The briar listener: Romijn Pipes


Some years ago I did an interview with stone-cutter extraordinaire Martin Romijn, who makes pipe-accessories out of stone. Throughout the years we kept in touch and saw each other at meetings. It was at the end of 2016, beginning of 2017 that I learned that he also was making pipes. This piqued my interest because I know that Martin has a feeling and eye for lines and shapes. Something one can not learn. With his first pipes I had to laugh a bit, he treated the wood like stone but his style was undeniably unique. A bit further along the way his talent really began to show and his pipes became more refined. Always trying to show off the beautiful patterns of the briar just like he did with the fossils in the stone. Now I consider him one of the best if not the best pipe-maker in The Netherlands.

Martin’s workspace

So last month I paid him a visit. Martin still lives in the city of Leerdam and behind his house he has a shed where the magic happens. I have been at the work places of several pipe makers and where some are pure unadulterated chaos Martin absolutely has one of the tidiest. Everything is neatly and orderly arranged and the machinery looks reasonably clean. Talking about equipment, Martin has a wood turning lathe in stead of a metal turning one. It was a gift from his parents when they saw his pipe-making talent. Besides that he thinks he has more freedom shaping pipes on it. Also he has a sanding disc and a slack belt sander, which he took over from another pipe-maker (Vandaahl) who had stopped. Further you can find in his workplace a bandsaw, dremel, some hand work tools (files etc.) and a polishing machine. Last but not least on one of the shelves stands a laptop that powers a loudspeaker which blurts out non-stop music of the great Johnny Cash, one of Martin’s heroes.

Egg shaped pipe

When I asked how and where he did learn to carve and shape briar wood he answered that he is mainly a self taught pipe-maker. In previous years he refurbished quite a lot of estate pipes. Also because of his stonecutting day-job (and all the tampers, ash-trays, stands etc. he made) Martin has 25 years experience of shaping and modelling. At one point he started experimenting with some briar blocks and when it turned out he did pretty well it became more serious. Nowadays Martin uses briar from Italy and in the future he wants to try his hand at olive wood. His mouthpieces are made from ebonite and acryl and some have the craziest colours and patterns. But Martin makes sure that visually the stem goes together with the bowl.

Twisted Pickaxe

Martin has a pretty unique way of making pipes. Other pipe-makers decide what shape they want to make and begin. If a sandpit surfaces, well too bad, next one! But not Martin, this is what he has to say about his method: “I start with watching, studying, “reading” the briar. Every block has its own story. How does the grain go, what can you expect when you cut it in a certain angle etc. It can be that I have had the briar piece in my hands dozens of times before I know which pipe it hides. And even then, sometimes the wood has its own plan. When I come across a sandpit or another irregularity I have to adjust my plan to fit the briar. In such a case I always say that the briar speaks to me and that I should listen. This way you often get the most surprising and beautiful results.” I have to agree with Martin. All his pipes are showcases for the stunning grains they possess. Because of this he does not make shapes on request. It would be a waste of a piece of briar to make a pipe out of it which does not agree with the grain. When asked what is the most favourite pipe he ever made Martin hesitates. “That is a tricky one.. They are all my favourite. The process of making a pipe takes up lots of hours of hard labour. When you work that long on a piece you get attached to it. It is your design, your creation, born from your creative thoughts and moulded by your hands into something tangible. But if I really have to pick one it would be the Twisted Pickaxe. Recently made, beautiful organic shapes, stunning grain, a pickaxe but with a twist. My twist.”

Martin, when did you start smoking pipes? “30 years ago I began smoking pipes. My first one was a Tattoo pipe, made by Dutch pipe maker Gubbels/Big Ben. I saw it at someone and decided to also give it a try. I liked it and soon I bought a regular pipe to go with it, and another one, and another.. Well, you know how it goes.. Of course then also began the search for the finest tobaccos. A journey which never ends but which I enjoy to the max.” Ok, so what is your favourite tobacco? “Ehrrr… Can I name two? Esoterica Stonehaven and GL Pease Embarcadero. Oh! And Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader and hmmm.. Damn, there are so many delicious blends, hard to pick out one.”

What are your favourite pipes and why? “My collection is rather large, about 75 pipes. They all have something special, that can be their smoking qualities but also some have their own story that makes them special. I especially like to smoke Winslow pipes. Good smokers, nicely shaped, good open draw and handmade by a pipe-maker I admire very much. In 2018 I got to meet Poul Winslow himself at his home and saw how he worked in his workplace. Very special and informative! What an experience, I watched with growing admiration how he creates a stunning pipe with breakneck speed. Since then I like these wonderful pipes even more.”

Do you have any famous last words for the readers? “I hope to make pipes for many, many years. I hope my creations will find their way to the people who love them. That they will find owners who will experience delightful moments of relaxation and pleasure thanks to good tobacco and a pipe I worked on with love and dedication.” With that our conversation was over for the time being. Martin began working on one of his new creations while I sat back sipping a good whisky, smoking a pipe, listening to the soul-wrenching voice of Mr. Cash and watching the magic hands do their job on the immortal briar.

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Interview with master-blender Hans Wiedemann from HU Tobacco – Part 2.

phhw01bw-480Continued from part 1.

Was it a hard road to where you are now business-wise or was it just smooth sailing?
I am not complaining because I can not imagine a more beautiful hobby, but the last 3 years were sometimes very hard. I was absolutely alone and all kinds of ideas sprang from my head. The biggest problem was simply the lack of time. I still have my “normal” job and anyone who has 3 children from 6 to 12 years (at that time) knows what I mean. The family should not come on the second place because of my “hobbies”, so I do my activities at night. In addition to the tobacco creations the shop had to be set up, the labels had to be created and tobacco descriptions had to be done. It was a very unsettling and stressful time, but at the same time it also was incredibly beautiful and exciting. After I’ve had success with the tobaccos, looking back on it all is of course pretty blissful. Had the entire enterprise not been so successful, the whole thing would have made me very sad. I have really put so much passion and work in it that it is not only about a business, but also about a personal project. However, I always thought that after a while it would become easier and less time consuming. But this was a false belief and therefore my main problem is still the lack of time.
Here I will not discuss individual problems with the manufacturers, financial problems etc. 
Briefly worded, I would again like to emphasize that despite the hard moments it all just was total fun!

4How do you begin creating a new blend? (What is your working method?) Is it for example so that you have an idea, or are you maybe inspired by a certain kind of leaf a tobacco manufacturer has?
I do not know if there is a general procedure for the blending of tobaccos. For me, the mixtures are created in my imagination. In the beginning the idea is what type of tobacco I would like to create. And I am often inspired by the mixtures I smoke or have smoked in the past. To begin with this is enough, in the meantime I have to make up my mind whether such a tobacco is useful for my shop.
Then I think about how a tobacco should taste, what is the cut I will use by the production of the end product and of course how or with what tobaccos I can reach the goal I set. This often goes on for weeks and then I have very clear picture of what I want to do and what components I can achieve this. It is important, of course, to have exact knowledge of the available mixing tobaccos. Otherwise this method does not work and one has to carefully reach the end goal with sample mixtures.

Making HU Tobacco flakes at DTM

Making HU Tobacco flakes at DTM

Please describe the whole process from having an idea for a tobacco to the final end-product, tinned and ready.
The practical work begins with the sample mixtures. Most are 2-3 ideas of each 20 gr., the smallest amount, that I mix myself. This is the right amount to first detect whether you are on the right path or are totally wrong. Most of the times the direction in which you are heading is correct, sometimes you score a direct hit, but often it is also completely wrong.
I pack the samples into tobacco tins and let them rest for at least 1 week.
After that we smoke the samples while writing down corresponding records or observations. I also always directly scribble down with which new varieties of tobacco, or changes in the mixing ratio, I think I can improve the result. Of course changes are not immediately made, before that happens I have smoked 2-3 pipes of the respective sample and also express my thoughts on paper.
Then I make new samples of the changed recipes. Normally I then make 50 gr. samples and let other people trial-smoke those. Often some small changes have to be made and in the most ideal case I already have a finished mixture.
Now I go to the manufacturer and let create a 100 gr. sample of my recipe. Again it often comes here to minor differences in the taste. I correct those with another recipe change and if necessary, a 100 gr. sample is once again created by the manufacturer.
If everything fits I have done my share of the work, the price of the mixture can be calculated and can then be produced.
At the same time as the making of the mixture the labels are being created. Now this is of course no longer as expensive as in the beginning, because the different brands are already available and it just has a new name and a corresponding description of the tobaccos used. In the United Passion flakes a new image will be added to the existing lay-out. The finished labels are then printed and sent to the manufacturer so I’m getting tins that are already labelled.
In broad terms this is how the HU Tobacco tobaccos come into existence.

tabak004In short, how did your tobacco-lines came into existence?
The Blender’s Pride
Foundation by Musico
United Passion
Original Warehouse Blend
United Passion Flakes
United Passion Special Blends
I started with the lines of United Passion, The Blender’s Pride and Original Warehouse Blend. The names of the various product lines emphasize the flavour orientation of the blends. The Warehouse Blend series includes mixtures of a very high level but without flavouring, so rather purist approach. I find the term Warehouse Blend symbolizes the direction quite well. No fancy tins, no flavours, just blends without frills.
Unlike the Blender’s Pride series.. Here it is more or less about subtly flavoured mixtures. A less purist approach, but not completely over the top. The tobaccos are of the same quality as the Warehouse blends, so we are talking about very high quality aromatics. This is what I want to say about the Blender’s Pride. Also, the flourishing tobacco plant on the label stands for honest but flowery tobacco.
With United Passion the idea was to tobacco mixtures for my closest friends. Here the flavour spectrum ranges from pure natural to floral and soapy, but in any case always individual, according to the taste of my friends. I found the term “United Passion” with the addition Homage To My Friends very fitting.
That was the initial situation. In the meantime the United Passion Flake series was added. As with the “Homage To My Friends tobaccos” the flakes are being produced by DTM. Hence the name United Passion Flakes.
About Foundation by Musico I do not need to say much. It is a collaboration with Massimo Musico and, in the interests of both parties bear the name of the pipes produced by Massimo. The series is clearly latakia-orientated and of very high quality. So each series has a distinct direction and I personally find that very beautiful.

UP_My_Special_One_oWhat are your favourite HU Tobacco blends? On which ones are you most proud?
Hmm.. This is a very difficult question. Of course, I like all my tobaccos, the one more, the other less. But all tobaccos wear my handwriting and thus are created by my imagination. A great pleasure at that time was the creation of Old Fredder’s Broken Flake. It is simply a well-balanced mixture, with all the facets that can provide a good Va / per blend. It is actually a rather old-fashioned mixture without any gimmickry or sensationalism. Old Fredder’s is simply what it is, a great tobacco, no more but also no less. And that is what I like about the mixture and what makes it so endearing to me. This tobacco often stands in the shadow of other mixtures, but has conquered a very loyal following in the meantime. It is similar with “My Special One“. A mixture of bygone days. When I open the can, it emanates a scent that you can smell in “old” tobacco shops. I’m not talking about posh, modern shops, but of shops where the cigar boxes are stacked chaotically, there is a lot of smoking inside and where the walls give away the tobacco smell of past years. My Special One is a thoroughly honest, straightforward blend. You know what you get involved with. This tobacco is not a revolution, it is like a homage to bygone days.
But I’m not a dreamer, and I am not very creative when I just wanted to convey the flavour of the old days. The Foundation tobaccos are going exactly the opposite way. Here we have a very modern direction. With the Khoisaan I present a practical tobacco that only consists of condimental tobaccos. Besides the Tuarekh these English blends only have a very small proportion of orientals. Anything but classical. I can not go into every single blend, but I think you realize that I am very proud of all mixtures. Each blend has its peculiar characteristics and came into existence very consciously. Besides, I’m just a very emotional person and I connect tastes with experiences. Arno, I can not completely answer the question, but I think you know what I mean.

© GL Pease

© GL Pease

What are your favourite non-HU Tobacco blends?
Oh, there are some blends that I find absolutely fantastic and I always like to smoke. I really like the Lakeland tobaccos and in particular the (Samuel Gawith) Full Virginia plug and Best Brown Flake. I think of Squadron Leader as a very good “English” but within the genre I would rather go for Cornell & Diehl Byzantium or GL Pease Lagonda. If it is time to be subtle, Erinmore Balkan Mixture can also make me very happy. From Russ Ouellette I like Louisiana Red and Frenchy’s Sunza Bitches very, very much. I could go on much more about the varieties I mentioned that I really like, but of non-HU Tobacco tobaccos this is what I like to smoke.

This interview continues in part 3.

You can buy Hans’ excellent tobaccos here.

Interview with master-blender Hans Wiedemann from HU Tobacco – Part 1.

Hans Wiedemann

Hans Wiedemann

Once there was a time that I was petrified that my few “tobacco-lines” with the USA became distorted. How could I live my pipe-smoking life without excellent tobaccos like Abingdon, Lagonda, Westminster, Escudo, Balkan Supreme and many others? In The Netherlands there are few tobaccos of my liking. Then I got introduced by fellow Dutch/Belgian pipesmoker forum member “Smokin'” Rob to the tobaccos of German master-blender Hans Wiedemann from HU Tobacco. Hmzz… Those blends can never be as good as the ones from the States, I silently  thought. But being the curious fellow that I am I decided to ask Hans if he also sold samples of his mixtures. And he did. I smoked them and wowww… I could not believe how good they were! On par or even better than many tobaccos available in the USA. So I immediately ordered a bunch of tins and got into contact with Hans more and more. He is such a warm, friendly and modest guy with a big heart. That showed because after I thought the whole forum-tobacco quest ended he extended his helping hand and saved the entire project. Hans also was willing to answer questions for an interview for my blog. Here it is:

1How long have you been smoking pipe?
I have been smoking pipe since I was 15. Of course not as intensive as in later years. As a teenager you have other things on your mind and you often miss the moment of rest for the enjoyment. But since that time the pipe always accompanied me and it never lost its fascination for me. The nice thing about pipe smoking is simply the connection of a beautiful smoking device with a wide range of tobaccos with all kinds of tastes. A pipe which smokes excellent and also looks great is almost like a friend for life. This is one of the reasons why I stick to the pipe and prefer it over the cigar. All other enjoyments of smoke are too fast paced and a good cigar simply goes up in smoke, and provides no lasting value for the connoisseur.

Hans Wiedemann

What are your favourite pipe shapes and why?
Concerning pipe shapes I am more conservative then with my choice of tobaccos. I feel a connection with classic pipe shapes in which you can recognize the personal style of the maker. Revolutionary shapes, or in other words crazy, spectacular shapes are not my taste. The classic shapes have proven themselves particularly through their smoking properties and are still exciting for me. I take off my hat to every pipe maker who goes to the limits of a shape without blurring the original form. There the art lies in the details.
My favourite shapes since long are the Dublin, Pot, Bulldog, Prince and Cutty. These shapes are really created very differently. The pot and Bulldog are rather strong, burly pipe shapes while the Cutty, Dublin and Prince are sometimes interpreted as very delicate. I love the contrasts and depending on the mood of the day and the preference for a tobacco I choose a delicate or a more robust pipe. Classic does not have to be dusty, classic can still be very exciting.

Olaf's Favourite English

Olaf’s Favourite English

Do you have a favourite genre of tobacco that you like to smoke?
Of course I have certain tobacco genres which accompany me since long and to where I return again and again despite all kinds of sidesteps. My great loves are the Virginia / Perique blends and to-the-point English blends. I think this you can clearly see this in my supply of tobacco. Again and again I turn to the Burley-mixtures, but they can never conquer my heart forever. But these are always mixtures that excite me and therefore are a great change to my “favourites”.
I sometimes like to smoke aromatic tobaccos but my interpretation of the term aromatic is unlike most others. Aromatic tobaccos should assist only the tobacco taste with their casing, maybe put some little accents, but the tobacco base should never be “destroyed”. This is not a widely accepted view, but the interpretations of the aromatic tobaccos blended by me have a very loyal following. Perhaps this is because this niche is only partially covered by other manufacturers and it offers tobacco flavour nuances that heavy aromatized tobaccos  just do not offer these days.
But coming back to my personal passions, the Virginia / Perique and Latakia mixtures, is there anything more honest than the natural blends of these genres? Do you not find the ethereal taste of a good Latakia different every day? Do you not always taste nuances that you have never tasted before, or simply perceived differently? These aspects breathe the life in the enjoyment of pipe tobacco and that falls away when a tobacco is heavily aromatized.

Untitled-1How did you acquire all of your tobacco knowledge? In the early days internet was not there yet. Books?
Yes, with internet really a new era dawned and the ways that you can gather knowledge can be described as wonderful. But to the surprise of many, I am not a tobacco-guru. My modest knowledge of tobacco is not theoretical, but is a result of many conversations with experienced pipe smokers and the visits I undertook in the 90’s to Dan Tobacco. Of course, I devoured all the standard readings of pipe smoking. But like I said, in the smoking community by comparative tests and discussions you learn how oriental tobaccos taste or how the addition of burley affects a Latakia mixture. Those are practical things that one can only learn so far by pure theory.
And honestly it is more fun to gather your own experiences than googling for hours. Like I said, my focus is less on theoretical knowledge and more on “practical experience”.

Hans at the Lohmar Pipeshow

Hans at the Lohmar Pipeshow

Why did you started blending tobaccos? Were you for example unsatisfied with available mixtures?
Hmm…. That’s a long story. The basic idea was born at the Lohmar Pipeshow 2010. Along with Kelvin, name-giver of my tobacco “Kelvin’s Silent Secret“, the idea was born to try import interesting tobaccos from abroad. It always annoyed the both of us that mixtures from abroad cost a lot and were very hard to obtain. But after a little research I understood that it was not possible to realize this idea. To import tobaccos, apart from a desire to do a lot of paperwork,  you need a lot of money and a high level tolerance of risk. All this was not what I was looking for, after all it was supposed to be just a hobby. Besides my day job I also have a wife and 3 small children. So the idea came to create tobaccos according to my own visions and sell them through an online store. Since Kelvin was in a completely different phase of life than me and focused himself on starting a family, he let me go first, and concentrated on the pipe making. That way the idea was born, not knowing what was coming.

Some of the HU Tobacco mixtures

Some of the HU Tobacco mixtures

When you first started blending pipe tobacco blends, was it more of a hobby or did you already had plans to make it into a business?
As long as I can remember I was always searching for the best tobacco. Sometimes this was not always pleasant, because a certain restlessness is in it, but you also learn about an awful lot of different tobacco blends. I always had the desire to unite all the advantages of different tobacco species in a mixture. Ok, that is impossible, but this thought prompted me to create my own blends over and over again. So I have some experience with home-mixing before HU Tobacco. Many ended up in the garbage because they were not useful or simply not good enough to really have fun with. But over time by adding the right ingredients you get a feel for the direction in which a mixture is going to develop. So before before I decided the venture into the world of tobacco-mixing and present blends to the public, I had the phase of beginner-mistakes behind me.

Dockworker, a beautiful Burley / Oriental / Virginia flake

Dockworker, a beautiful Burley / Oriental / Virginia flake

Do you have a favourite type of tobacco when blending?
I can’t really say that. I have 2 to 3 great Virginias available to me that I really love working with and that I have often used lately. But this should not be the standard, otherwise the mixtures are simply becoming too similar. Yes I want to show the whole range of individual types of tobacco in my mixtures. Otherwise it would make no sense to offer several Virginia or Virginia / Perique blends. In my recent creations, I tried to put tobaccos in the foreground which lead a shadowy existence at the large manufacturers. Especially Kentucky, Burley and Oriental tobaccos. Because of this tobacco combinations came into existence that not or almost not existed in Europe to date. Burley / Orient, Orient / Kentucky, Burley / Perique to name just a few examples.
I would like to re-phrase the initial question: Are there tobacco genres you prefer to blend? The answer to this question would for me be an unmistakable yes. Latakia mixtures are the most exciting for me as a blender because this genre offers the biggest “playground”.

How did HU Tobacco came into existence?
How I came to the idea, I’ve already answered. But of course there still was a long way to go before the founding of HU Tobacco. I first had to find partners who were willing to manufacture my mixtures. Because my sales are ridiculous compared to the major manufacturers, I did not encounter mutual love everywhere.. Sometimes the targets had been set very high which of course brought many sleepless nights. Not knowing how everything was going to develop, I took a few risks and registered my company at the authorities.

This interview continues in part 2 and part3.

You can buy Hans’ excellent tobaccos here.

♪ Got a pipe smoking woman ♪

Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering) with a pipe

Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering) with a pipe

When thinking about what to write I was listening to the well known Santana hit. But in my mind it soon became the title of this post. Actually, I don’t have a pipe smoking woman. My girlfriend Ellen tolerates me puffing away indoors but that’s it. However, I do like women who smoke the noble briar (or meerschaum, or clay, or morta etc. You know what I mean).

So yes, there are women pipe smokers, but they are rare. Hell, people look strange when I walk the streets puffing away. Imagine how they would look when a woman walked in my place. For me it demonstrates an independent mind, thoughtfulness and an excellent “I do what I want and I don’t care” attitude when a woman smokes a pipe. Lots of respect for them. Nowadays we men are sometimes having a difficult time but a pipe smoking woman really has to swim against the tide. But that was not always the case..

Marquise de Pompadour, the favourite mistress of Louis XV, was a passionate smoker and owned more than 300 pipes!!!

Marquise de Pompadour, the favourite mistress of Louis XV, was a passionate smoker and owned more than 300 pipes!!!

Female smoking was very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. Respectable, upper class women were commonly seen smoking pipes in public. Many famous paintings exist of noble women in that period puffing away from a clay pipe. The middle classes were also eager to enjoy this new pastime as well.

So Dutch, French and English women all enjoyed the so called “Indian Weed”. Of course in the then fashionable clay pipes which for centuries were the favourite way of enjoying tobacco. Such pipes were usually white, with small bowls and long stems. An elegant pipe for elegant women. Sadly around the 1850’s (when pipe smoking in general became associated with the working class) female smoking began to decline, at least in public. The acceptance of female smokers seemed to vary between regions at this time. Especially in Victorian England with its puritan views female pipe smoking was not done. But it is believed that many women kept their old habits. It is more than likely it was done in secret while they outwardly treated the act as a disgrace..

Woman working and smoking

Woman working and smoking

However, in rural areas such as the Highlands of Scotland and in Ireland women smoked without shame. Women in the Hebrides smoked well into the 1930’s due to the cultural isolation just as Appalachian women in the USA did. They did not know better because they lived in societies without contact with urban centres.

A Butz Choquin Lady Pipe

A Butz Choquin Lady Pipe

In the 1960’s and 1970’s women pipe smoking was promoted as can be seen in this short film. Also pipes were made especially for women, see the picture on the left. But it never took off. Cigarettes and an occasional small cigar became the choice for smoking women. This while I believe the pipe to be a feminine object. The smoothness, the fine curves.. It is probably more feminine and civilized than the mini penis represented by cigarettes or the phallic cigar.

There are (of course) also women pipe makers. From which Anne Julie and Manduela are the most well known. And recently I received some information that German tobacco manufacturer Planta has a female master blender! Talking about tobacco, Samuel Gawith made a flake especially for women: Firedance Flake.

For all the people who would like to see pictures of pipe smoking women I have 2 links to websites:
Pipe Lovin’ Ladies
Pipe Babes

Monique (nickname MilleLuci)

Monique (forum nickname MilleLuci)

On the Dutch pipe smokers forum we have one active pipe smoking woman: Monique. She is a strong, independent and creative woman (a gold and silver-smith). Despite setbacks in her life she keeps on going with a fierce determination. I asked her some questions:

How long do you smoke pipe?
Almost a year and before that I smoked little cigars for years.

How did you began smoking the pipe and did you have pipe smoking examples/inspirations?
I began because of my son Floris (forum nickname Godewinus). He showed me the videoclips (fellow forum-member) Janneman made. I was instantly fascinated, I tried it immediately and got touched by the beautiful briar pieces of art and wonderful tobaccos! Besides that it was delicious and it gave me some kind of peace. Making time to enjoy a nice tobacco. Also because for centuries tobacco is consumed this way. Since then a beautiful world opened up for me. I can even combine it with my passion as a gold and silver-smith.

What are your favourite pipe shapes?
That is a very broad interest. I am being touched by “out of the box” designs. Like those of Roger Wallenstein and Elie. For me it is a feeling of holding the pipe, touching it and seeing it. Of course it also appeals to me if a pipe has nice silver-work. I guess some kind of a ladies blingbling thing hehehe. Because of that I also like Italian pipes like Ser Jacopo. They have the great Leonardo pipe with a double-walled bowl and the Picta series containing wonderful silver-work. The same goes for L’ Anatra.
I also went on my own to the Inter-Tabac fair in Dortmund, Germany, to look at all the pipes, tobaccos and silver-work. Very inspiring! I talked to Poul Winslow and got a tin Winslow 2 from him. I had a great day over there!

What are your favourite tobaccos?
DTM Memories of Tuscany
Peterson Holiday Season 2011 and 2012
Winslow 1 and 2
Winslow Harlekin
W.O. Larsen Classic
W.O. Larsen Golden Dream
W.O. Larsen Indigo

Do you get a lot of comments when smoking in your direct environment or on the streets?
Oh yes! A lot and with lots of disbelief! Many people do not understand that you smoke pipe being a woman. But after a while it gets normal. And besides, I really don’t care. Strange looks, important? Not!
I don’t really smoke on the streets. I smoke in company, at home or on meetings. But still at meetings people look strange to me. The “out of the box” thinkers understand it.

Also I am not a girly-girl. I used to climb in trees and did not play with dolls. I have got more male friends then female friends and I prefer working with men. Women often have a terrible tendency to nag and whine.. So I think that the more “though” woman dares to smoke pipe. The Dutch forum is absolutely really nice and gives me beautiful friendships and lots of inspiration.

So to all the women out there I would like to use the words of Monique: Think out of the box.