Loading... Please wait...

Tobacco Pipes Blog

Tobacco Pipe Collector Spotlight: Soren Stjernholm

Posted by Renia Carsillo on

Tobacco Pipe Collector Spotlight

Soren Stjernholm is a long-time pipe smoker from Denmark. I’ve enjoyed getting to know him a bit on Instagram, where he posts artful photos with his tobacco pipes in the great outdoors.

We sat down for an ocean-crossing Skype session a few weeks ago. Read our conversation about tobacco flavors and other random topics below:

An Interview with Soren Stjernholm

Customer Spotlight: Soren

Renia: What is your favorite pipe?

Soren: Nothing like starting off with a tough question! I’m not sure I could tell you a favorite. I match certain pipes with certain tobaccos -- so it’s hard to name just one. Recently, I’ve grown more and more fond of “natural” tobaccos. I prefer to smoke this type of tobacco in a lightweight and elegant pipe. For that, my favorite is my Dunhill Shell Briar 4103.

Renia: What is your favorite tobacco?

Soren: My current favorite pipe tobacco is the Dunhill De Luxe Navy Rolls, which are a VaPer (Virginia Perique). Probably second is Mac Baren Vanilla Cream.

Renia: Where is your favorite place to smoke?

Soren: Any outdoor place. I almost exclusively smoke my pipes outside. I’m always looking for the optimal taste/flavor experience, and I get this when smoking outside. Usually, I’m sitting on the porch in my garden -- I also do my Instagram channel while smoking my pipes outside. I find that smoking my pipes is a great way to reflect on things.

Renia: Do you prefer to smoke alone or with a group?

Soren: I like both. Usually, I close off each day by smoking a nice bowl of tobacco - together with my cousin, Gert, through Skype. We share taste, flavor experiences and discuss this and that. It is such a nice time of day.

Renia: How many pipes do you own?

Soren: I own about 50 pipes -- and try to keep it at that level, as I want to smoke on all my pipes. No pipe should be left to die! Once and a while I give away a pipe that I can spare, especially if I can make someone switch from cigarettes to the pipe.

With that said, I find smoking pipes comparable to jewels in some ways. It is a part of who you are. This is also the reason I am quite picky about which pipes I purchase. When I smoke, I always smoke ‘with intent’. I don’t smoke a lot, but when I do I want it to be the best possible experience. You could say I am looking for the gourmet experience. I invest a lot of time exploring the flavor and taste.

Renia: It sounds like you approach your pipe collection in the same way a wine collector 

Tobacco Pipe Collector Spotlight: Soren

might approach her cellar. How did you get into pipe smoking, did you begin as a collector?

Soren: No I didn’t. Though my father smoked a pipe, I have to say that it was two co-workers on my very first job. They were both pipe smokers and I just loved the smell of their tobaccos. When one of them ordered a new pipe from France through mail order, I decided to buy my first pipe. If I recall correctly, the first tobacco I smoked out of it was Mac Baren Virginia Mixture.

Renia: Tell me about why you enjoy smoking a pipe?

Soren: Well, let me start off by saying that I love a good gourmet meal. There are people who eat to live -- and then there are people who live to eat. I absolutely belong in the latter category, and just as I always explore taste and flavors in food, I find that pipe smoking provides me with similar gourmet experiences.

I’m into smoking pipes because I find that there is such a wide variety of different tobaccos, pipes -- you know, shapes, forms, materials, blends. If you add to that weather conditions at the time you’re smoking, which I find contributes to the experience, there is yet another variable. Taste and flavor is a primary reason why I enjoy smoking my pipe and all these factors contribute.

In addition to the flavor experience, I find that the act of smoking my pipes requires taking time to rest each day. It’s not like me to just throw some tobacco in my pipe, light it up and smoke for a few minutes. I only smoke if I have the time to get the most out of the experience. As earlier mentioned, I often use my time smoking in the evenings as a time for reflection.

I’ve smoked a pipe since I was about 17. I’ve always loved it and it’s become just part of who I am. It’s a part of me and I am proud of it.

Renia: You said you enjoy fly fishing, tell me about your other hobbies.

Tobacco Pipes Customer Spotlight: Soren

Soren: Yes, I’ve been fly fishing for sea trout and salmon for a great many years now. Primarily in Denmark, Sweden and Norway and occasionally in Iceland. Recently, I’ve picked up playing golf. I find that both of these hobbies are enjoyed even more when combined with a good bowl of tobacco. If I have my salmon pipe or a golf pipe, it’s a perfect match!

Renia: If you could smoke a pipe with one person who would it be?

Soren: Living or dead?

Dead, I’d say Albert Einstein. I think he nailed it by saying: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Thinking about that, I’m struggling to explain things in a simple way, what smoking the pipe means to me. I do know that I consider the the contemplating a most pleasurable torment.

As to the living, I’m not terribly picky. Any person who loves smoking the pipe and enjoys a good pipe tobacco is welcome any time.

Renia: If you could give a piece of advice to a new pipe smoker, what would it be?

Soren: It will take time to learn how to smoke properly and how to get the most out of every bowl. Despite the wish we all have for quick success, it is on the journey towards the goal that we have an opportunity to learn. I encourage you to enjoy the journey itself. It has changed my life. It may change yours too.

For us too Soren. 

I think you did Mr. Einstein proud with that last statement, making the explanation as simple as it is supposed to be. 

View Comments

How to Match the Right Pipe with the Right Tobacco: Part 2

Meet Chris Hopkins, a pipe blogger and former tobacconist. Chris worked for his first tobacco company at the age of 17 in Kentucky, then later as a tobacconist in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Chris currently operates an in- depth blog review of pipe tobacco and products at Pipe Tobacco Critique. He is currently a graduate [...]

Read More »

Introducing Owl Pipes: An Interview with Steve Lavoice Jr.

Steve Lavoice Jr, the artisan pipe maker behind OWL Pipes, is an up-and-comer that we’ve watched almost since he started. Depending which side you catch him on, you might think of Steve as an old-world throwback or a Millennial rock star. Either impression would be partially right.Steve’s whimsical interpretations of traditional briar pipes are bold, [...]

Read More »

How to match the right pipe with the right tobacco: Part 1

It takes most pipe smokers about three years to find their favorite tobacco.During those three years, you probably amassed a few pipes.If your pipe smoking journey began like mine, then you probably tried at least five or six blends in each of your pipes. In the beginning we just pick a pipe we want [...]

Read More »

Introducing Paul’s Pipes: An Interview with Paul Menard

Paul Menard is a Renaissance Man, more so than anyone I’ve spoken with in a long time.Over the course of a nearly two hour interview, our conversation moved seamlessly from tobacco pipes to books. I listened with no small amount of envy as he spoke of living among the redwood trees and learning secrets of [...]

Read More »

Virtual Pipe Club Meeting: The Rik Ruff Interview

Once per month we join a few of our friends from the tobacco pipe community for a Google Hangout. For March, we sat down with Rik Ruff of Ruff Works Pipe Tampers to talk about how he started making his unique tools, what he wants his customers to know, and what the future holds for [...]

Read More »

Tobacco Pipe Accessories: What’s in your pipe kit?

We spend a lot of time thinking about our smoking pipes. We compare briar grain and debate the merits of different tobacco blends. What doesn’t always receive as much attention are the accessories that go with our favorite smokers. As we prepare for our Virtual Pipe Club Meeting with Rik Ruff next week, we spent [...]

Read More »

Pipe Club Spotlight: New Jersey Fellowship of Pipe Smokers

As much as we enjoy all our virtual friends, there is nothing quite like an in-person gathering for a pipe club meeting. Whether it’s to try new pipe tobaccos, swap acquisition stories, or just commune with others who share your passion, there isn’t another experience quite like it. Read on to learn about The New [...]

Read More »

Cellaring Tobacco: The Dos and Don’ts

Many pipe smokers consider cellaring tobacco a dividing line between the true connoisseur and a casual smoker.When you hear a pipe smoker talking about his tobacco cellar your thoughts are usually one of the following:“What in the world is a tobacco cellar?”“This guy/girl must really be an expert tobacconist!”“How do I become that smoker?”Cellaring tobacco [...]

Read More »

Tobacco Pipe Collector Spotlight - Michael Bradley

Our February Tobacco Pipe Collector Spotlight takes us on a trip to the cold Ohio winter, where new collector, Michael Bradley, hunts down up and comers while listening to old records and trying to keep his pipe from freezing in the snow. Each month we share the insights and stories of one collector at a [...]

Read More »

Free Shipping

Sign up to our newsletter