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Three Lives in World War 2

Appendix 14

Insert in a letter about Cigarettes

Circa 1940

From Tony Guise to his Mother

Re: Fags

I quite like them – they are very strong and pungent – reminding me of the French or American cigarettes and suit me very well- but forgive me Mater if I have too discriminating taste – they are not good Turkish.

The essence of a Turkish cigarette is that soft balmy smoke which trickles in and out of your lungs without effort or noticing it. The aroma or bouquet is heavy but tends to well matured – no acidness –

Now the cigarettes you are sending me ( mark you I like them) – as Turkish cigs. Are harsh – you must have noticed that "catch" in the throat when you inhale – they are also acrid and have a very noticeable tang not found in the best Turkish.

I should say they are concreted from the courser tobacco leaves – Also watch the ash it burns more like a cigar or Havana tobacco – not really like it of course but near that than a cigarette. Now this means that the shredding of the tobacco is not so fine, it should powder- also note the colour , black denoting a coarse tobacco.

NO ! I still think Balkan Sobranie are the best Turkish cigarette I have yet smoked.

BUT !!

Don’t worry – I say I like them as a smoke but not as a Turkish cigarette, just as one likes "Camp Coffee" as a drink but not as coffee.

Love and Thanks Tony

Note by R.Guise:

In 1959 I was very pleased to be smoking Sobranie Black Russian and in fact had a little scheme going in which I bought a packet at 4d a cigarette and sold them at 4½d – Passing cloud was another preferred cigarette by many.