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Make Your Own Snuff

What is snuff ?
Snuff is tobacco which has been ground down to a fine powder and scented, and is sniffed rather than smoked. Europeans were taking snuff over 300 years ago. In fact, in 1684, Pope Urban VIII threatened excommunication for anyone found taking snuff in church!

Snuff isn't used very much in the Western world, but in third world countries, snuff is still very much in use. Snuff users in the third world often rub the snuff into the gums to give a quick fix, but overuse can damage gums and cause them to recede, eventually leading to tooth loss. If you want to use snuff, it's probably not a good idea to rub it into your gums.

Making your own snuff
It is very easy to make your own snuff. All you need to do is grind your tobacco in a pepper mill or coffee grinder until you have a fine powder. If you have a good coffee grinder, you should be able to make your snuff with one pass through the grinder. If you are only trying out snuff, you could break open an ordinary cigarette and grind the tobacco from that, although you should remember that this will be full of chemicals. Far better to grow your own tobacco without the chemicals.

Before making your own snuff using home grown tobacco, you should make sure your tobacco is dried and cured. You should also crush your tobacco in your hand into small pieces about the size of tea leaves and remove any dry, woody bits. You can use any part of the tobacco leaf for your own snuff. Cheaper commercial snuff uses the stem or mid-rib of the tobacco leaf while the more expensive commercial snuff uses the small, young leaf of the Virginia tobacco plant. I recommend that you use Virginia tobacco as the nicotine content is about 3 times that of Havanna. You may wish to mix your tobacco to create a snuff that suits you.

Scenting your snuff
Tobacco readily absorbs smells, so scenting your snuff is very easy. Most commercial snuffs are adulterated with ammonia, hellebore and pearl ash, which keeps them moist with a powerful smell. Dry snuffs like Scotch and Welsh are adulterated with quicklime to give the snuff a bite. Please don't ask me for the volumes used as I have no idea and no desire to sniff quicklime.

I recommend using one drop of musk perfume on a small piece of blotting paper for one kilo of snuff. Do this after grinding your tobacco. Place the tobacco and the blotting paper into a sealed container for a couple of days to allow the tobacco to absorb the smell. Grind up enough tobacco to make a small amount of snuff, then test it. This allows you to add more scent if required.

Other perfumes commonly used for dry snuff are bergamot, cloves, lavender, otto of roses, orange flowers and jasmin. Use these to scent your tobacco in the same way as mentioned above, adjusting the amount of scent as required. If you find a scent you think works really well, let us know and we might post it here for other snuff users.


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