10% off Makla Platinum for  a limited time only.Finest Quality Indian SnuffsToque Snuffs

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Sign In with Google Sign In with OpenID

Please consider helping to support the Snuffhouse forum.

10% off selected Dholakia products.

Napoleon – The sad truth

RoderickRoderick Member
edited June 2008 in General
It appears our snuff hero, is no more.


"The Emperor never took tobacco except in his snuff-boxes; and although he wasted a great quantity of it, he really used very little, as he took a pinch, held it to his nose simply to smell it, and let it fall immediately. It is true that the place where he had been was covered with it; but his handkerchiefs, irreproachable witnesses in such matters, were scarcely stained, and although they were white and of very fine linen, certainly bore no marks of a snuff-taker. Sometimes he simply passed his open snuff-box under his nose in order to breathe the odor of the tobacco it contained. These boxes were of black shell, with hinges,
and of a narrow, oval shape; they were lined with gold, and ornamented with antique cameos, or medallions, in gold or silver. At one time he used round tobacco-boxes; but as it took two hands to open them, and in this operation he sometimes dropped either the box or the top, he became disgusted with them. His tobacco was grated very coarse, and was usually composed of several kinds of tobacco mixed together. Frequently he amused himself by making the gazelles that he had at Saint-Cloud eat it. They were very fond of it, and although exceedingly afraid of every one else, came close to his Majesty without the slightest fear.”

“Private Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte”

“All that has been said about Bonaparte’s immoderate use of snuff, has no more foundation in truth than his pretended partiality for coffee. It is true that at an early period of his life, he began to take snuff, but it was very sparingly, and always out of a box:* and if he bore any resemblance to Frederick the Great, it was not by filling his waistcoat pockets with snuff.
*He did have a great collection of snuff boxes.”


  • Well that answers the age old question of how hw managed to get through several pounds a month. Bugger.

    By the way Roderick, could you have a look at the ISTA posts please? A view from you would be helpful.

    Any news on the small Toque cans?

    All the best

  • Well that kills another famous legend dead...why does it seem these stories rarely have much truth in them?
  • There is often conflicting accounts of famous people, however to be fair he still used a lot of snuff in his own way
  • The new 10g tins are here, but I'm just not satisfied with all the new flavours, so it could be another couple of weeks before the official launch. Sorry to disappoint, but I want them to be perfect.
    With regard to being chairman of the ISTA I would be honoured, but wouldn’t it be more democratic to have a vote?
  • bobbob Member
    democracy is hell- sorry have to throw an obscure art refrence in from time to time.
  • Hi Roderick - I don't see anything wrong with just offering someone the role, especially at the start up stage. If people disagreed with that we could easily have some kind of ballot. Personally, I think the natural choice for chair and vice, would be you and TS - although I have no idea if he would want that of course!
  • snuffster,
    I appreciate the thought but in my opinion, the natural choice would be the ones who originally initiated & discussed the idea of having an ISTA. It seems only fitting that those positions would be held for these "founding fathers" and the ones with the time & know how to get it off the ground before it would be offered to anyone else, as this idea of ISTA was already being bounced around long before I joined this forum?
  • OK, point taken
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • bryanbryan Member
    I don't buy it...sounds like when Bill Clinton said he took a puff but didn't inhale...LOL!

    By the way, I really, really like the Toque natural. It is the best snuff in a box and taking a big pinch...about to order more, but I don't want to order bullets. Is it possible to just order a big tin like an ounce of it?
  • bryan,
    You can buy in 25g tins also in bulk bags from 10g all the way to 400g.
  • how long would it take napoleon to go through 400g..?

    seriously: is there proof for more persons using snuff like that? (smell-and-drop)
  • Ive never heard of it before. Given it was in the heyday of snuffing, I wonder if he actually didn't like snuff but did it to be 'one of the boys' so to speak, to appear to be like the common man? It seems a strange thing to do just for an aroma, which if you try it doesn't come across that well anyway.

    If you were doing it all day long in large pinches, 400g would go pretty quickly I would have thought.
  • I don't mean to sound daft or anything but why should we disregard the 'legend' of Napoleons snuff habit just because one source said he never used it? What of all the sources that said he did?
  • Hi Lazarus,
    Unfortunately I didn’t make it clear, there are two sources quoted. The first was from his, PREMIER VALET DE CHAMBRE (his personal dresser) and the second came from the great man himself through his “Private Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte”. The third point is simple math, he was said to snuff 7lbs a month that's 105 grams a day; a physical impossibility.
    We can take some consolation in the fact that he had one of the greatest snuff box collections and anyone with that many snuff boxes must have been more than just one who used snuff "very sparingly".
  • kjoerupkjoerup Member
    edited March 2010 PM
    Xander requested that this thread be bumped. So be it.

    Now how many ounces of snuff were the gazelles consuming per day?
  • thanks, Kjoerup.
  • "Dean Snift" in 'A Pinch of Snuff' said much the same thing, i.e. that Napoleon would simply lift it to his nose and then let it fall.
  • I never could see how Napoleon used so much snuff...
  • My understanding was 7lbs was Napoleon's staff's usage of snuff per month, not his personal in modern sense. With same logic Trotski was the biggest cigar consumer ever when he, as chief of staff, circled around Russia in his armoured train during the Civil War and thousands of cigars were used monthly. Well, he gave cigars to distinguished Red Army soldiers and didn't smoke all himself.
  • I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most educated person in the world and I'm sure somebody out here can use their better education to rip me a new one about this, but still,I have to point something out here, and being that is that Napoleon Bonaparte was a really awful person who went terrorizing killing and rampaging across a continent. I realize the impact of this has evidently been lost over time, but maybe its time to reflect on and recollect this for a moment

    I don't personally have any ancestors (to my knowledge anyway) who were killed by Napoleon Bonaparte, but I'm sure lots of other people do,

    and I know exactly how I'd feel and how badly it would creep me out if I was reading this same sort of romanticizing it if Adolf Hitler (who incidentally did kill, quite a few in fact, of my ancestors) had been alleged to be a snuff taker and people were sitting here calling him a 'legend' and talking about him like this and bemoaning discovering maybe he really didn't take snuff after all etc.

    As far as I am concerned anyway, the same goes for Stalin etc, and any other well known historical monsters, big or small (would we be phrasing things like this about Charles Manson or Ted Bundy, etc if we thought they were snuff takers?)

    I hope Napoleon Bonaparte wasn't a snuff taker. Rich evil genius mass murders with armies to do the job on a bigger and grander scale are no better than poorer crazy solo 'free lancers' and I'm not too eager to have them in our ranks.

    I seriously hope none of them were snuff takers (its bad enough to have to share the human race with them, let alone specific habits).
  • GrommetGrommet Member
    edited March 2010 PM
    The above quotation is incorrect about Napoleon Bonapart - he died in 1821 on St Helena
    At first I thought this extract must be about Napoleon III, but then looked on wikipaedia whic says he died in 1873, followed by a republic rather than an Emporor.

    If the extract is about Napoleon Bonapart then the date 1895 must be wrong - should it be 1795, but he only became emporer in 1804?
    As he was in Saint-Cloud it dates it to before he abdicated in 1814 (I dont think he spent much time in Paris during the 100 days up to Waterloo in 1815)
    Château de Saint-Cloud was occupied by both Napoleon I (Bonapart) and Napoleon III, and was destroyed in 1870.

    if this extract is about Bonapart then the date must be between 1804 and 1814, probable towards 1814 because he was having difficulty using his hands.
    Napoleon III was Emporor 1852-1870
  • Napoleon was a saint compared to the others you mention. Meglomaniac: yes. Power-hungry, abmitious and cut-throat: guilty as charged. Tyrant: perhaps. Military genius: (only lesser in stature than Clauswitz, Sun-Tzu, Julius Ceasar, and Alexander the Great). He made a massive blunder by attacking Moscow and forsook his men to save himself, and lost a great deal of respect in doing so and of course that famous retreat began his eventual undoing. He had however, brought France out of the darkest, most barbarous, and most horrific period in its history. Look up Napoleon's prececessor: Robespierre and read about the "Reign of Terror"
    Civillian populations were not usually victims in the Napoleonic wars. So calling him "terrorist" or "mass murderer" is not really accurate. He's beloved by many in France to this day. Even in his time he was not hated by his enemies, though they feared him and villified him in propaganda of the day.
    The United States maintained amicable relations with him throughout the period, and balanced an uneasy neutrality between France and Britain. The US negotiated for the purchace of the Louisiana territory from Napoleon when we were eager to grow, and Bony was strapped for cash.
    There are plenty of historical monsters for sure, I frankly don't care if they took snuff or not.
  • He also left an army in Egypt after the Battle of the Nile before he became Emporer, leaving them to get back to Paris so that he could improove his political standing. The army had no ships, they had been destroyed compleatly by Nelson!
  • yes, but didn't they find the Rosetta Stone?
  • Now we call "Reign of Terror" State of Emergency and do not execute people so easily, actually in Europe war and martial law is required to execute anyone.
    Robespierre, St. Just etc. did what they had to do under circumstances, which were grave.
  • My fault should have read "TRANSLATED BY WALTER CLARK, 1895” I included the 1895 on the wrong line. I have now changed it to read "TRANSLATED BY WALTER CLARK in 1895”
  • Remember, history is written by the victors. If Napoleon had succeeded we would have a more positive viewpoint of him. He did introduce religious freedom to Europe for which he was both praise and vilified. My own people, the Jews, were split on whether this was good or bad. The Lubavitcher Rebbe of the era sided with the Russians because he thought acceptance of Jews by Gentiles would lead to assimilation and lack of observance by Jews. As it turns out, he was right. Whether this is good or bad will be decided by history.
  • @Nachman

    thats 'my own people' you are referring to. My last name is (rather obviously) German Yiddish (If I said it to you you'd see what I mean), on my mother's side both grandparents (Polish and Hungrian respectrively) spent time in Auschwitz, Grandpapa was actually part of the Polish Resistance and my grandmother (known to all of us as just "Babushka") hid in her house too terrified to leave it, too afraid to even try to learn to speak English (she had a classic extreme case of PTSD from it).
    they came here went through countless name changes in the process trying to hide it and adopting a completely different religion in the process which is what they taught their children, my parents, and so I don't knwo a great deal about the faith other than what I've picked up as an adult trying to find out, but I know their stories well (and what the camp did especially to my grandmother, both of them really).

    I am Jewish.
  • This is one of my favorite graphics of the losses of the French army during the Russia campaign. Brings home the stark reality of the effort very clearly imho.

    see here

Sign In or Register to comment.