Nasal Snuff A History

Many of us will have heard of nasal snuff, whether it be from watching historical films, reading of its huge popularity in the 17th and 18th century, or through seeing it used today as an alternative way of enjoying the effects of tobacco. 

So how did the story of nasal snuff all begin? Here’s a brief history...

It is thought that the use of nasal snuff was noticed among the tribes of Brazil during the second voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1494. The snuff was made by grinding down tobacco leaves, using a rosewood pestle and mortar and then stored in ornate bottles. 

After the European crew observed this, one of the Spanish members returned to Spain with some, where it grew in popularity significantly and the country became the first in Europe to manufacture and develop nasal snuff. 


Growth In Popularity Sweeps Europe

The same rise in its popularity happened in France after the Queen of France, Catherine de Medicis, was given some tobacco leaves and shown how to make it into a powder. Similarly, in Holland, the popularity grew in the 16th century among the elite and the Dutch named it ‘snuiftabak’ - as in, sniff tobacco.

With its widespread use growing mainly among the royal courts, wealthy aristocrats all over Europe began to use nasal snuff, as it became associated with high social standing and the elite fashion of its time. 

England was a little slow on the uptake with the snuff trend, but it was introduced to the country in the late 17th century, following Charles II’s return to the country after he was exiled to mainland Europe. From then on, it became a popular pastime among the English royals. 

Where the lower classes would traditionally smoke tobacco, the upper classes would use nasal snuff and it was widely considered to distinguish the elite from the common man. Famous partakers included Queen Anne and Queen Charlotte, the consort of George III, as well as their son George IV. 

As time went on, it grew in popularity among all walks of life in England after a group of sailors were given nasal snuff as part payment, following the capture of a Spanish convoy in 1702. 

The use of nasal snuff continued to be hugely popular right up until the early 1900s and other famous nasal snuff takers included Napoleon, Lord Nelson, Marie Antoinette, Charles Darwin and Benjamin Disreali. 


How To Use Nasal Snuff 

McChrystal’s has been producing nasal snuff in the UK for almost a century, developing its manufacture carefully over the years to introduce a range of flavours to cater for the varying tastes of modern tobacco users. 

When taking nasal snuff, we find that using the following ritual enables users to get the very most out of the experience: 

  • Discover your favourite nasal snuff flavour
  • Buy your snuff online and benefit from a choice of flavours
  • When using nasal snuff, first tap the tin to loosen it up
  • After carefully opening the tin, take a pinch between your thumb and forefinger and inhale gently into the front of your nose
  • Enjoy the taste sensation of nasal snuff!  


Buy snuff online

When you buy snuff online from McChrystal’s, not only will you benefit from nasal snuff which has been developed within our family for almost 100 years, but, you’ll also get the very best modern day advantages, such as fast delivery in the UK and delightful packaging.

Buy your nasal snuff online today and look forward to trying a new and exciting experience!