Tobacco pipe smokers are a unique breed of smokers in that instead of getting the same old stale taste and pungent aroma every time like a cigarette smoker would, they're able to enjoy their tobacco pipes and a variety of flavors and aromas when they smoke them. Whereas cigarette smokers just smoke to get that next nicotine fix, pipe smokers smoke to enjoy the flavor and the overall experience of the process. And with numerous types of pipes on the market and plenty of different varieties of tobacco, it's easy to find a great new experience with each smoke.
One of the biggest issues that confront tobacco pipe smokers, however, is that of pipe ghosting. This is an issue unique to pipe smokers and it's caused by nothing more than the sheer amount of tobacco varieties available to them.
Ghosting refers to the phenomenon that occurs when a specific brand of tobacco leaves a trace of itself in the pipe. After it's been smoked in a pipe, the subsequent smokes will take on a bit of its characteristics. While that may not sound like a bad thing, those who want to really enjoy a smoke in its purest form won't be able to if an older smoking session's flavors are present. And since certain flavors and aromas don't pair well with others, it can really ruin the experience.
Ghosting doesn't always happen, and it's something that occurs more frequently with certain pipes or certain tobaccos. For example, briar pipes are more susceptible to ghosting than meerschaum or synthetic pipes. And aromatic blends of tobacco – especially strong ones – are usually much more likely to leave a trace of themselves behind.
So, with that in mind, what can one do about tobacco pipe ghosting? There are a couple of different options. The first is known as 'dedication'. Basically, this means using only a particular blend of tobacco in each pipe. In other cases, the pipes are only dedicated in terms of blend types – one may be used for Virginia blends while others are used for English blends only. In most cases, just avoiding using aromatic blends in a pipe that is used for traditional blends is the easiest option.
In many cases, ghosting isn't a terrible thing and may even enhance the flavor of a smoke. The key is to understand that it can and will happen, and knowing whether or not you should plan on avoiding it or embracing it.