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Traditional English Nasal Snuff
New Snuff Bar Below

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What is English Nasal Snuff?

snuff man.jpg (7226 bytes)First of all, nasal snuff is not chew!

Few people in the Americas know anything about one of the oldest, and safest, forms of tobacco taking; one which is now gaining great popularity in the U.S. and Canada - Nasal Snuff.

Nasal snuff is a finely ground, flavored tobacco, taken in the non-offensive form of a simple sniff into the nostrils. Snuff began as the tobacco choice of royalty and the elite in 17th century Europe, before being provided to the masses. Still popular in Europe today, snuff is now gaining popularity in the Americas.

English nasal snuff is made with a wide variety of flavors, including spearmint, raspberry, apricot, lavender, bergamot, and Seville orange, to name just a few. The most popular use of snuff is to take just a pinch between you thumb and forefinger and sniff it lightly into the nose. This provides a pleasant aroma, lasting 15-20 minutes, as well as a noticeable nicotine lift. Many pipe smokers have also taken to the old English act of adding a sprinkle of their favorite snuff into their burning bowl of pipe tobacco for an added aroma, taste, and nicotine boost.

Snuff boxes.jpg (5379 bytes)The Sheffield Exchange, Ltd. is the North American sole distributor of the world’s oldest, continually manufactured snuffs, Wilsons & Company of Sheffield, England.Wilsons also manufactures the renowned Fribourg & Treyer snuffs. These English snuff are still traditionally made, with the only ingredients being quality tobacco, natural fragrances, and water. Many German competitors add paraffin-based oils to their snuffs.

Because snuff is becoming so popular, many have questioned its health issues. Like any tobacco product there is a risk, but in 261 years of snuff making, Wilsons & Company has yet to have a single health case filed against them. According to Dr. Rodu, a leading pathologist studying cancer and tobacco, it’s the burning and inhaling of tobacco that creates most carcinogens. Many specialists feel that, for health reasons, if you are going to use tobacco, you are better off with a smokeless tobacco, like nasal snuff.


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Visit Sharrow Snuff Mill

Amazingly, snuff has been produced for hundreds of years with little technical recording of the process.In certain periods of its illustrious history, snuff had been the number one method of consuming tobacco products.

Until the twentieth century, the hogshead was the main method of packaging and shipping tobacco.

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Within these large wooden staved barrels, as much as 1500 pounds of tobacco could be ‘prized’ or pressed. A series of cured leaves, bound together by their stalks (known as hands) was layered into the hogshead and pressed with just the right pressure, so as not to damage the leaves.

Once a hogshead arrived at the mill site in good order, the snuff making process would begin. The hands were removed in their layers and sorted for various uses. If leaves were in an exceptionally pliable condition, they were used for making rope tobacco. Rope tobacco was tightly twisted, connected, and placed onto spools for curing. Then, the rope was cut into shorter sections, refereed to as a carotte, which was ground by a rasp for snuff, or broken into small sections for smoking in clay pipes. The remaining tobacco was sorted and stripped of its veins and stems.

After the stripping process, the tobacco and certain choice sections of stem were coarsely chopped in preparation of fermentation.  Once stripped and chopped, the tobacco was ready to be placed in the ‘Bin Room’ for fermentation. The bin room was arranged with a series of removable slat walls standing  four feet tall and eight to ten feet long. The bin room could accommodate four bins with each being able to hold 2,000 pounds of chopped tobacco.

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Possibly the most prestigious rooms in Sharrow Snuff Mill were the two seventeenth/eighteenth century floors that housed the round table of mortars and pestles. In the grinding process, the snuff work must be of the right moisture. Too moist and the works will stick to the mortars and pestles. Too dry and much of the hard work will go up into dust particles that float away.

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As the snuff works were ground to a fine powder or ‘flowerŽ, centripetal force caused the flower to rise to the top of the mortar and heap around its edges. Well trained workers had to constantly watch this process from start to finish.

Throughout these stages of , laborers have preformed the majority of the work with supervision coming from a Wilson family member. But the scenting process has remained a family secret for ten generations.

With the family’s permission, I have listed the blended tobaccos and ‘essential oils’ that are added to create each individual bouquet of  Wilson Snuff and Fribourg and Treyer Snuff, yet the ratios will never be exposed to me.

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Once these ingredients were mixed into a container in the family scenting room, the door was opened and the container was handed to awaiting employee, who poured its contents into the mixing machine.

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Located on the first floor of mortars and pestles, a large geared water powered barrel, capable of holding 1000 pounds of ‘flour’ (ground, unscented snuff works), was the mixing machine. This water powered barrel simply spun around at a slow revolution, mixing together the family secret ingredients as well as the blends of Burley, Golden Virginian, Flue cures and, sun cures, that create each individual flavor of snuff.


Wilson's Snuffs

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not all flavours are listed

P/N Name   Tobacco Types      Natural Flavors
01  Aniseed Extra Zimbabwe Dark Fired, Sun Cured & Burley Aniseed, Rose & Lavender
03 Apricot Zimbabwe Flue, Burley & Cured Apricot Essence
12 Crumbs of Comfort Zimbabwe Cured & Burley     Spearmint
17 Gold Label Golden Virginia    Bergamot, Lemon, Lavender & Rose
25 Kendal Brown Zimbabwe Dark Fired, Burley & Flue Lemon, Violets, Mayblossom & Geranium
27 Lemon Grove   Zimbabwe Burley & Flue    Lemon
34 Royal George     Zimbabwe Burley & Flue 20 Various Flavors
35 Rose of Sharrow     Zimbabwe Burley, Flue & Dark Fired English Rose Essence
36 S.P. Best Zimbabwe Burley, Flue & Dark Fired         Bergamot, Lemon, Rose & Lavender
40 Strausburg Zimbabwe Flue & Burley Citron Spice
48 Raspberry Zimbabwe Burley & Flue   Menthol, Eucalyptus & Raspberry
49 Spearmint Plus Zimbabwe Burley & Flue            Spearmint & Menthol
52 Menthol Plus  Zimbabwe Burley & Flue                     Eucalyptus, Menthol & Camphor
54 S.M. Brown Zimbabwe Flue & Burley     Menthol Crystals & Eucalyptus
55 S.M. Blue   Zimbabwe Flue & Burley              Camphor & Menthol
56 S.M. 500        Zimbabwe Flue, Burley & Dark Fired  Chinese Menthol Crystals & Eucalyptus


Fribourg & Treyer

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P/N Name   Tobacco Types      Natural Flavors
60 Bordeaux Zimbabwe Dark Fired & Flue Cured Stem Violets, Geranium bourbon, Lemon May Blossom, Tonquin Essence, Musk
61 High Dry Toast Zimbabwe Flue Cured Stem, Dark Fired Leaf & Sun Cured Leaf No flavors, natural tobacco flavor
62 Kendal Brown Zimbabwe Flue, Dark Fired & Sun Cured Leaf Geranium Bourbon, Parma Violets, Lemon & May Blossom
63 Macouba Zimbabwe Flue Stem, Dark Fired & Sun Cured Leaf Sandalwood Oil, Rose, Musk, Geranium Bourbon & Tonquin
64 Morlaix Zimbabwe Flue Cured Stem, Dark Fired & Sun Cured Leaf # CR 325 Flavor Secret
65 Old Paris Zimbabwe Flue Cured Stem, Dark Fired & Sun Cured Leaf Arrack Flavor
(Fermented and Distilled Dates)
66 Princes Zimbabwe Dark Fired Leaf Tonquin Essence, Musk & Geranium Bourbon
67 Princes Special Zimbabwe Dark Fired Leaf, Flue Cured Leaf & Sun Cured Stem Rose, Sandalwood Oil, Rose De-Orient, Geranium Bourbon, Tonquin & Musk
68 Santo Domingo Zimbabwe Dark Fired Leaf Cedar Oil, Sandalwood Oil and & Absolute Violet
69 Seville Zimbabwe Burley Leaf & Flue Cured Stem Neroli Oil
(Seville Orange Essence)
70 Dr. J. R. Justice 50% Morlaix & 50% Bordeaux  
71 Morocco Zimbabwe Flue Cured Stem, Dark Fired Leaf & Sun Cured Leaf Geranium Africani
72 French Carotte Zimbabwe Flue Cured Leaf, Dark Cured Leaf & Flue Cured Stem Sandalwood Oil & French Carotte Essence


The Sheffield Exchange also carries
hand-crafted snuff boxes.

PHS10 - Hammered Pewter Snuff Box
PSS10 - Plain Pewter Snuff Box

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Gawith Hoggarth Snuffs

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There are now 10 new
and exciting flavors
from GH that are
available in the U.S.
They are available in
pop top 10 gram units.

Strawberry, Camphor/Menthol, Jockey Club, S.P., Kendal Brown,
Wild Mint, Whiskey, Dry Orange, Jasmin,
and the very unique


"Smoke When You Can...
     Snuff When You Can't"




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