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Best Smelling Pipe Tobaccos (Top 10 Aromatic Mixtures)

Best Smelling Pipe Tobaccos (Top 10 Aromatic Mixtures)

Posted by Greg Rosenberg on 14th Jun 2022

In his 1965 book The Pleasures of Pipe Smoking, Carl Weber dedicates a chapter to the etiquette of pipe smoking, which is introduced with the following quotation:

"Too often, the word tact is used to designate what is mere diplomacy. In simple truth, tact means the practice of thoughtfulness in all relationships. All good manners derive from basic kindness and so there are, or should be, a few rules for social smoking—rules that no gentlemen, or even men, will choose to flout" (Weber, 145).

Weber's lesson is more relevant than ever considering the attitude toward smoking today. It's necessary that pipe smokers distinguish themselves as courteous and respectful. One way is to be mindful of what we're smoking in the presence of others. Assuming others have given their blessing to smoking in their company, we can answer their obliging kindness with a delightful aroma.

To many, smoking is simply smoking, and until they catch the ambrosial scent of a heavenly, smoldering mixture, every wisp may as well be the acrid eminence of burning paper left from cigarettes. Many others already distinguish between mediums of smoking, having a nostalgic romance connected to the cherry or vanilla notes that rose from a grandpa or other respected figure's pipe. 

Beyond the call to be courteous, the sweet fragrance you send to the air may even make you friends. And quite simply, that fragrance is just part of the experience.

For all these reasons, let’s look at some of the best smelling pipe tobaccos.

This list will be looking at Aromatic pipe tobaccos, which embrace the more civilian and universally appreciated aromas of the candy aisle or bakery. That said, there are certainly non-Aromatics that will delight many noses in and outside of the hobby, and that list will be coming soon. 

1. Cult Blood Red Moon 

Cult Blood Red Moon

Tobacco:

Virginia Cavendish, Burley 

Flavoring: 

Cherry, Cocoa 

Room Note

We’ll start with a modern classic with a reputation for being one of the best smelling pipe tobaccos. With Cult Blood Red Moon you get a great cherry aroma that matches the taste. If you want to give off that captivating fragrance that draws folks in, this may be the one—hopefully you’re good at taking compliments. The room note will have you harkening back to grandpa’s cherry blend, but Blood Red Moon is a modern tobacco of its own.

Smoking Characteristics

There’s a good reason this is one of the most popular Aromatic tobacco mixtures out there and is a common exception to the Aromatic discriminating palate. The cherry and chocolate top notes offer a rich and creamy fullness of flavor that doesn’t obstruct the nuances of the abutting tobacco. Sometimes with artificial cherry flavoring the taste can lean toward that medicinal quality—a tart sharpness like cough syrup. That’s not what we have here.

Cult Blood Red Moon is not your grandpa's cherry blend, but it’s not sticking its nose up at it either. It’s tradition and modernity in a delightful mixture.

2. Sutliff Barbados Plantation

Sutliff Barbados Plantation

Tobacco:

Virginia Cavendish, Burley

Flavoring:

Rum

Room Note

A fantastic liquor blend from the Sutliff Private Stock, Barbados Plantation is sure to fill the air with wisps of rum that will have you daydreaming of tropical repose. Enjoy a creamy lingering vanilla scent.

Smoking Characteristics

Rum and Vanilla are the forward flavors here. The Virginia and Burley are slightly noticeable at the nutty, hay, grassy base. The rum has a tropical color to it, doing justice to the name.

Though Barbados Plantation is unlikely to be the exception for the pipe smoker who isn’t a fan of Aromatics, it’s gold for those who are. Especially if you’re prone to sniffing out Aromatics that are of their own design as opposed to another take on a classic cherry or vanilla topping on a bed of Cavendish and Burley. Don't get me wrong, those have their place in my heart and on my palate, but it's exciting to try blends that may take imagination to task. 

3. Cornell & Diehl Autumn Evening

Cornell & Diehl Autumn Evening

Tobacco:

Virginia, Cavendish 

Flavoring:

Maple, Rum, Vanilla, misc. 

Room Note

If you think your roommates would like to wake up to the aroma of sweet pancakes and maple syrup but you’re all out of batter, do I have the blend for you. Just remember there may be some bitter feelings when there are in fact no pancakes.

It’s Autumn Evening, a Cornell & Diehl best seller, lauded for its delightful room note. Especially one of the best smelling tobaccos to light up during the fall season.

That maple scent is undeniable, but once acclimated, you’ll likely get a little vanilla and caramel from the room note as well. 

Smoking Characteristics

This offering from Cornell & Diehl is another for the adventuresome, dynamic Aromatic lover. Autumn Evening is a flavored blend wherein the top flavorings, while bold, don’t hold dominion over the whole profile. It is its own mixture of complimenting, mingling notes.

This blend isn't going to give you a huge nic hit, but it’s not your standard light, light Aromatic either. It has a good medium dose of nicotine, something I think goes quite well in keeping one up and at 'em in the chilly months, which these flavors so wonderfully compliment.

It should come as no surprise, this rich Aromatic with a rich aroma is full in taste as well, in no way a subtle blend. Maple and vanilla are forward, with rum and other playful flavors peeking through. Tangy Red Virginias have their say as well.

4. Peterson Connoisseur's Choice

Peterson Connoisseur's Choice

Tobacco:

Virginia, Black Cavendish

Flavoring:

Fruit, Maple, Rum, Vanilla

Room Note

The best smelling tobaccos will often have a singular, easy to identify scent, but often, they are more dynamic. You'll hear all sorts of notes thrown out there when placing Peterson Connoisseur's Choice's aroma—caramel, vanilla, tropical, chocolate...

It's a real kaleidoscope of scents and the result is lively, indistinct, and alluring. Enjoying basking in the room note is all part of enjoying a good Aromatic, and this blend is a staunch reminder of that. The room note completes the experience. 

Smoking Characteristics 

The forward flavors of Connoisseur’s Choice are just about as difficult to neatly distinguish by taste as by smell, but once again, we can justly say it's something grand. Rum, vanilla, some fruity notes all intermingle as a forward taste for this blend. A smooth and easy burn, Connoisseur's Choice is mostly defined by its Aromatic flavorings, but you will notice those Virginias peek through.

My personal suggestion, if you're a coffee drinker, Connoisseur's Choice is a great companion. 

5. Mac Baren Vanilla Cream Loose Cut

Mac Baren Vanilla Cream

Tobacco:

Virginia, Black Cavendish, Burley

Flavoring:

Cream, Vanilla 

Room Note

Next, we have Vanilla Cream from Mac Baren. This blend gets right to the point with a fantastic vanilla aroma with a floral flourish more natural than super sweet. This blend also has a room note that, lovely as it is, isn't very dense and lingering. So, Vanilla Cream is a solid option if you'd like what scent is imparted to be an agreeable one, but without an assertive presence.

Smoking Characteristics 

Mac Baren offers a great quintessential vanilla blend with this one. The topping is center stage with a bit more creamy sweetness and molasses from the Black Cavendish. The base from the Virginia and Burley is grassy and earthy, though they only come through slightly. Mild in strength, this is a great blend to simply light, relax, and accept compliments on the ambrosial aroma.

6. CAO Eileen's Dream 

CAO Eileen's Dream

Tobacco:

Virginia, Black Cavendish, Cigar Leaf

Flavoring:

Irish Whiskey, Coconut Milk, Hazelnut, Almond, Cocoa, Vanilla 

Room Note

Eileen's Dream is a unique Aromatic from CAO, a brand that is noted for producing some of the best smelling pipe tobaccos. This mixture can't be summed up as simply a vanilla or cherry blend or some other classic pipe tobacco flavor. You'll get a creamy vanilla room note with abutting hints of chocolate and mint. 

Smoking Characteristics 

Eileen's Dream is another blend that's truly its own. Which should come as little surprise being inspired by the popular Eileen’s Dream flavored cigar. As you can probably tell from the cigar leaf and bouquet of top flavors, this isn’t a one note mixture. Eileen’s Dream also garners the honor of an exception among Aromatics.

The Virginias and Black Cavendish provide a base that is quite subtle below the flavorings, but the cigar leaf imparts its own earthy tones that perfectly mingle and contrast with the nutty, sweet, whiskey flavor. 

7. Hearth & Home Classic Burley Kake

Hearth & Home Classic Burley Kake

Tobacco:

Virginia, Burley, Kentucky

Flavoring:

Anisette, Cocoa, Rum 

Room Note

It's fitting that we should get such a comforting aroma from a brand with a name like Hearth & Home. With Classic Burley Kake, you can expect a wonderful coffee and cocoa scent to hang in the room, sweet but not cloying—simply imparting warmth and comfort.

Smoking Characteristics 

With Classic Burley Kake, the top flavorings are the main event, but this is another Aromatic whose component tobaccos are doing more than just adding body and delivering the toppings. No, you'll get earth and tang from Red Virginias in this consistent blend. Those top flavorings also wonderfully compliment the nutty, slightly woodsy Burley.

That Burley and Kentucky also give us a little more of a nic hit than many traditional Aromatics. It's still not very heavy—in the medium range—but a good option for those who love a good Aromatic flavor but are looking for something with just a bit more strength.

8. Dan Tobacco Sweet Vanilla Honeydew

Dan Tobacco Sweet Vanilla Honeydew

Tobacco:

Virginia

Flavoring:

Honey, Vanilla

Room Note

Next, we have Sweet Vanilla Honeydew from Dan Tobacco. Whoever named this really made sure there could be no doubt that an ambrosial Aromatic blend lies within the tin. I'm glad they aren't all named like this, my job here would be pretty redundant. But I can at least substantiate that the title is true to its word. An aroma of vanilla and honey sweetness with the warmth of freshly baked confections hangs aloft in the room. But this is another that is only mildly pervasive and short lived. A delightful accent, but not a dense sugar rush.

Smoking Characteristics 

Now, Sweet Vanilla Honeydew is something just a little different, an Aromatic Straight Virginia. This may perk concerns, there’s a common notion that Virginia tobacco is prone to bite. We know this is the case from Aromatics, as the top flavorings can cause the tobacco to smoke more wet. A good slow cadence is the best preventative measure to tongue bite, but it doesn't hurt (literally) that Dan Tobacco seemed to defy expectations with Sweet Vanilla Honeydew.

You still shouldn't go sipping it like a thick smoothie, but this one offers a cool smoke with a rich harmony of vanilla and honey playing off fantastic Bright Virginias offering their own sweetness, lemon grass, and hay. 

9. Lane Limited 1Q

Lane Limited 1Q

Tobacco:

Virginia, Cavendish

Flavoring:

Vanilla 

Room Note

If any blend is a no-brainer among the best smelling pipe tobaccos, it's Lane Limited 1Q.

If English blends are the campfire of pipe tobacco aromas, then 1Q must be the roasting, golden marshmallows. This is the quintessential vanilla pipe tobacco with the quintessential vanilla room note. Rich and warm with the faint lingering of caramel that company is sure to appreciate.

Smoking Characteristics 

Despite the ubiquitous, delightful aroma, Lane 1Q isn’t actually a flavor bomb. It’s a bouquet of vanilla and caramel to be sure, but not a goopy, aggressive, cloying taste.

This one you are mostly smoking for the top note. There is a slight Virginia grassiness beneath but for the most part, there’s little tobacco taste.

10. W.O. Larsen Signature Vintage Mixture

W.O Larsen Signature

Tobacco:

Virginia, Burley, Black Cavendish 

Flavoring:

Vanilla, Fruit, Caramel 

Room Note

A different room note emanates from the smoldering W. O. Larsen Signature Mixture than the familiar American Aromatic style mixture. I'm inclined to say it has a berry note of some sort with a flowery, creamy fragrance, but it’s one of those that is difficult to neatly sum up. This Signature Vintage develops a denser room note, perhaps best suited for when you mean to garner some attention.

Smoking Characteristics

W. O. Larsen Signature Vintage is a complex Aromatic with a changing cast of flavors. This well-balanced Danish style mixture elicits all sorts of flavor descriptions from smokers doing their best to distinguish the top notes. Vanilla, fruit, and caramel are a good approximation, but at some point, you just have to stop ruminating and enjoy this one for the enigmatic pleasure that it is.

Put the best smelling pipe tobaccos to the test

Hopefully we’ve given a decent place to get started with this list of some of the best smelling tobaccos. But there is a world of great smelling blends out there to enjoy, so if you want to explore further, feel free to reach out—we'd be happy to help you discover the tobacco blends that works right for you. 

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to Aromatics, and we’ll soon have a list for all those natural tobacco lovers looking for the right blends to fill the air with a delightful aroma. 


Reference(s):

1. Carl Weber, The Pleasures of Pipe Smoking (1965), Bantam Books