Taking Snuff: A Guide

  • Take the snuff box with your right hand.
  • Pass the box to your left hand.
  • Rap the box on the lid to clear any snuff from the lid and hinges.
  • Carefully open the snuff box.
  • Present the box to the Company.
  • Receive the box after it has been passed around.
  • Gather up the snuff in the box by striking the side with your middle and forefingers.
  • Take up a small pinch between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand.
  • Keep the snuff a moment between the fingers, to help release the delicate oils, before carrying it to the nose. (Do not place it on the back of your hand.)
  • Sniff it with precision by both nostrils. (And without any grimace!)
  • Close the snuff box with a flourish.

It is common to sneeze after first taking snuff. Sneezing usually disappears, however, after taking another two pinches of snuff within the next half hour.

With thanks to Richard Tranter, Master Pipe Maker 2006-2007 and to Wilson & Co (Sharrow) Ltd.