something I did for fun now and again.  My tobacco habit was all about cigars, chewing tobacco, and snus...and snuff was just a diversion.

Taking our story forward a number of years, I was in a tobacco store iin 2015 and saw a 30g can of W.E. Garrett's Scotch Sweet snuff on the shelf.  It was huge compared to my little tin of Pöschl snuff.  I wasn't even aware that American snuff existed, and I was intrigued.  I bought the can, opened it, pinched a bit, and sniffed some up both nostrils.  American scotch snuffs are a very fine powder and they deliver quite a bit of nicotine.  Warmth spread across my face, I felt a warm pleasent burning, and then the scent of the sweet snuff stayed in my nose for several minutes.  I was hooked.

Since then, I've tried more American snuffs, English snuffs, German snuffs, Indian Snuffs, and I've become consumed with the whole topic of snuff.  I've read books about tobacco and snuff.  I've begun participating on snuff online message boards.  I've shared what I know so far with friends that are interested in snuff, and I started the Modern Snuff website.

Why did I create this website?  Because nasal snuff is the safest, cleanest, and most pleasent ways to enjoy tobacco.  Because I believe snuff is a less-dangerous alternative to smoking and chewing tobacco.  Because I believe those who discover snuff and are interested in snuff deserve a user-friendly non-commercial on-line resource to further their understanding and enjoyment of snuff.

If you have any suggestions regarding this website or you have resources you believe would make good additions to this website, please contact me at and let me know.

Mark Stinson
Modern Snuff Website