English Hate -vs- Aromatic Love

English Hate -vs- Aromatic Love

Reactions to pipe smoking in public are always fun and rather unique outpourings of expression. There are two specific types of reactions however that are fairly consistent. These are # 1 – The expressed disgust  the non-smoker shows when having to smell English blends and # 2 – The absolute joy the same non-smoker experiences when getting Aromatic blend smoke wafting their way. It is these opposing reactions and their associated emotional extremes that they go into, which bring a mild curiosity to me.

When the average non-pipe smoker gets a whiff of some of my favorite English blends, those people tend to both contort their faces in a performance of nasal smelling disgust & they also often feel comfortable to throw some rather rude obscenities my way. Something along the lines of ‘how could I be so horrible to subject regular people to such a foul stench in public!!’. I have had nearby windows slammed shut as loud as possible and a whole assortment of ‘running away’ activity occurring all around me, when an English blend is cooking. Definitely and without a doubt, to make the non smoking public around you scatter, start puffing an English.

At the same time however and I can only reference this memory from my early pipe smoking days, when the non-smoker gets a whiff of a sweet Aromatic blend, the amazing result is that out come the kindest and most thoughtful expressions of very personal, long forgotten, pleasant memories from these exact same people that were cursing me moments ago. They become so moved by the wonderful memories the aromatic smell evokes that they begin to shower me with stories about pleasant grand-father interactions from the past and other such pleasant associations from the long lost time when pipe smoking was in abundance. The non-smoker experiences this trip down memory lane courtesy of the smell factor which triggers their memory banks and they end up thanking me, for the thoughtful gesture I have taken to bring them back these memories.

Two more opposite types of reactions could not be better scripted!

So I can understand the disgust one can have with a foul stench as I am sure all of us can. The point though is to look at the inadequate balance and misappropriation of personal opinion, at such two extremes, love & hate, with virtually the same subject.

Much like the bulk of social decision-making, it seems that those people who use this unique form of confusing justice, extract whatever small detail which that themselves at the specific moment in time and they focus on those details alone and they forget about everything else. When an English blend is out and smoking and a non-smoker, who maybe moments earlier was showering me with pleasantries while I was doing the same thing, smoking, everything that happened up until that point is forgotten. Right now, it’s a disgusting blend and all bet’s are off for them. It’s not even a polite form of ignoring ‘other facts’, it’s more like convenient ignorance. A very selfish view that considerably narrows their big picture perspective which is unfortunately not surprising.

I can only use my neighbor as a directly applicable guinea pig type reference. I received and had to listen to an: ‘unacceptable and you have to stop this immediately’ (“warning”) when the English blend was being smoked. Yet I also received the sure fire heart warming story about her grand-father and her child-hood memories of playing with him & his pipe when his Aromatic was out and smoking. Since I no longer smoke Aromatics you can easily guess the type of current feelings my neighbor consistently expresses for me. I dare not ask my neighbor for their thoughts on pipe smoking in general or if they would be perfectly happy if I only smoked Aromatics. It is never a good idea to bring people face to face with their ignorance.

One would assume that some sort of middle-ground to the problem of smoking in public could be found that much easier, when we know that someone can enjoy the smoke from an Aromatic. The assumption is that if they can love one form of tobacco smoke, perhaps they could, at least partially, accept another version? The Aromatic, one would hope, could act as a sort of medium, to bridge the gap between smokers and non-smokers and heal the sore wounds and provide a certain level of understanding towards our plight.

To be sure, it seems like the public relations benefits from Aromatics being smoked around non-smokers could be taken advantage of, by us pipe-smokers.  After a large enough group of non-smokers get exposed to the Aromatic smoke and the associated pleasant memories it triggers for them are experienced, I can easily see throngs of non-smokers, united and together, marching down the street holding signs with “Give Pipe Smokers A Chance” or “Pipe Smokers Give Back” written all over them. Those non-smokers would both be fighting for our smoking rights and their own old time memories. I can envision the large amount of goodwill the non smoking public would have towards us if we could engage all of those long lost pleasant memories they have stored inside their minds. It would be a tremendous outpouring of love in our pipe smoking favor. They would be joyously clapping us along for the pleasant trips down memory lane our smoke would offer them.


It would be a nice image to see together, all of those non-smoker smiling faces with all of our pipes lit up and blasting a heap of smoke in the air. Puts a smile to my face just thinking about it.

Changing gears…at this point though, we still have the problem with those who only smoke English blends, me being one of them. It seems like the only good solution here is to give my side of the pipe smoking crowd a taste of some of that ‘public love’.  Therefore a call to action for tobacco blenders, to immediately start the research & development on the smile inducing smoke potential, of our dear English blends.


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  1. Steelcowboy - February 26, 2012

    David, I have been working on another angle. You see, as a pipe smoker I never indulged in the world of aromatics and I have a pipe in my mouth most of the time, (of course except when I’m at work when I am not allowed to smoke in the office building that I OWN, but I digress..) So several years after I began smoking a pipe, I thought it would be interesting to buy several high quality aromatics and take them for a spin. To my pleasant surprise, I enjoyed several. That was, until my adoring wife smelled them as I walked about the house.” What is that foul smelling stuff that you are smoking?” She then politely (politely is a relative term here) asked that I return to my usual English blends or flakes or remain in the basement with my new foul smelling tobacco!

    I have now spent the past several nights unsuccessfully trying to extract a hair sample from her while she’s asleep for DNA testing. I may have a game changing breakthrough on the horizon. Stay tuned!

  2. David M. - March 12, 2012

    I think you are on to something with the DNA Steelcowboy. If you end up being successful at extracting some…please please please send me a sample so that I can have some DNA to add (adoration of English blend smoke) to the cloning process for my future wife.

  3. Woodrow Mercadee - October 14, 2012

    Many of you recall, as young men, how difficult it was to make the transition from smoking your pipes in private to smoking them in public was. We exposed ourselves to uncomfortability, stares and maybe even ridicule. I know of many mature pipe smokers that still do not venture out in public with a pipe. Most of us overcame the awkwardness of being a young man with a pipe and some have not. Seems each generation is more concerned with “cool” than the generation before. Therefore, let’s abandon some of our stodgy ways and bring a little “cool” back to pipe smoking. As an exercise in personal growth and in the interest of preserving our past time I vow to be seen in public with a pipe as much as possible … won’t you join me. Let’s not be arrogant about it in a “I’m smoking my pipe so tough beans on you” kind of way. I’m talking about showing the world that pipe smoking is inherently sophisticated and civilized … and cool. Might also be a good idea to leave the heavy and pungent blends at home when you’re out strutting your stuff.

  4. Dwight Boehllke - December 13, 2012

    Hi, thanks for revealing your thinking in this baccy article. Makes me see the different types of public outlook a bit differently. This is actually an awesome blog.

    • David M. - March 11, 2013

      Your most welcome Dwight and Thank You for saying hello and for the kind words. I am glad it gives you some enjoyment.
      My Best.

  5. Emilio Day - December 18, 2012

    The tobacco. Tobacco choice is important. In my case, at first I wasn’t trying the kinds of tobaccos that I would be likely to enjoy, but I had no way of really knowing that. I had always liked the aroma of the sweet-smelling tobaccos but I found they lacked something when I tried smoking them. I finally tried a couple of natural, English-style blends, despite warnings that these were for more serious, seasoned pipe smokers only. Surprisingly, these tobaccos provided the kind of taste experience I was somehow hoping for. Be forewarned though that natural or English-style blends don’t usually have exactly the same degree of sweetness in their aroma, and that they’re not for everyone. Only experimentation will help you figure out what you like and don’t like. Trying new blends can be a lot of fun, but no matter what, always keep some of your favourite blend on hand in case your sampling doesn’t go well!

    • David M. - March 11, 2013

      Completely agree with you Emilio. English blends have that extra ‘punch’ and the focus on flavor, that I mostly enjoy.

      Funny thing though. Since I wrote this article, I began dating someone who naturally does not like the strong smell of my English blends and my care for this girl has pushed me into trying more and more aromatics. That is a whole new side-effect (Love) pushing me into blends for those reasons. Have no fear though, I am still an English man through and through but if I have to puff on an Aromatic (and thankfully my friend Chris Garlasco has opened my eyes to several aromatic blends that are not as sweet) here and there, I will.

      Thanks for the comment.

  6. Jimmy - August 17, 2016

    I really enjoyed this read, I am 40, I live in West KY, and people look at me like a calf looking at a new gate, like I’m too young to be smoking a pipe. And I do agree I like my English Woody tobacco 100 fold over aromatic blends. However I have been mixing a little cherry in my English blends for public use, I still get my some of my flavor and they get some nice smell. At home it’s English in every bowl unless I want my wife to scoot closer, she absolutely loves a golden aromatic blend. Again thanks for the article and keep your bowls full.

    • DAVID M - October 18, 2016

      Thanks Jimmy and we get that glare in public big time dont we.
      Well, so it goes I guess.

      Now with my kid, the aromatic, especially in public, kids playground etc…becomes much more noticeable than ever before.

      Calm Smokes Bud!

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